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INTERCOT > Interactive > INTERCOT Insider Archive > Christmas 2011


Christmas Edition 2011

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Chestnuts may be roasting on an open fire, but another edition of the INTERCOT Insider has arrived in your mailbox. With Christmas and the Holiday season upon us, Guests can often want to get away from all the hustle and bustle. In this edition we learn why the "off season" is an "on" time to go, check out a great last-minute gift you can make yourself, take a peek at this year's Very Merry Christmas Party, and wrap up our series of dining reviews. Hang on to them hats and glasses, cause this here's the most informative ride on the internet!

<<Making Magic at Home with Patricia >>

If you're looking for a great gift idea to bring Disney home; I have some Do It Yourself EARspiration!

Hidden Mickey Chalkboard

You’ll need: Black foam core board, chalkboard paint (spray is easiest), an x-acto knife, some kind of hanger or magnetic tape if it’s made for the fridge.

You can use this for a trip countdown or just hang it up for general notes every day. You can use any size piece of foam core board, depending how large you want it.. Use some plates (large for head, smaller for ears) to draw a Mickey shape on the board. Cut this out carefully with an x-acto knife. Trim up any edges to make it smooth. Paint it with two coats of Chalkboard paint, following the directions (if it warps, after drying, leave under some heavy books for awhile.) I like the spray paint by Rust-oleum if you can find it. Add a hanger on the back and Voila! An alternative would be to use light weight wood and a jigsaw, if your handy with power tools. Rub the entire board with chalk and erase it to “season” the board. Did you know, if you have a very dirty chalkboard you can wipe it with cola to get it back to it’s glorious self.


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


--Part Two of Two --


Biergarten – Dinner
Food 4/5 Service 3/5 Atmosphere 5/5 Overall 4/5

We had only been to Biergarten once before, on a fellow INTERCOTTEE’s good advice. My German husband really enjoyed that experience (as did the rest of us), and when we found out our friend, the other INTERCOTTEE was going to be at WDW with his family at the same time as us, we made a reservation for the whole gang of us – 9 adults and 1 child.
The buffet is made up of many German staples including Rouladen and Sourbraten as well as sausages, dumplings, chicken, salads, breads and cheeses. Overall, the food is very good and we all got our fill, even the fussy younger two (his son and my youngest), who both found items like schnitzel and pretzel rolls to fill the hole! The men enjoyed huge steins of Schöfferhofer Weizen, and the ladies had the wine flight. My only negative comment is on the service. Our plates were not cleared in a timely fashion and soft drinks were not readily offered, but he was a nice guy. The atmosphere is fantastic when the band starts up, and people go to dance (including our friend’s youngest son). I think the Biergarten is a fabulous place to go with a large group …. There is no shortage of food, good drinks available, entertainment to enjoy as well as a good opportunity to have a good visit at the long tables. We will definitely be making a return visit!!

Sci-Fi Dine In – Lunch
Food 4/5 Service 5/5 Atmosphere 5/5 Overall 4.5/5

Ok, this place is not the Ritz or gourmet cooking or anything, but you know what you are getting. We had not planned on eating here, but one day at lunch time we were just so darned hot, and nothing was turning the kid’s cranks at the Backlot, and I really wanted to sit in the cool and drink gallons of iced tea, so we asked, and we got a picnic table at the back of the Sci-Fi at lunchtime. Here’s what we had:
Brian got the Italian Grilled Chicken Sandwich - With provolone and bruschetta topping served on a Kaiser Roll with fries, and I got the Smoked Turkey Sandwich - smoked turkey, crispy bacon, lettuce, tomato with avocado mayonnaise on multigrain bread served with cucumber salad, then we traded off half of our sandwich. Both were very good, but we agreed that the Turkey Sandwich is a very very very good sandwich, and could easily be shared if you were looking for a lighter meal.
Harry had a Bacon Cheeseburger with Fries (though he doesn’t eat the fries, so I don’t know why he orders them) which was ketchup-on-his-face terrific, and Euan had a hamburger and fries.

The food was not fancy, nor was it spectacular, but it was very good, and the service was very good, and the cold drinks were flowing while we watched the horrible B-Movies on the Drive In screen. This was one of the best decisions we made during our entire holiday. It was an awesome cool Oasis providing just what we needed in the August heat.

Chef Mickey’s - Dinner
Food 3/5 Service 4/5 Atmosphere 5/5 Overall 4/5

Chef Mickey’s is much maligned for it’s food, but honestly, you don’t go there for fine dining. You go there to get well fed while your kids have a chance to meet the Mouse in a comfortable, controlled setting. We were there because it was our youngest son’s choice.

We arrived along with the throngs of other people at 5pm for dinner. It was noisy and chaotic, but that’s what we have come to expect. Here’s what we ate:
The buffet consists of many old standards, but the highlights at this dinner were the roast turkey (neither my husband nor I are particularly fond of roasted poultry, but this turkey was so good, we both went back for seconds), the stroganoff and the goat cheese fresh pasta. Harry enjoyed the ravioli (the sauce was way too bland for my liking), Euan really enjoyed the peel and eat shrimp, the bananas and the ice cream machine. We all left feeling well fed, and that we enjoyed our food.

We had lots of good character interaction. The guys were all into their roles as Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Minnie and Pluto, and it was a lot of fun.

Boma – Breakfast
Food 3.5/5 Service 4/5 Atmosphere 3/5 Overall 3.5/5

We had originally planned to go to 1900 Park Fare on our last morning, but changed our minds in favour of Boma since we were staying at AKL. This way, also, we could just go there when we were packed up and ready to go instead of being bound by an ADR.

We were seated quickly and got some fabulous juice and some coffee. The coffee pot was only enough for one cup each, but neither of us cared because it was that Nesca-yuck (I wish I had known that we could have gotten a press of Kenyan). The juice was very good though.

The set up for this buffet needs to be reworked. There was a line up 50 people long at the “start” of the buffet because of the Omelet station. It was only after a passing server told all of us to just go and get what we want from the buffet if we weren’t omletting that things improved. The highlight of the buffet was again the turkey (I don’t eat very much meat, and especially not much poultry, but this was sooo good). It was served with a chile paste that was really fabulous (and the chef recommended trying it with eggs, so Brian did). I didn’t care for the Bobotie (it was undercooked in my opinion), but loved the selection of fruits. This was a nice way to finish off our holiday, and to say farewell to the Animal Kingdom Lodge, but I don’t think we’ll rush back there unless we are staying there again.


<<A Good Time to Go with Mikki>>


Why travel off season to Walt Disney World? Parks close early, less special events, not as warm - why would anyone go then? Well I have grown to enjoy January trips. It can be cold but it is usually way warmer than at home. And given how busy Disney is nowadays it can be much quieter and easier to get round the parks I also like sitting down to a nice leisurely meal in the evening and not worrying about missing park time. It can also be easier to get into the hotel or Disney Vacation Club property you want and certainly cheaper on cash or points. So there are pluses but you just have to decide if they outweigh the negatives. I am traveling next January and my only worry is whether the airports in London will be shut due to snow - that had never happened before this years' closures!


<<Very Merry Christmas Party Points>>


Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is a perennial event at the Magic Kingdom. With decorations, hot chocolate, a Christmas parade, and Holiday fireworks; the event adds some extra Christmas magic to many Guests' vacations. Although this year's event is wrapping up, there's no better time to plan for next year's party while you at the height of Christmas cheer. To help you put your vacation planning hat on, two of our INTERCOT Staff members are here to share their experiences at the 2011 event.


--faline's Points --


When we entered the park, folks were already camped out for the parade. There really weren’t any places on Main Street at all though many of the folks who were waiting for the parade were without wrist bands so likely were day guests who were overstaying for the party. We were not allowed past Main Street without showing our bands. There were plenty of places to stake out for the parade once we were in Frontierland and we found a nice place just by the Country Bears. In fact, Donna took Sam into the show to help pass the time while we were waiting. At one point, I headed over to the rest room to find the entrance manned by cast members who asked to see my wrist band before allowing me into the rest room – interesting place to put a checkpoint but potentially quite effective, I suppose.

The parade was wonderful! I always love the toy soldiers! I also enjoyed seeing my nephew’s excitement – especially when he saw Mickey Mouse!! Following the parade, we moved over to another section of the park to watch the Castle show and the fireworks. We had a great view of both and watched Tinker Bell fly overhead. We wandered into Tomorrowland and took a spin on the People Mover. It was getting closer to the start of the second parade which, in the past, we have often stayed to see but decided not to this evening. As we left, I could see that the park crowds had really thinned and, if we had wanted, we could have gotten prime parade viewing right near the train station without any problems.


--Strmchsr's Points --

I had said I wasn't going to do this again, but we did and I'm glad. We went on Tuesday night, Dec 13. Crowds were low, the weather was great (pleasantly cool), and Holiday Wishes and the parade were awesome. Loved the snow on Main St and the cookies and cocoa. It really was a great experience. I will also say that the Holiday version of the Memories & You laser light show was AWESOME. I think that laser light show is one of the best new things at Disney in a long time, but the holiday version took it up a couple of notches. Well worth seeing.

<< Conclusion >>

The staff of INTERCOT would like to wish the best to you and yours this Christmas and Holiday Season. From the bottom of our hearts, we would like to thank each and every one of you for the more than 16,500 subscriptions to INTERCOT Insider. We’ll be back in the New Year with more great tips and news. 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!

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