A Very Merry Wine and Dine Half Marathon Trip: November 2018


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Thank you for the great trip report!! I always enjoy your reports, especially the marathon ones, though I rarely comment!

My sister and I were at the January marathon weekend as well doing Goofy and I actually saw you towards the end of the half marathon but I didn't say hi since I never post on here. (I was dressed as a girl DreamFinder with my sis as Figment.) I thought it was neat to run into you during a race since you run so many! Hope this wasn't creepy lol!!

Also were you one of the like 10 other people that did Goofy this year? I was so surprised at how so few Goofy runners there were this year!! The bib pickup was literally only two booths!
Thanks so much, I'm glad you are enjoying the reports!

So funny, I totally wouldn't have thought it creepy if you said hi on the course. Fun costumes and new faces would have been welcome! It was my sister-in-law's first half and the last portion was a bit of a slog for her. But it was a great experience to do it together and I'm so glad we were able to cross the finish hand-in-hand!I feel like this board is small enough most people on here are kindred spirits. I accosted Becky W and ran with her a little way at one of the races (although I can't vouch for her if she found it creepy but at least she is still willing to take my calls).

Yes, it did seem like very few signed up for Goofy. I had to ask directions to find the right booth at bib pick up. I don't have the best sense of direction but I must have scanned the room about 3 times before I gave up and asked someone.


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Ugh! I am not going to get another section of this report done today. I have the day off but then school was called off for ice (shakes fist) and somehow everything takes longer when there are kids home. Even when they are playing outside (they totally did not need to cancel school) or otherwise entertaining themselves.


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Three more park days to go...maybe I can get it done before the April trip (we are now up to 90% likely to do the spring break trip)?

Tuesday November 6, 2018

Lows: My oldest develops a cold
Highs: Magic Kingdom Early Morning Magic and having our niece escort us to our table at BoG

Perhaps the best thing about this day is I had to stretch to find a “low”. The youngest had a better night. So of course, the oldest had to get in on things and wake up in the middle of the night with a stuffy nose. He was convinced he would stop breathing in his sleep. When I tried to reassure him with medical details (he usually goes for anything that involves lots of details and Latin terminology) he flat out said “I don’t believe you mama”. The great thing about this age is even when there is a bad night the next day isn’t a total disaster like it was when they were younger.

We were all back up again bright and early for EMM at Magic Kingdom. The best part about Grand Floridian? Only one stop on the monorail to MK. We left our room at 7:20 am and were checked in and through the tapstyles waiting for the park to open by 7:33 am. At 7:45 am we were released for a relaxing walk up Main Street and then on to Peter Pan for our first ride of the morning.

I love EMM at MK and we do it every chance we get. I’ve found the wait at MT to be longer right at first and to be a walk-on with partially empty cars by the end. This trip I made a note there were open seats on MT from 8:30 am on. We usually start with Peter Pan x 2-3, then Mine train for as many rounds as we can take.


And finish off with 1-2 rides on Pooh.


If there’s time we will grab a couple last rides on Mine train before the RD crowds descend. This morning the kids surprisingly wanted one last ride on Peter Pan instead of MT.

Strategy may be different with the new version of EMM. We haven’t tried it but Josh’s post looks promising. I was concerned the larger number of people would mean long lines at MT and fewer repeat rides but that was not his experience.


The largest drawback of the new version for me is the change in breakfast. I’m not a big fan of the bounty platter and I will REALLY miss that Frittata! This trip we grabbed a quick breakfast before RD (usually we do a few RD attractions nearby and then breakfast) because we were headed to Frontierland.

The last three times we have RD’d Frontierland coming from Fantasyland we have run into the Country Bears out greeting. They are so much fun!


At RD we had a walk on for:
BTMRR x 2 (they only had one side running at first but there was no slow down until right after the FP merge point)

Pirates (no flash on the ride picture)



Tiki Room



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Then we started in on our FP which were scheduled for 9:30, 10:30, and 11:30.
We tapped in for Jungle Cruise during our grace period at 10:31 am.

The Jingle Cruise overlay was already in place. I like the overlay and we had a good skipper. It was fun to hear some different jokes. I took way too many pictures.



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MK2-JC6 (2).jpg

FP #2 Splash


FP #3 Final ride on BTMRR. Even when we RD Frontierland we usually book a FP for BTMRR. It’s a favorite and we don’t want to miss it if it’s down at RD or if don’t make it in time. Of all the RD destinations Frontierland is my favorite. It is the most forgiving and usually isn't busy immediately so we can get 2-3 headliner rides in before moving on to secondary attractions.

We were done at noon and headed back to the hotel. While the monorail is the fastest way to MK from GF, the boat is always fastest going back. Returning to GF it is the first stop by boat but the last stop by monorail. Our room was right by the boat launch which was especially convenient. We had just enough time to stop by the room to change and freshen up before lunch at Garden View Tea Room.


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Garden View Tea Room
They were making progress on the gingerbread house in the lobby and had started giving out samples. This was a nice diversion while we were waiting for our table. For whatever reason there always seems to be a longer wait to be seated at Garden View than at most WDW restaurants (maybe it’s the small capacity).

GF-GB house day2.jpg
GF-GB house day2-2.jpg
GF-GB house day2 samples.jpg

Tea was my Mother’s Day gift. It was also partly a gift for my youngest. At age 2 he would play with his toy tea seat for an hour at a time, completely engrossed. Now he’s a BIG fan of afternoon tea and grandma and I have been taking him with us to hotel teas for a few years. As he’s gotten older, he wants nothing to do with “baby” tea sets and has his own Alice in Wonderland set from the Tea Caddy in Epcot. Every so often he puts together a tea party complete with Mickey cucumber sandwiches.

TeaChef E.jpg



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My husband and oldest humor us by coming along. The older does enjoy tea and the kids’ version of the sandwiches despite his look of “I can’t believe you dragged me to another frumpy tea” in this photo.




I mentioned before that the tea itself was tepid and weak. You may have better luck depending on the day. They also no longer have traditional loose tea and strainer. It’s brewed in back and the tea (probably bagged) is removed before being brought to the table so there isn’t an option to try to make it stronger yourself.




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With Cozy


Tea cup


I can’t help myself. The new stoneware is an abomination. There, I’ve said it. I know I’ve mentioned before that I collect tea sets so I’m probably overly sensitive about these things. But really??? Chunky stoneware for an afternoon hotel tea? Here is the original Royal Albert Old Country Roses.


Yes, it’s a little too 60s Victoriana for my taste. But it is an authentic example of type and fits with the theme of Garden View. I was completely happy with the table service at the Rose and Crown because it was appropriate to the venue and the informal nature of that tea. What bothers me about what they’ve done at Garden View is that it’s poor show and lack of authenticity in favor of utility. I’ll stop with the ranting now.

On to the food. We usually get one tea with a cheese/fruit plate (Cheshire) to share and then standard tea (Bedfordshire or Mrs. Potts) for the rest.

Cheese/fruit plate and sandwich plates came out together.

Tea-cheese plate.jpg

Similar sandwiches to the Rose and Crown tea. At Garden View they now plate them in advance and they are not made to order so depending on how long your sandwich has been sitting out they may be a little dry. I enjoyed the Rose and Crown sandwiches more because of the freshness factor. The portion at Garden View is larger.


Both sweets courses come out together. Everyone gets a scone and jam tart and then there is a choice for the dessert course.



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I haven’t had a lot of luck with the “Delicate house-made pastries” in the past because they have been overly dry. The swans are cute though. The recipe for the swans can be found here:


I usually go for strawberries and cream or the trifle (pictured below).


In spite of my picky complaints I enjoyed the tea and would still recommend it. There is plenty of food for this to be lunch and we will definitely do it again. I think it makes a nice mid-day break from the park even if not staying at GF. Using the boat to the hotel and the monorail back to the park makes for some of the shortest transportation times (sometimes even faster than walking to Contemporary).


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I love that your son loves tea parties!
It is so sweet how enthusiastic he is about tea.
I think his affinity for tea must come from his old fashioned British name. We had the hardest time deciding on names for both our boys and ended up going with old family names. When we did Minnie's dine with Josh and introduced our sons he was like "where are you from?"
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The kids had a swim while I returned the rental car to the Car Care Center. Easy and quick drop off and no wait for a shuttle back to the hotel.

We headed back to Magic Kingdom late afternoon. This was the first opportunity we had to stop and enjoy the holiday decorations on Main Street.



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We made it to Philharmagic right as the next show was starting. Philharmagic never gets old and the youngest still giggles at all the 3D gags even though he knows they are coming.

During the break I refreshed (quite a bit) and was able to get a 4[SUP]th[/SUP] FP for Space for the kids and I while my husband did Buzz


Then a relaxing ride on people mover. It had quite the line and switchbacks but moved along quickly.



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I love this model of the early Epcot idea


Sun Starting to set


Next up, BoG for dinner. Our Niece was working and made sure she was the one to give us the tour of the Castle and seat us. We were seated near the window in the Ballroom and were able to enjoy the holiday decorations throughout the meal.




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Overall, I would say we enjoyed the new menu. It felt slightly higher in quality than the prior menu (the steak was certainly a better cut than previous). And we typically order enough appetizers and desserts that the new fixed price wasn't more costly than what we did in the past. But it certainly wouldn't be a good value for 2 credits on the dining plan (we paid OOP for this meal for that reason).

For the kids:
Fruit and Cheese Plate-Seasonal Fruit, Cheddar Cheese, and Crostinis

Bog-kids cheese.jpg

Iceberg Wedge Salad-with Ranch Dressing
This was a pretty lame “salad”, even for a kids’ menu selection

Bog-kids salad.jpg

For the adults:
Maine Lobster Bisque-Crème Fraîche and Poached Lobster
You can’t tell from the picture but there was a nice amount of lobster in the dish. A solid soup offering


Mixed Field Greens-Sunflower Seed Brittle, Heirloom Tomatoes, House Farm Cheese with a Citrus Vinaigrette
Also very good with nice fresh tomatoes


For the kids:
Seared Shrimp Skewer- The kids are able to choose 2 sides from a list on the kids’ menu but I forgot to take a picture of that list and it’s not posted on line. It was pretty typical stuff.

Bog-kids shrimp.jpg


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Kids Grilled Beef Tenderloin. I apologize for the unappetizing photo but wanted to give an idea of portion size, he had taken maybe 2 bites when the photo was taken.

Bog-kids steak.jpg

For the adults:
Center-cut Filet Mignon-Robuchon Yukon Potatoes, Seasonal Vegetables, and Cipollini Marmalade with a Red Wine Glaze. Beef really is not appetizing to photograph, sorry.


Blurry across the table picture of the Spice-dusted Lamb Chops-Roasted Salsify, Baby Zucchini, Charred Tomatoes, and Royal Trumpet Mushrooms with a Lamb Demi
Nice flavor but a fairly small portion of meat



Bog-kids dessert.jpg




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A fun meet with Beast after our meal


Forgot the picture on the bridge on the way in to our meal


I was able to get a FP for Small World for after dinner but everyone decided they would rather head back to the hotel for an early night. We were on the boat back to GF by 8:03 and enjoyed HEA again from the balcony.

Tomorrow another early morning, this time EMM at HS


Anne, I'm pretty sure I saw you and your family at church this morning! I hope I wasn't noticeably staring - at first I just thought you looked familiar and was trying to figure out why, and then I looked at one of your kids and this trip report flashed into my head. :RpS_biggrin: (and if it's not you, there's a family in southcentral Wisconsin that looks an awfully lot like yours) I hope this doesn't sound too creepy, but I figure it's creepier to not say something!


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Anne, I'm pretty sure I saw you and your family at church this morning! I hope I wasn't noticeably staring - at first I just thought you looked familiar and was trying to figure out why, and then I looked at one of your kids and this trip report flashed into my head. :RpS_biggrin: (and if it's not you, there's a family in southcentral Wisconsin that looks an awfully lot like yours) I hope this doesn't sound too creepy, but I figure it's creepier to not say something!
That was probably us! Not our usual Parish or time but with daylight savings no one wanted to be up earlier. I totally didn't notice any staring :). I've been sick this week so must admit I was not very attentive. Small world!