Saturday, March 9, 2013

Princess Half Marathon Weekend--Part 5 (Celebrating the Finish)

After the race Jeff and I had to pack everything up from the Beach Club and make our move over to Bay Lake Tower. Now, some people may think we were NUTS to move right after the race but we did have our reasons. First, we knew dinner was going to be on the monorail route and also we had scheduled the Keys to the Kingdom tour for 8:30am on Monday so being close to the Magic Kingdom was worth it.

We took a taxi over because we wanted to not have to worry about the luggage transfer since we knew we had to be able to get ready for dinner later. We had no idea if the new room would be ready but I had done online check in and said we were arriving early so I was hopeful.

We got to BLT and checked in. Our room was ready and we were SO happy. We had booked a Theme Park View Studio. I had requested a high floor but with online check in they ask would you rather have your request met or the room ready early and I said, ready early! Turns out we were on the 5th Floor which is the lowest floor for Theme Park view so I was a little worried but I did not need to be! We had a great view.

Now moving from a 1 bedroom to a studio was a shock. I had read how small the studios at Bay Lake are but I was surprised. It was even smaller than our room at the Contemporary, or so it seemed but it might have been because of the kitchenette.

Also, it has a queen bed instead of the king in the 1 bedroom, it seemed so much smaller.

I did love the picture and the theming. Especially after the Beach Club Villas. It was nice there but I prefer the new duvets with the accents over the full comforters like at Beach Club.

The couch and balcony were nice but again, seemed really small after the larger villa. This couch is only a full pull out instead of the queen in the 1-Bedroom

Here is the kitchenette. It had a mini fridge, microwave, toaster and a lot of storage (which was weird.

The bathroom was nothing special but at least they have different sinks than they do at the Contemporary which is good. No water overflowing from it!

Once we were settled, Jeff really wanted to take a little rest since he had been up since about 6am before we went to eat again and head to the Magic Kingdom. I honestly felt awesome and I really wanted to try and get lunch at Be Our Guest but I decided since I had dictated so much of the weekend to let Jeff have some fun. We rested for about 45 minutes. He dosed and I uploaded pictures and tried to rest but I was really keyed up.

We ended up going to eat at the Wave at the Contemporary. Food was good but the service was HORRIBLE. I had on my medal and my I Did it shirt but our waiter was so busy toasting with the table next to use over their races that he kept forgetting we were even there. We had someone else take our orders and get drinks. He was just horrible and completely rude. I think this is one of the only times I have tipped poorly at Disney.

After this we headed to the Magic Kingdom. I really wanted to get pictures with the Princesses with my medal so I got us Fastpasses for them. We had about 2.5 hours until we had to head back for dinner so we kind of wandered. Since it was the middle of the day the lines were a little long. We went over to the New Fantasyland to see the new castles and the Little Mermaid ride. We ended up just walking around and finally we went to the Hall of Presidents. I love this place but I know the kids are too young. We had time before the show so we walked around. I loved it just as much as I used to.

We headed to the front of the park to go see the Princesses but for some reason the Fastpass line was HUGE once we got in. I have never been there when it was so bad. Jeff was impatient and didn't want to wait and I felt dumb staying alone so we handed our Fastpasses off and left. I am sad I did not get 1 picture with a Princess with my medal but what can you do.

Then it was time to go and get ready for our amazing dinner at Victoria and Albert's. I had been dreaming of dinner here for over a year but since you have to be over 10 to dine here and we knew it would not work when the kids were with us, this was the perfect time. When planning for this, I had tried to pick a dress with comfy shoes but I don't have one of those so I settled for my silver ones but I brought my Croc sandals just in case in my purse.

We took the monorail over and we had no delays. We were a couple minutes early but we just relaxed in the peaceful waiting area. It was so nice in there. Once we were seated we quickly realized we were in the Princess section! Everyone around us had medals on (I had mine my purse) but after some persuasion from Margaret, I put it on!!

We were given our personalized menus. Mine was different because everything with garlic had been removed but I had tons of choices. I was also told that the chef would make me a appetizer portion of an entree so I could have 3 choices I would enjoy.

Here are the menues from the evening:

Dinner was amazing, here are so pictures from it:

 Amuse-Bouche to start the evening. A crepe with vanilla and crab, salmon, lump crab with avocado and tomatoes.

This was the cold appetizer. I ordered the masago crusted shrimp and it was amazing! The noodles under it were so good.

Jeff got the octopus with black garlic and he enjoyed it!

We both ordered the Diver Scallop with a fennel "ring" on the top for the fish course.

For the hot appetizer we again got different things. I ordered the Duck Breast and the roasted cauliflower. I enjoyed the cauliflower but my duck was not my favorite.

Jeff had braised Oxtail and cherry ravioli and liked it.

For the main dish Jeff decided he was going to do the add on and go with the Australian Kobe-style beef tenderloin. He originally ordered it medium but changed it to be prepared however the chef recommended. It came out perfect and was so tasty. Jeff also said the garlic mashed potatoes were the best he had ever had!

I ordered the Free Range chicken that is grown on some farm in North Carolina! It really had a wonderful gamey taste, not at all like the usual chicken you get. It also had homemade gnocchi that were amazing. The vegetables were really fresh and delicious.

After all of this, it was time for dessert the cheese course! Now before this, we had already had five courses and three fresh made breads that the pastry chef had prepared. I honestly liked the first one the best, it was a sourdough roll that was perfect! Jeff enjoyed one that was prepared with grains that were milled in his home country in Europe (I forget where) and sent over. He also uses a yeast he brought with him 19 years before to make it. Each also came with a specifically prepared butter to compliment the bread and each did!

For the cheese course I went with the white chocolate gelato with tableside shavings of white chocolate. Of everything we had, this was heaven. Actually I want more right now!!!

Jeff went with the tradition cheese tray and it went from a mild cheese to a very strong one at the end.

After dinner we were offered coffee or tea. Both are brewed at the table using a special brewing system. I had wanted to try the coffee just for the experience but I just was not feeling coffee so I went with an Oolong tea that was the perfect end to the evening, but the food was not over yet.

We still had dessert. Both Jeff and I went with the Souffle and WOW. I had the Hawaiian Kona Chocolate one and Jeff got the Grand Marnier version. Both were so good. Just like on the cooking shows, they were perfect inside. Erich Herbitschek is truly an amazing pastry chef.

Finally the evening was coming to a close. We were presented with one final tray of candies. There was a candy/gelatin version, a tart and a salted caramel. Even though we were bursting we had to eat them because they were too good to pass up.

At the end of the meal the check is presented in a box. I guess they don't want you to forget about it!

Before leaving the wonderful Maitre d'Hotel and hostess took pictures of us!

Here we are together in front of the main dining room.

And here are Margaret and I showing off our medal together after the best dinner celebration ever

Victoria and Albert's really was a once in a lifetime adventure. It was amazing and I do not regret it but it is not something I will do again for a very long time. Disney has many amazing restaurants (though none that compare to this that is for sure) so I am sure it will be years before we return!

It was a long dinner and we did miss WISHES which was sad but we had a wonderful time. We went back to Bay Lake Tower to change and while there Extra Magic Hours were going on at the Magic Kingdom we decided to stay in and relax and watch the castle since we had to get up so early the next morning.

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