~ disney world - be our guest restaurant & dining plan ~

Wednesday, May 29, 2013
One of the newest restaurants, Be Our Guest, is located in the Magic Kingdom in Fantasy land which is still going through renovations and construction, it wasn't fully opened when we got there but I'm still happy to have been able to see some of the new areas! This is the first thing we officially did on the first day ~ I always like to go to Magic Kingdom first to ease into the rest of the parks, mostly because this is the one replicated throughout the world.

Also as mentioned before I wanted this post to be more informative than my previous Disney world posts so it might become a bit wordy =)

There was about a 20min before we actually got in to order. The wait went by fast though and before we knew it we were ordering out food!

Finally into the castle.

Loving the decor!

The suits of armor were all different.

When you finally get to the ordering stations they give you this plastic rose. It's got some sort of gps function as it well help your server locate you when you settle down at a table.

Into the ordering room filled with kiosk and many cast members to help you out though it's pretty self explanatory.

 dee dee dum~

Since I was on the dining plan all I had to do was tap my room card/key to the world card onto the mickey when it glowed green, I enter my pin number and was good to go!
You get your printed receipt then head over to the actual dining rooms.

The largest room was the ballroom. There was also the "left wing" which replicated the dark and mysterious area of which Belle wasn't suppose to do into. We wanted to sit in the left wing but it was actually fairly small and already full so settled in the ballroom. The other room was the rose gallery which also had a large statue of Belle and the Beast.

Duffy waiting patiently for our food. If you look at the top right hand corner you can see the serving tables that they use to bring your food to your table.

The gorgeous ceiling that really does replicate the one in the movie! It didn't move though so I was a wee disappointed  come on Disney!

I got the braised pork and passion fruit cream puff! The braised pork dish was delicious! I was pleasantly surprised since this is only a counter service restaurant so expected the food to be not that great.

My sister had the tuna nicoise salad which was alright. The dressing was too sour for my taste but she enjoyed it =)

Enjoying my first meal at the kingdom! I highly recommend this restaurant as the food is good and atmosphere is fun! They also serve dinner which is when they actually transform the restaurant to a sit down type but when I wanted to make reservations it was already fully booked until August! Madness! They also only open the rose gallery at lunch =)

I also want to take some time to explain what I meant by the Disney dining plan.

Basically it's a plan which can be added to your resort package when you book with Disney. There are various plans to choose from which will determine how many meals you receive and of course the price. I believe there are a total of four plans, the most expensive is the premium with three sit down meals a day with champagne. This time I picked the regular dining plan which I believe Disney refers to as just dining plan. It includes one counter service meal and one sit down meal a day as well as a snack. Personally I think this is good enough for the average person. 

The last time I went to Disney World I booked the deluxe dining plan which included three sit down meals a day as well as two snacks per day. This was honestly a LOT of food! I hardly ever used snack points as I never got hungry throughout the day since there were so many meals. However this did allow me to try a lot of restaurants without worrying about the price of my meals.

That was one advantage of the dining plans. Personally you might have to sit down and do some serious calculations to see if it is worth your money but personally I'd get it if there is some sort of discount as not having to worry about paying for meals is worth it for me. The only thing not included is gratuity. If you do decide to add the dining plan on remember that it is applied to the entire length of your stay including arrival and departure days.

Now how it works is that the meals are in form of points. For example I stayed for 9 days which was 9 counter service points and 9 sit down restaurant points along with 9 snack points. Each time I ate at a counter service I would just beep my card and it would subtract one point from my total 9. Also all your room keys are connected and thus all members of your party staying in the same room are pooled together. This makes it easier when you're paying so that only one person needs to "beep" their card. Also each time you eat or redeem a snack you will receive a receipt stating how many points you just used and how many are left.

~ afternoon tea at the shangri la ~

Wednesday, May 22, 2013
I went to this tea back in April at the Shangri La Hotel. I could have sworn that they changed their afternoon tea to only weekends but I guess they changed it back to daily or maybe I remembered wrong. Anyways I was really happy to hear they have it regularly now since I really enjoy tea there.

~ our tier ~
Truth be told I get disappointed when the sweets tier is loaded with pastries just because there is so much bread on the other tires already >< I usually look forward to the usual macaron or cake there but alas nothing this time.

Our sandwiches are the usual  ham, egg and cucumber.

I can't actually remember the name of these but I know that the red cup thing was a looked better than it tasted. I quite enjoyed the tart and the madeline was alright. I was sad to see no macaron =(

No photos of the scones but I think there was plain and the other was raisin. I hardly ever finish my scone as I find it way too filling. I also like to only eat the top part of the scone =P

The clotted cream and fruit preserves. Yum clotted cream!

They gave us this complimentary blueberry sorbet because one of our sweets came late. It was actually a chocolate piece and was quite good but I forgot to take a photo of it. I enjoyed the sorbet and small touches like this always makes a lasting impression.

I also wanted to note that the service there was a bit slow since it was only one waitress serving the entire lounge. Now the lounge is not very large but she could have probably used another hand however despite being how busy it was she was very sweet. Also when my friend and I were close to finishing our meal there was a girl who starting to sing and play the piano which was not a big deal except she was so loud I could hardly hear my friend across the small table.

I admit I was a bit disappointed in this afternoon tea I will still be back since they change their menus so often and hopefully next time I'll make sure to read the menu beforehand. This makes me want to have afternoon tea again! Hopefully the weather will be better and I'll have a chance to go soon!

~ disney world - port orleans riverside resort ~

Monday, May 13, 2013
I'm back from vacay! I already miss my cruise and still feel like I'm on the boat sometimes. I also caught a cold right when I came back><  I'm excited for summer since I'm only taking two courses and I also received all my grades which I'm fairly happy with! I can finally relax now >< Since I've posted my trip to Disney World before I think this time I'm just going to take it slow and post small pieces of things here and there =)

Last time I was at Disney World was in 2011 and I stayed at the Coronado Springs Resort. I really enjoyed the resort and was planning on staying there this time too but I decided to try a new place in the end to make the trip feel more "new" for me. This trip was actually an overdue graduation trip for my younger brother. This time we stayed at the Port Orleans Riverside. The resort has two sides, riverside and french quarter but it seemed like most people preferred riverside so I went with that. To be honest if I could choose again I'd probably go back to Coronado instead and would definitely request a ground floor room! Unless I hit the jackpot then I'd stay at the Animal Kingdom Resort or one of the fancier (and much more expensive) resorts. When I went they were having a decent discount so we also added the dining plan =D!

I also must note that the majority of the photos I will be posting about this trip are taken by my sister as she had the camera most of the time.

~ Port Orleans Riverside Resort ~
The resort is quite large resulting in four different bus stops (north, east, west, and south which is also the stop for the lobby). The stop closest to our room was north. If you stay at French Quarter there is only one stop at the lobby and I would also advise against going to the lobby to take any buses as there is usually a large horde of people waiting to get on. The buses take you from the resort to the different parks as well as Downtown Disney but they do not take you to other resorts. To do so you will need to take a bus to a park and take the bus to the resort you want from there.

The inside of the lobby was quite nice. We arrived close to midnight so most photos are of the next day in case you're wondering why I don't have any luggage lol The people are quite friendly and if you want to take a taxi there is bell service outside the lobby which had taxi's just waiting to be used. This is what we did when we went to Universal Studios. Upon arrival you will receive your room cards (called key to the world cards) as well as a package with information about the parks such as park times etc. They also gave us a small map of the resort which helped tremendously.

We stayed at the Acadian House on the third floor. The room wasn't bad but the buildings all look alike and took us a day or two to really know the area. However the bus stop was fairly close and the lobby was about a 10min walk. Also there were geckos everywhere *cringe*

Walking to the lobby. This type of scenery is seen throughout the resort and you can even ride a horse carriage, at an extra charge of course =P

The pool we pass on the way to the lobby. It's actually decently sized and had quite a few lounge chairs. Sadly it was fairly gloomy and rainy during most of our stay there and the pool was mostly filled with younger children shrieking about and having fun. Good thing the pool is on a small "island" away from the rooms!

I *think* this was part of the lobby where the eating area is located.

They had many signs providing directions which were very helpful.

Our room was a fairly large! It had two queen beds and the shower/toilet was separate from the sinks. There was also a curtain to close off the sink area form the rest of the room.

The Mickey towel was a nice cheerful way to start our stay! Across from the beds was a decent sized flat screen TV as well as a coffee maker (with all the amenities) and some glass and styrofoam cups. There was also a small fridge but it wasn't very useful as it wasn't cold at all! There were three drawers and no "closets" area for those who enjoy using them. My siblings and I lived out of our suitcases lol

The sink area. There are also some hangers off to the right hand side and a small safe. We didn't use the hair dyer provided since we brought our own. The bathroom had a the rain water shower which was very nice and the temperature and water pressure was always good! I'm really picky about that in any hotel! The fan automatically turns on when you turn on the bathroom light but if you don't go inside it shuts off in about 5-10mins, I mention this because we leave the bathroom light on when we slept, it's too creepy being there in the complete darkness ><

Yay! Disney still uses H2O products! They even changed the packaging, I love the small mickey heads on the bottles! House cleaning also always provided more soaps =) However one thing that made me majorly disappointed was that they no longer provided lotion! I was so sad because I deliberately didn't bring any since they provided lotion last time. Also I didn't receive any facial soap until at least the third or fourth day of our visit, which was a terrible as I also didn't bring any facial cleanser with me! Luckily I brought make up wipes with me but still those don't take everything off.

Just a comparison of the 2011 amenities.

Leaving our building and probably walking towards the lobby. I actually trimmed off 5 inches of hair right before the trip.

Going to the lobby from the "back" of the resort. The view is a bit different if you're coming in from the front of the resort.

The bus stops! Again try to avoid the ones by the lobby, just too many people and strollers.

A plus side of staying at the Disney resort is that you receive complimentary shuttle from the airport to the park, just make sure you book it when you're buying your package. Also whenever you purchase something in the parks or on Disney property you can get it sent back to your resort. This way you don't need to lug it around the parks with you! Don't worry if you're buying something fragile as they wrap glassware up like crazy! I'm sure they're more afraid of breaking it then you are, of course this is not available about one day from your checking out date. If you're not staying at the resort you can still get items sent to the front of the park and you can get it there before you leave for the day, it's still better than carrying it around!

I booked my first Disney World vacations with It's a Small World travel agency, they are an authorized vacation planner by Disney. I would highly recommend them as they are easy to work with and reliable. The second time I felt comfortable enough to do it myself using the Disney website, it was easy and I only needed to call a few times because of my own mistakes =P

That's it for the resort! Hopefully more posts coming soon! I'm collecting a lot of post ideas but whether they will manifest is another story hahaha but should be alright, looking forward to blogging this summer!