It’s blog o’clock suckas. Get excited. New post series starting!!!
Elmo and NPH know what’s up.
And this is like it, you guys. This is why you come to this blog. Because this series is focused on our most recent trip to Walt Disney World!!
And unlike other trip post series, I am not even gonna post the details here. I am just going to let it all unfold right before your eyes.
On account of
I am lazy and don’t want to take the time to post all the details mystery.
Well, I will give a few details. First off, this trip took place in July 2022. Which is important to note. Because Florida in July is a lot like taking a bite of pizza fresh out of the oven.
It’s so hot it’s painful and you kind of both regret and enjoy it at the same time.
Also, there is some good news/bad news going on up in here. The bad news is this trip was like 8 days. So, essentially, it’s half the length of the trip we took last summer.
So what’s the good news?
That means less blog posts. Which hopefully means it won’t be 2023 before I finish writing about this whole thing.
Plus, hey, there’s less you guys have to read. So, let’s get on with it.
Day 0 – The day in which we WAIT A SECOND BACK UP LET’S GO A LITTLE FURTHER BACK FIRST SO THIS IS ACTUALLY DAY -2.
So right. Those who have been reading my posts for a while know the whole Day 0 situation. Basically, our Walt Disney World trips actually start on Day 1, right? But us being Goodys, we can’t start vacations like normal people. We often find ourselves the day before our vacation in a vacationy location. And, like, this trip has us doing the whole Day 0 thing again.
But this blog is even extra-specially extra special. Because I have some pics from a couple days before. On account of some of the people we were meeting down in Florida were heading down a little earlier than we were.
Our friends from St. Louis – Kayce, her daughter Bella, Bella’s friend Lani, and Lani’s mom Nicole – were already on their way.
And through the magic of the blogosphere, here they are boarding their plane…
…and here they are ON A DISNEY BUS!!!
For a bit of context, this is me packing at the same exact time they were already Disneying.
Dang, I think I forgot to pack that SAT prep book. That was going to be my pool read for the trip.
Anyways though. Yeah, you will be seeing a lot more of Kayce, Bella, and Lani later.
On account of they can’t seem to get enough of us.
See ya soon, pals.
Day 0 – The day in which it is actually Day 0.
Now for the actuality of Day 0.
So Day 0 was a Monday. Which meant I had to go out and make that money.
I worked. Is what I am saying to you now.
It was a busy day of me being brilliant and successful but I still managed to get out of there by 3PM and home to Nickie, Myles, and Owen by 4:00.
There really wasn’t much to do when I got home. I mean, I was wearing my vacation clothes already in the office to make sure everyone was made proper jealous and as you saw earlier in this post, packing had been completed, minus SAT prep literature.
So, I walked inside, put my laptop away, and said goodbye to these puppos.
Aw Lilo and Stitch. You guys are so cute and we will miss your cuteness. Though we definitely knew both pups would be in great hands since our good friends, Renee and John, were staying at our place to take care of the dogs, the house, and my whiskey collection.
So we called up the Uber and brought our luggage out to the street.
Let the adventure begin!
And I know what you’re thinking. The answer is, “yes, I did wear that to the office.”
Why yes, they are lucky to have me.
The plan for Day 0 was to get a hotel closer to the airport. So we settled on the Comfort Inn & Suites Boston Logan Airport.
For reference, the airport is 6.9 miles from our house. The hotel was 4.2 miles from our house and 3.4 miles from the airport.
So right, this was obviously WAY MORE convenient.
But honestly, the draw is more that we had an early flight the next day and, like, when you have people staying at your house, you want to make sure the house is clean, bed is made. That sort of thing. And that would have been a rough situation at 5 in the morning. So stop. With the judging.
We hopped in the Uber and, erm. So this Uber driver.
Not the best.
He didn’t say one word to us and had his music CRANKED UP to 90’s rave levels the entire time. I ended up having to sit in the front seat so I couldn’t hear anything my family was saying from the back because of how loud he had his music.
Why didn’t I say anything?
Well, I didn’t wanna be rude.
We arrived at the Comfort Inn at around 5:30 and checked in.
And we were treated to some ridiculousness next to us at the desk. You see, this hotel has a Margarita’s restaurant on-site. And for those that don’t know, Margarita’s is a tex-mex kind of restaurant, serves things like burritos, tacos, that sort of thing.
While we were checking in with one of the hotel employees, the other had to deal with the two women checking in next to us, who were asking if there was any “American” food nearby and if there was a place, could the shuttle take them there?
They were a real treat.
The situation was thankfully resolved once they found out Margarita’s also served hamburgers.
We have stayed at this Comfort Inn before and, honestly, Margarita’s is the big draw for us. Because we are so worldly.
But also, another notch in the win column? Lemon spa water in the lobby.
I mean, now I see why they call this place the comfort inn.
Immediately upon getting to our room, the kids wanted their airport bags.
Oh right, I suppose some of you are new to this whole thing. So airport bags are a tradition we have had since our first vacations with the boys. These bags are usually filled with treats and what not for the plane and for the trip. And usually, the actual “bags” were throwaways. But this time around? Mickey and Minnie cinch-sacks!
And I know. We only have two children, right? Well, in addition to Kayce, Bella, and Lani we also had someone else meeting us on this trip. Hannah, Myles’s girlfriend, was flying down from New Jersey to spend our vacation with us as well. We were meeting her at MCO, but Myles FaceTimed with her to open up their airport bags together.
I didn’t snap a pic of the contents but inside, there was some candy, pop-its bracelets, Frozen fun packs, Mickey-shaped personal fans, and autograph books (since this would be our first trip in a while with real actual character meet-and-greets).
Soon enough, it was time for dinner so we headed down to Margarita’s for some non-American food.
We were seated in a booth off to the left.
Myles is a big fan of this restaurant because they have a jukebox. And he enjoys exerting his musical will on other people. Thankfully, though, he has good taste so were treated to some Vampire Weekend, Tribe Called Quest, Bowie, Green Day. All good stuff.
I started off with a tall Bud Light. Our waitress also brought over some chips and salsa.
Owen started off with a bloody nose. A bold choice.
For her main, Nickie ordered the Chicken Taco Salad (Crisp tortilla bowl filled with shredded lettuce, cheese, corn salsa, salsa fresca, and enchilada sauce. Topped with guacamole and sour cream).
I love taco salad because, like, it has no business being called a salad at all. But taco salad don’t give a crap about your labels.
Taco salad lives outside your rules.
Myles went with the Skillet-Baked Enchiladas, which was one steak enchilada, one chicken enchilada and one stuffed with salsa fresca. This was also served with Margarita’s house tomatillo sauce and Mexican rice and beans.
Owen got some steak tacos “Owen style.”
Oh what’s “Owen Style”? It’s just pieces of steak and shredded cheese. Nothing else. Your region or culture may also refer to this style as “boring style.”
I opted for the Chicken Chimichanga (shredded chicken and cheese, rolled into a flour tortilla, lightly fried, and baked in red chile sauce and cheese) with Mexican rice and beans, guacamole and sour cream.
Not only is “chimichanga” fun to say, but this was a really nice dish. Honestly, everything was delicious. I mean, I know this is just a Margarita’s at a Comfort Inn in Revere, MA. But you guys, I don’t know what to tell you. This stuff made my tum-tum smile.
And this whole meal tasted even better because it signaled the start of what we could only imagine would be something great, no? I love that first meal of the trip. It tasted of promise. And guacamole.
And in that spirit, magic bands up.
Mine was the pink one. It had a Chewbacca on it. And it was really cool. And macho.
It also paired very nicely with my homemade Drey-celet.
But the night was still ahead of us, right? So it was time for one more drink. And I saw this intriguing little number on the menu called the Heavens to Margatroid. And aside from an insanely awesome Snagglepuss-reminiscent drink name…
…it also promised “a cosmic experience with seven different liqueurs you can’t get anywhere else.”
How on earth does one NOT order such a drink?
The waitress had a hard time with the specifics of the alcohols included but no matter. I felt it was my duty to order it.
I did end up looking the recipe up on the interwebz. Thing’s got 2 ½ ounces Blue Curacao, 2 ¼ ounces tequila, and a splash each of Sour Apple Pucker, Raspberry Liqueur, Watermelon Pucker Schnapps, Cranberry Schnapps, and Grape Pucker Schnapps.
That’s a lot of Schnapps. Which is typically not my thang. But you know what? Thing was real good. It was sweet but the dominating flavors were the tequila and grape so I am pretty down with all that.
Exit. Stage drunk.
And I mean, it was the first meal of the trip. So OF COURSE we ordered some dessert. We ordered a Super Grande Dessert to share. Thing had churros. Thing had fried ice cream. Thing had vanilla ice cream. And thing had chocolate sauce.
Thing was gooooood.
We did have to get back up to the room because we had some television-watching to do. But I mean, man can’t survive on television alone. To the vending machine!
Vending machine paralysis.
This vending machine was legit, my friends. So many options. So many choices. Should I get something cheesy? Something salty, maybe?
Wait a tick. That’s it!
Combos. The answer to both my prayers.
Yeah, I often pray for pretzels and cheese. I mean, world peace too. But not until I get my pretzels and cheese. Until then? No peace for you.
So right, yeah. Television.
You see Day 0 was the season premiere of a big huge gigantic show that plays a rather large part in the Goody existence – The Bachelorette! And this was the first season in history in which two Bachelorettes would be taking part in the entire run of the season. Look at Gabby and Rachel. Doing their thing.
And look at Owen and Myles. Doing their thing.
After the show ended, we stuck around for the premiere of a new crazy bonkers show called Claim to Fame. This show has a bunch of people who are related to celebrities living in a house together and the object of the show is to try and guess who each person is related to. If you’re guessed, you’re out. If someone guesses wrong, they’re out.
And if that wasn’t crazy enough, it’s also hosted by Kevin and Frankie Jonas. Yeah, the bonus Jonas.
It ended up being a pretty entertaining trainwreck of a show. And we all kept trying to guess who everyone was related to. For example, this guy?
Nickie guessed this guy was related to Captain Jack Sparrow.
Yeah. Captain Jack Sparrow. A fictional pirate.
It was that kind of night.
Day 1 – The day in which we travel from Boston to Walt Disney World
And here we go you guys. This next bit will focus on our first actual day in Walt Disney World.
So like, let’s Disney it up, mofos.
But before we actually get to Walt Disney World, we do have a little bit of travelling to do. Our flight was scheduled to leave a little bit before 7AM on Day 1 so we were up, getting ready around 4:30. Here is what it looks like outside the Comfort Inn in Revere, MA at around 4:30 AM.
Yeah, man. Bleak stuff. But let’s focus on the journey ahead. We got ready, got what little we unpacked packed back up, and headed down to the lobby to catch the airport shuttle. And oof, mercifully, they had just filled the coffee pots.
I made myself a black coffee to go and we moved our bags and our tired selves outside to wait for the next shuttle.
Here’s to you, Revere!
We got to the airport at around 5ish and, like, it’s always a little disorienting how hopping the airport can be at like 5:00 in the morning. But it was. The airport was happening, man.
I currently am the only one with TSA Precheck, so after we checked our main suitcases (this was a Delta flight and I’m a Skymiles member so these were all free to check…NBD), I took the liberty of bringing all of our carry-ons through the TSA Precheck line to make things a little easier.
I made it through to the other side by around 5:20ish.
Everyone else was through a little after 5:30 so it was all working out purrrfectly.
Eh, I honestly don’t know why I spelt it that way. I mean, there was no need for a cat pun or anything. At least not right meow.
Dang, I did it again. This is turning into a paw-blem.
OK, please whoever is causing this to happen in my brain right now, stop. I’m not kitten.
Gah, what a cat-astrophe.
OK, yes. Right. Sorry.
I’m feline much better.
Right. Onto brekkies.
There wasn’t all that much open at the airport at this time so Owen, Myles, and I got in line at the Dunkin’ Donuts right next to our gate while Nickie stayed with the bags at our seat.
When I got to the front, I put in our orders and after the girl behind the counter entered it all in and gave me a total, I slipped my card into the reader and…
Oh well, try again.
Once more but I am sure you see where this is going now.
Turns out the card machine just stopped working. Like right at that moment. As I was looking to use it. I didn’t have any cash on me so the boys had to run over to Nickie to see if she had some while I waited in line, pretending not to notice the ever-increasing death stares I was being faced with by the customers behind me.
Nickie did have the cash. Phew. The boys brought it over and I couldn’t stop thinking to myself how this was going to work for the rest of the morning’s customers. There is NO WAY everyone behind me had the cash to cover their breakfast.
Blargh. I cannot believe I just wasted all that time on what might be the most boring story ever. But it’s like, I already wrote it down. Might as well keep it in.
Best. Blog. Ever.
Annnnyways. I got a Brown Sugar Cold Brew and a Bacon, Egg, and Cheese on an English Muffin.
I wanted a breakfast wrap actually, but they were out of them.
At 5 in the morning.
After they had just opened.
At this point, I was convinced this was some sort of Hellmouth Dunkin Donuts situation. Or I was being subjected to some sort of social experiment.
Ah well, breakfast was…food. It was fine.
Our plane started boarding soon after. Myles and Owen were in the row directly across from me and Nickie.
And we were off!!
It was pretty early so we didn’t end up having any cocktails on the plane but I did watch a movie I have been wanting to see – Last Night in Soho.
Which I dug for sure. Pretty imaginative story, good acting, great music. Myles said a lot of people complained about the ending but I mean I had no issue with it. But, like, I think Spice World is a masterpiece. So what do I know?
It was a pretty uneventful flight. Pretty smooth, not many bumps. Overall, it was a pretty plane flight.
We also got in a little early.
Which would normally be a really good thing but today we were waiting for Hannah (again, Myles’s girlfriend) to get in and the earlier we landed, the longer we would have to wait. But no matter. We were here, you guys.
And here is a picture of the boys in front of an Auntie Anne’s sign to celebrate!
Funny story. I actually have an Auntie Anne. And like, she NEVER makes pretzels.
Kind of makes you think, huh?
We all took care of whatever necessary business we had to take care of in the airport bathroom and then made our way to the monorail over to baggage claim.
First ride of the trip. Whoop to the whoop.
We grabbed our bags off the carousel and needed to fill some time so we took some more pictures in front of some more signs.
We also stopped in to have a look around the Magic of Disney store since who knows when we would see another Disney souvenir.
It was nearing lunch time and we did still have some time before Hannah arrived so seemed a good a time as any to get some lunch. Across from the Magic of Disney store was a Macaroni Grill so I mean. When in Orlando. Amirite?
We were figuring this wouldn’t be like a full lunch. Just kind of a little nosh and what not. Given they had taken a picture in front of the sign and obviously fallen victim to its well-placed and deliciously constructed advertising, Myles and Owen said they were in the mood for some Auntie Anne’s pretzels. So while Nickie and I got seated, they went over to grab a cup each and brought them back to enjoy at the table.
I started off my meal with a tall refreshing Bud Light. Look. Look how refreshing.
Our waitress also brought us some yummy-in-my-tummy bread and oil for dipping.
And like I said, we weren’t looking to have a full meal here so we ordered a small cheese pizza for the four of us to share.
And yeah, it was pretty good pizza. I mean, nothing amazing or anything. But for an airport Macaroni Grill, it was pretty tasty.
And wow, huh? You guys came here looking for Disney and have been treated to reviews of meals at a hotel Margarita’s, and airport locations of Dunkin Donuts and Macaroni Grill. That’s gotta be a disappointment.
But my longtime readers, you guys are used to disappointment by now. Just staying on brand.
Oh also, I should mention that while we were sitting at Macaroni Grill, we put in a Publix grocery order on Instacart to arrive at our hotel a little later in the day.
Hannah’s plane landed around noonish so she found her way down to baggage claim and after we gathered up her bags, Nickie got a Lyft set up for us.
Let the adventure begin!
The ride from the airport to Walt Disney World takes about 25 to 30 minutes so at just before 1PM, we came upon this…
And just after 1PM, we had arrived at our home for the next 8 days – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
We were staying in the main area of the resort – Jambo House – this time around. And Manfred Mann, this lobby never disappoints.
Because of how comparatively inconvenient it is compared to a lot of the other deluxe resorts, Animal Kingdom Lodge isn’t necessarily my favorite resort, but it is wayyy up there in terms of being one of the most beautiful resorts on Disney property. Like, when you first walk into this resort, it’s hard not to be taken aback by it.
And the beauty doesn’t stop with the inside of the hotel. I mean the property in and around the resort is largely savannah where you can often catch animals just kind of chillin.
Yeah man. It’s pretty…
Sorry. It had to happen. And now it’s out of our system. And we can just move on and pretend it never happened.
Nickie checked us in at the front desk and while our room wasn’t ready just yet, the woman working the counter told us she was hopeful she could get us into a room with a savannah view. No promises since we didn’t actually book a savannah view but she was gonna try her best. Fingers crossed.
Being that we had some time to kill, I opened up the suitcases so everyone could grab their bathing suits and left out luggage with bell services. We all went and got changed in the bathrooms by the pool but before we actually jumped in, we stopped off at Animal Kingdom Lodge’s casual eating location – The Mara to grab our refillable mugs.
I love me some Mara you guys. It’s one of my favorite food court type places at any of the resorts.
And we will for sure be showcasing some eats from there in future posts but right now, we were all about these puppies…
For those that don’t know, the refillable mug is available at all Walt Disney World resorts and costs $19.99 as of the time of this post. And how these work is once you buy them, you can refill them however many times you like for the length of your trip with soft drinks, coffee, hot chocolate, tea, etc. And this works at any resort.
Unfortunately, they are useless in the parks.
Unless you wanna use them to smuggle in wine or something.
So I’ve heard.
I mean. I would never.
And these mugs are a brand new design for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary.
Even the tops were new. Look at the little Mickey lids.
So freaking cute.
We all filled our mugs with our beverage of choice (I went for a Coke Zero this time around) and off to the pool we went.
While we were hanging by the pool, we got the notification that our grocery shopper would be arriving at our hotel soon so I went to meet her at the front of the hotel since I had to show my ID for the alcohol in our order. I guess if there wasn’t any alcohol as part of the order, she could have just left it with Bell Services and I wouldn’t even have had to meet her. But I mean, no alcohol as part of our order?
Since our room wasn’t ready though, I did leave all of our groceries with Bell Services to hang with our luggage for a bit.
When I got back to the pool, Nickie suggested we check out the Uzima Springs Pool Bar and grab a couple cocktails.
I feel like you guys already know my answer to her suggestion so let’s not belabor the point.
Let’s head to the bar.
I am a big sucker for signature drinks at the different Walt Disney World pool bars and this place had 4 different drinks unique to this location.
So I ordered up a Flamingo Mule as my first foray into what the Uzima Springs pool bar has to offer. The Flamingo Mule is made with Snow Leopard Vodka, Van der Hum Tangerine Liquor, Ginger Beer, Lime Juice, and Cranberry Juice with flavors of Mango and Guava.
The other drink pictured above is Nickie’s Captain’s Mai Tai, a Walt Disney World staple. The Captain’s Mai Tai is made with Captain Morgan Original Spice Rum, Bols Amaretto, and Tropical Juices topped with a float of Plantation Original Dark Rum.
Both drinks were good. I mean, the Captain’s Mai Tai is always a good call. But the Flamingo Mule was also a winner. You know, if you like mules and what not.
Pool hair. Don’t care.
We also paired our drinks with a couple of waters because it was like surface-of-the-sun hot on Day 1. And guys. Check out these cups for the 50th.
There were character silhouettes around the entire cup but that shot up there is the best shot since it has Figment, Stitch, AND Orange Bird.
Pool bars are best btw. Pro tip.
Once we finished our cocktails, Nickie and I ordered a couple beers to round out the experience. Mmmmm beer.
While we were at the bar, we got the notification our room was ready. Room 5265. So we let the kids know, finished our beers and up we went.
Since we were officially five people (Nickie, Owen, Myles, Hannah, and me) for a good chunk of the trip and unofficially more than that for some select nights, we opted for a 1-bedroom this time around and man, I loved this room.
Let me try and simulate a room tour here. So, when you first walk into the room, there is a closet on your left and on your right is a full kitchen area, complete with stove, coffee maker, full-size fridge, dishwasher, and an island in the middle as well as a good amount of cabinet storage stocked with everything you would need (dishes, silverware, cooking utensils, pots, pans, etc.)
Beyond that area is the main living area. Owen not included.
Here is a look at it from another angle.
In that area, you have a TV, some dresser drawers, a dining table with two chairs and a bench, a pull-out couch, coffee table, and a chair that also converts into a twin bed.
Off the main area is a hallway. At the end of the hallway is a washer and dryer. Which comes in handy in the summer at Walt Disney World.
On account of the sweating.
To your left is the bathroom, with a main area featuring two sinks, and an extremely deep bathtub and shower.
There is also a closed off area with a toilet.
If you take a right at the washer and dryer, you will enter the master bedroom, which was obviously where Nickie and I stayed. On account of we paid for it.
It was a beautiful room. The dark woods and African influences continued the theme of the rest of the hotel and there were little Lion King touches throughout, like in the shower pictured above. But also just kind of sprinkled throughout.
Also, as a nice touch, when we turned on the TV, we were greeted with this…
But I know. The big question on everyone’s mind is, “did we get a savannah view?”
Welp. Yes. Yes, we did.
This was our view for the next 8 days.
And the balcony was accessible through both the main living area and the master bedroom, which meant we had a hella-long balcony situation up in this B.
We called down to Bell Services to let them know we were in our room and they brought up all our luggage and groceries.
We got unpacked and ready for dinner. And while we were doing all that, some friends came to join us on the savannah.
Dinner that night was at 6PM so we didn’t have a ton of time to hang in the room. But we still managed to placate our vanity with some balcony selfies. Or balc-efies, as they’re called on the streets.
Our Lyft picked us up around 5:30 or so and our Lyft driver, Avi, treated us to our first experience with this bit of lovely.
That there is Octopus, an in-ride game system where you can play trivia, photo hunt, and those sorts of games. And according to the instructions on-screen, there was a chance to win $25 if you were the highest-scorer in trivia that day. So we obviously played a lot of trivia on the way to our dinner destination.
Unfortunately, we never made it into the top spot. Womp. But I mean, it was never really all that clear where that money was going to come from. I did ask Avi if he would be the one to pay us and he emphatically said the money would not be coming from his pocket.
Since that Lyft ride, we have seen Octopus in other Lyfts and Ubers, even at home. So I dunno. Is this a new thing or something? It’s hella-tight.
But yeah, we didn’t make any money. But good news? We are about to spend some. So that’s almost as good.
Dinner tonight was at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Avi dropped us off at the main entrance around 5:45.
And dinner tonight was at Steakhouse 71, a location I’ve never experienced before.
Steakhouse 71 is on the bottom floor of the Contemporary, just beyond the check-in desks, where the Wave restaurant used to be. The name of the restaurant is a nod to the year Walt Disney World opened, 1971, and the walls leading into the restaurant are lined with pictures from the construction and early days of the resort.
And tonight, it wasn’t just the five of us dining together but we were also joined by Kayce, Bella, and Lani!
Being that this was a steakhouse and I have an alcohol problem, I started the meal off with a Grey Goose martini, dirty.
And Nickie started with her usual, a Cosmopolitan.
We started the meal off with a couple appetizers, including the Sea-Salt Dusted Brioche with Butter and Garlic-Tomato Spread.
So yeah, bread.
That we paid for and wasn’t just brought out as part of the meal.
But that all being said, it was good bread. Soft with a hint of sweetness. And the Garlic-Tomato Spread was ok, but the butter was the preferred of the two spreads. My only complaint with it though was the overuse of the Sea-Salt. Like, this bread was advertised as “Sea-Salt Dusted,” but I’d say it felt more like “Sea-Salt Shock and Awe.”
We also ordered a carry-over appetizer from the Wave – the Bacon & Eggs (Maple-Lacquered Pork Belly, Cheese Grits, Perfect Egg).
And spoiler alert, this was the best thing we ate tonight. The pork belly was super tender and full of flavor with a real nice sweetness provided by the maple lacquer. The egg was also poached perfectly and the grits were all kinds of cheesy, fluffy goodness.
Nickie also ordered some French Onion Soup, which she said was her favorite part of her meal.
To go with our mains, Nickie and I ordered some wine.
Some, um, red wine?
Yeah, sorry. I wish I could remember what we ended up with. I know it was red though. And um, it was good? Had a sort of an oaky afterbirth.
Now, onto the main entrees. Being this was a steakhouse, I bet you think I got a steak, right? Wellll. I had heard not-so-great stuff about the steak here. While Steakhouse 71 is technically a steakhouse, it’s not a signature restaurant like Yachtsman or Le Cellier. So the steaks are less expensive but I also heard they were lower quality.
I did, however, hear good things about the burger here.
Unfortunately, the burger is only on the lunch menu.
But I asked the waiter if I could still order the burger even it wasn’t listed on the dinner menu. And he said that would be no problem at all.
So um, I got the burger. Is what I am saying to you now.
And I added an extra side of creamed spinach on top of the waffle fries it came with. Because I am a sucker for creamed spinach, man.
I’m strong to the finnich.
Cuz I eats creamed spinach.
I’m Wayne, the heavyset blogging man.
Now, the burger. The menu describes the burger as a signature blend of beef, topped with American cheese, lemon aïoli, red onion, and house-made pickles, on a Brioche Bun. Weirdly, though, the description leaves out a very important, very delicious, very porky part. On top of all that, the burger also comes even more topped with a piece of pork belly.
Yup, more pork belly.
For my belly.
This was a very good burger. Cooked a perfect medium-rare and I mean, look at that cheese dude. Plus, the pork belly added a whole other dimension of flavor to it. I will say though. One complaint, though, is that the burger was a little too salty.
I feel like that’s kind of a theme here. Too much salt. Maybe that’s a throwback to 1971 or something? Were the 70s heavy on the sodium?
Nickie, Kayce, and Bella ordered the 6 oz.
Piece of Charcoal Filet (this one is Bella’s I think, with a side of Au Gratin Potatoes.)
Ooh man, this WAS NOT a good piece of steak. Regardless of the temperature ordered, all pieces seemed to have come out well done and the steak was chewy and tough to cut. Being a filet, this should 100% not be the case.
This may have been the worst piece of meat I have ever had at Walt Disney World. Which isn’t great. On account of this place has the word “steakhouse” in its name.
Again, though, maybe steak sucked in the 1970s? If so, bravo Steakhouse 71. Way to stay on theme.
Myles, Owen, and Lani all got the pork chop.
This one above is Owen’s chop, with a side of macaroni and cheese and the restaurant’s version of Au Poivre sauce on the side. On account of he is Owen. And sauces are often his kryptonite.
Everyone really liked this pork chop. I took a bite of Owen’s and I will say, this was MUCH better than the filet. It was a very flavorful, tender, and had a really nice char on the outside. Plus, thing was big. Like a legit cut of meat.
This place should probably change its name to Porkhouse 71.
We were all pretty stuffed at this point but we still wanted to try their signature dessert. So we all split the Steakhouse 71 Chocolate Cake (15 Layers of Whiskey infused Chocolate Cake and Chocolate Mousse, served with Raspberries).
This was a pretty nice piece of cake but it didn’t really stand out or anything. It had a nice, deep chocolate flavor to it and, while it was super dense and intensely rich, the mousse did help to break it up a bit. But like, it was just chocolate. The chocolate flavor was pretty overpowering and didn’t really let any other flavors, like the whiskey, really shine through. I like chocolate and all, but this thing was pretty one-note.
And thankfully, the raspberries were on the side so I could avoid them altogether. I like raspberries and I like chocolate but I really don’t get into pairing them together. I know it’s a common thing and all, but yeah I just don’t get it. Strawberries? Pineapple? Banana? Those all go so much better with chocolate.
What is the matter with you people? Stop trying to make chocolate and raspberries a thing.
Well, I guess that’s not technically true. It’s happened. It exists and is very popular. But still. I’m Regina George-ing it.
My blog, my rules.
OK so dinner was over, right? But the night was still young and so were we.
Well, so were they at least.
But I mean. Young at heart, right?
So tonight we had a really super duper cool experience happening next. Because we had booked a Specialty Fireworks Cruise!
Before we headed out, I stopped in at the Contempo Café upstairs to pick up some beers for the boat and out we went to the dock. On account of it’s physically impossible for me to be on a boat for an extended period of time and NOT have a beer.
Like, seriously, you guys. My body shuts down. It’s a condition.
And there was our mighty vessel waiting for us, decked out to celebrate Owen’s and Bella’s birthdays.
Well maybe “decked out” was a stretch. But there was a sign.
And the sign was on the deck of the ship.
So yeah, actually. We were totally decked out.
And also pictured in that picture was our captain for the night, Tess. Big shout out to Tess. She was great and provided some stellar chat as well. We talked a lot about her time in the Disney college program since Myles is heading to college in a few weeks and is seriously considering doing it. I mean, of course he is.
We boarded the boat at 8PM.
And it was a beautiful night.
And we were beautiful people.
And like, obviously the fireworks were going to be the main draw tonight but I really just enjoyed cruising around Seven Seas Lagoon and taking in the sights as we watched the sun go down.
And while we were out on the water, we saw some heat lightning off in the sky.
Which should not be confused with greased lightning. Which is automatic.
After the sun had gone down…
…we got in position to watch the Electrical Water Pageant.
And once the pageant ended, Tess drove us over in front of the Magic Kingdom to get ready for the main event of the night – Disney’s Enchantment Spectacular.
So yeah, I mean it’s fireworks time. So like, get a snack, sit back, and enjoy this picture dump.
The music from the fireworks was also pumped into the ship so we could get the full experience.
Well, I mean, not the full experience. That would require us to be in front of the castle.
Also? It would require intense claustrophobia-inducing crowds, parents right in front of us with their kids on their shoulders, and copious amounts of body odor.
But still, it was nice.
And although we had to bring our own beers, the ship was stocked with soft drinks and snacks like chips, cookies, and Rice Krispie treats.
Rice Krispie treats are my love language.
Awesome stuff. We have done the chartering-a-boat thing a few times now and I think it’s just such a cool, unique experience that provides a new Disney vantage point. Highly recommend and it was such an incredible way to kick off our vacation.
Tess took us back to the dock and as if there hadn’t been enough magic tonight, High School Musical 2 was showing outside at the Contemporary.
At this point, it was 10PM and I know I was feeling pretty exhausted. It was a long day fo shizz.
But the kids weren’t ready for the night to end. So they all decided to go over to the Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort for a late-night Dole Whip.
So Nickie and I headed back to Animal Kingdom, Kayce headed back to the Beach Club, and the kids headed over to the Poly.
Unforch, when they got there, the Dole Whip location, Pineapple Lanai, was closed. So I guess they had to settle for imaginary Dole Whips.
Which are my favorite kinds of Dole Whips for the kids to get.
On account of they’re free.
So yeah, that was Day 0 and Day 1, you guys. A pretty amazing start to the trip and, like, we haven’t even visited a park yet.
We have good times, guys.
See you all on Day 2!
Next post – Day 2!