Thursday, January 19, 2006

Day Five PM - Magic Kingdom

Refreshed after a shower and nap, we boarded the bus for the Magic Kingdom. Upon our arrival, we headed over to the Monorail station for a ride to the nearby Contemporary Resort where we had dinner reservations at the California Grill. The great thing about this hotel is that the Monorail station is located inside the hotel. The Monorail track runs right through the center of the building. Although the hotel itself is not particularly attractive; having the ability to hop the Monorail to the Magic Kingdom Park would be a definite plus.

As we really didn’t know how long it would take us to get to the Contemporary, we arrived way too early. Not wanting to waste our legs walking around, we found a place to sit and wait until it was time to check in. The California Grill is located on the 15th floor of the hotel but you check in on the 2nd floor and then are escorted up a special elevator to the restaurant. It was recommended to me by a co-worker because they offer an observation deck where you can watch the fireworks from the nearby Magic Kingdom. Plus he said the food was excellent.

We were given a pager to carry that would notify us when our table was ready. While waiting, we stepped outside onto the observation deck and tried to take pictures of the Magic Kingdom at night. Without a tripod it was difficult to get any decent pictures.

After about 10 minutes our pager went off and we went back inside. Not being too comfortable eating in upscale restaurants we were pretty much resigned to a somewhat awkward experience. We couldn’t have been more wrong. Our server was a very friendly woman named Debbie, who went out of her way to make us feel comfortable. We each ordered the quadruple cheese flatbread with tomato and basil as an appetizer and it was delicious. I could have easily made a meal out of just the flatbread. For our entrée, Jason ordered a Tortellini dish and I had the Oak-fired Beef Filet. My filet was the tenderest piece of meat I have ever eaten. It was served with potato and gorgonzola pave and blue lake beans. For dessert I ordered L'Opera Sings, a biscuit Joconde, mocha cream, "California Crunch," chocolate glaze, candied filberts, and gold leaf. I can’t recall what Jason ordered.

Just as dessert was served, it was time to watch the fireworks so we left our table and went out to the observation deck. The music from the show was playing on the speaker system outdoors and we had an excellent view along the railing. After the show ended, we returned to our table and ate our dessert, the perfect ending to a perfect experience.

We boarded the Monorail back to the Magic Kingdom and picked up our wristbands for the evening EMH. We rode Big Thunder Railroad and then watched Country Bears Jamboree, which used to be at Disneyland until the replaced it with The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride. After wandering around for a while we decided to go back to the hotel.

At the bus stop, there were two full buses just pulling away from the stop so we had to wait about 20 minutes for the next bus. Fortunately, we were able to get seats and didn’t have to stand during the ride. We arrived back at the Pop Century at little after midnight.


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