Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Orlando trip - February 15, 2011 - afternoon and evening at Downtown Disney and dinner at Raglan Road

OK, I said at the end of the previous day's trip report that we were going on an adventure the next day. And we did, in the morning (the new Wild Africa Trek tour at Animal Kingdom), but that's gonna take more work to put together, so I'm leaving that for the end. So for the moment, we time travel to after the tour is over.

After we were done at Animal Kingdom, we went back to the hotel for a bit to rest before heading to Downtown Disney.

Pirate Stitch above and in front of World of Disney at Downtown Disney in Orlando.

We wandered around World of Disney for a while - that store is massively huge, so much so that it's a bit overwhelming. We've taken to just going through it like a grid, one row of sections at a time. We browsed around a few of the other stores in Downtown Disney and then we went to Goofy's Candy Company. I don't think we've gone in there on our previous visits to Downtown Disney, because I'm pretty sure I would have remembered. Wow do they have treats galore, all different kinds - there were even lots of different flavors of fudge (including fudge sandwiches, which would seem a bit much).

Egg and bunny cookies - a little early for Easter, isn't it?

Treats for St. Patrick's Day.

St. Patrick's Day fudge treat - mint.

Specially decorated apples for St. Patrick's Day too.

Other candy apples are available too.

These are much more "candy" than "apple".

The Butterfinger one looks good though.

Tuxedo Mickey apple is cute.

Mickey marshmallow treat pops can be dipped and decorated too.

They have giant Mickey *and* Minnie crispy treats.

On our previous visits, we usually parked on the West Side of Downtown Disney and then walked to wherever else we were going. This time, we decided to park in the Marketplace section since we were starting out there. But, we wanted to give DisneyQuest a try since we'd never been there before and since it was included as part of our premier pass. And, of course, DisneyQuest is on the West Side. You know, where we normally parked but not this time. Planning, yeah.

But...we discovered something we'd never known before - Disney offers boat service from one side of Downtown Disney to the other. How convenient! We took advantage of the service, got on a boat at the Marketplace and were then ferried (ok, boated) over to the West Side. It was a nice ride too, with pretty views. We'll definitely be doing that again.

I really didn't have any idea what DisneyQuest was or what to expect. We went inside, looked at the maps somewhat and decided to start from the top and work our way down. We spent a couple of hours in there and had a lot of fun. Everything is included with admission, so I played some really old video games like Galaga, Rampage and Centipede/Millipede. They had lots of different video games - no tokens needed. I also played some skeeball and basketball and a few other games (like what you'd expect to find in an arcade or a Dave & Busters). They also had a number of virtual reality games, but we didn't do any of that. They also have small snack bars on every level so if you're hungry, you can take a break to grab a bite to eat. We had a good time, and it's great as an inclusion for annual passholders, but I don't think it would be worth actually buying a ticket for.

We were tired from the day so decided to head over to the Pleasure Island section of Downtown Disney since we had an 8:30pm dinner reservation at Raglan Road. We'd gone there for the first time in August 2010 and loved it, so we wanted to go back. We were very early for our reservation, so we just took spots on the curb to people-watch and wait to be called to our table. We had glanced inside the bar with half a thought to go in there and wait, but the bar was packed. We were kind of surprised that they were so busy for a Tuesday night.

On our last visit, we had been seated in a side room, which was pretty quiet, and we were at a table (the only table, I'm told) with comfy easy chairs. It was a lovely dinner. This time, we were seated in the main dining room, where the entertainment stage was, so it was a very different experience, but none the less lovely. They had a group of Irish dancers, with a main stage in one section and a very small center stage where one of the dancers would perform as well. We had a good view of the main stage and an even better view of the little center stage. I also loved the house band - Creel - who sounded great. I even ended up getting their CD. We had a terrific evening with good food and great entertainment.

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