- Just a little tip for anyone using the Disney bus system to travel from their hotel to the various parks. If your hotel has more than one bus depot, use the one that is the first stop at your hotel. Better odds for a seat. The East Depot was the closest one to our room, but the last one of four at the hotel and after a couple of days we realized that it was always packed and sometimes standing room only. I'm not sure exactly what we had for breakfast this morning, but this apple pastry tasted exactly, I mean EXACTLY like a warm McDonald's apple pie! Ohhh, sooo goood!
Dayna and I skipped lunch today and just shared a pretzel and some fresh fruit from this stand. I bought a bottle of water once while I was on this trip and then just kept refilling it at the water fountains in each park. I was sure glad I kept hydrated each day with the heat and all of the walking we did!
I considered getting a leg but it was too hot and the line was pretty long. They did look good though.
Dinner was at the 50s Prime Time Cafe
in the Echo Lake section of the park.
This place REALLY reminded me of my grandparents' house.
These cupboards were the same ones we had in the apartment I lived in until I was six years old.
I half expected to see cigarette commercials come on the TV! Part of the schtick here, which I liked, were the waitresses who may be your "cousin", "aunt" and so on. One in particular was mouthing off, in character of course, to the people at her table and they were all invested in it and having fun. "I may be out of the room, but I'm not deaf!" "Finish your vegetables!"
Some the fare that you might find at mom or grandma's house. We had Tuna Noodle casserole more nights than I care to remember.
I waited until the family eating at this table had cleared out so I could get this shot. There were TVs at most the the tables and while they didn't show any full episodes, there was a continuous loop of clips from shows such as: The Real McCoys, My Little Margie, I Married Joan, Father Knows Best , My Three Sons, I Love Lucy and Topper among many others.
My brother-in-law started out with the iceberg wedge which I don't normally like, but this one was cold and crisp (the generous coating of blue cheese, bacon and chives went a long way too!).
We split some onion rings for the table which, sad to say, were mushy and not at all appealing to any of us.
I went for the cherry coke which I thought was awesome. I've mixed my own homemade version many times and this was definitely not pre-made but mixed with cherry syrup, just the way I like it.
My sister had the meatloaf which I tried. It was tasty enough but it doesn't compare to my mom's meatloaf. Does any restaurant version ever measure up to Mom's?
My brother-in-law had the pot roast which he said tasted good but was a bit on the fatty side for his liking.
Dayna really didn't like her entree, the grilled pork loin. I tried some and I must say that the texture was very rubbery and off-putting to me. Pork Loin should never feel like that in my mouth. Ever.
My fried chicken was very good. Juicy, crispy and well seasoned. Not the best I have ever had, but I was happy with it and the potatoes were good too. The collards were a disappointment as they were quite bland. They were lacking that salty, porky flavor that I really love.
Our waitress, Mandy, had really bought into the concept and busted my chops, referring to me as "Mr. Elbows" as I kept putting them on the table. Man, my posture has taken a nosedive since childhood. I do remember sitting around the table each night for dinner with my family and Sunday dinners at my grandmother's house with HOMEMADE food. No TV, just talking to each other about our day. Times have sure changed. I do miss it very much. Mandy was kind enough to take pictures of us, she checked to make sure we had cleaned our plates enough to warrant dessert and during our chat with her she said she had just cut her very long hair and donated it to a local charity for kids with cancer. Pretty cool, Mandy.
My sister's S'mores, while not wholly traditional (no Hershey bar or campfire), were excellent. Sign me up for anything with toasted marshmallows!
Dayna's Apple Cobbler. I liked this, but didn't love it. It had more of a granola-y (is that a word?) top and I prefer biscuit/pie type of crust.
My Dad's Brownie Sundae. This was so wrong that it actually came all the way back around and was so right!! Excuse me, miss, but a pinata exploded on my sundae! A very moist brownie with hot fudge AND caramel sauces? M & Ms and what is that, caramel corn? So unexpected but it totally worked! The molded chocolate mouse ears and tiny mouse ear confetti candies were a nice touch. I actually consumed this whole thing. I can't believe I ate the whole thing! You ate the whole thing, Billyboy. But so worth it.
Dennis' cheesecake. I didn't try this but I love the presentation.
I thought this was the coolest touch to this whole experience. The pictures of all the desserts can be seen on the View Master before you decide what you want. How cool is that?! I had a red one when I was 7 years old.
We went on the Great Movie Ride and the Studio Backlot Tour which seemed lackluster to both Dayna and I although the audience didn't seem to be into it so that may have been part of it.
I must heartily recommend the Toy Story Midway Mania! in the Pixar Place section of the park. I am a huge fan of that movie to begin with. The best movie I saw all year when it had come out. The lines for this ride were between 1-2 hours long. However, we had wisely procured "FAST PASSES" upon arriving at the park. I really have to make a plug for these as they were very helpful to us. When you enter the park, you can go to a ride and enter your park pass into the FAST PASS machine at the ride. It will issue you a ticket that tells you to come back between say 2pm - 3pm for example. When you come back, you go in an express line that is about 10-15 minutes long. Very useful for the more popular rides. It's most useful if you have a flexible schedule that will allow you to come back later in the day. Be aware though that many times the FAST PASSES are sold out for a particular ride for the day by 12noon or 1pm. I was "Travelin' Manned"
a couple of times because I waited too long to get one.
Anyway...the Toy Story ride has you sitting in a car playing midway games in 4-D (break the plates, knock the bottles over, pop the balloons with a dart and many, many more). It's all like virtual reality though and you interact with character from the movie and you wear special glasses to play the game. I wanted to sneak back in and play again!! Like being a kid at the local fair!
Before we move on to Day 5 (back to Magic Kingdom, my buddy Warren and Downtown Disney), take this opportunity to relax for the evening and bask in an Orlando twilight's glow and just admire the beautiful palm trees (I know I do. Not being near palms makes me appreciate them more when I do see them):
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