January 2017 at Saratoga Springs

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crazycatperson's picture
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January 2017 at Saratoga Springs

So, you've got an almost-new WDW annual pass in your wallet that's good till the middle of November 2017 - what are you going to do? Plan another trip, of course.

In our case we're actually planning three between now and next fall, but I'll focus on the first one here. We hadn't planned on a winter vacation this year, but hubby the CPA decided he'd have a little bit of time between budget stuff in January and I don't know, taxes or audits in February, so he did an RCI search for late January/early February. (We are DVC members but our DVC points are already reserved for this April and next October.) He found us a Saratoga Springs one-bedroom villa and booked that sucker fast. I booked airline tickets just as fast and found an awesomely low fare going down and a not bad one coming back home. Then I made a few ADRs. For this trip we have old favorites Sanaa on our first full day and Kona Cafe on our last, with new or new-to-us Tokyo Dining, Skipper Canteen, Rose and Crown, and Homecoming in between. All are lunch reservations except Sanaa, which I scheduled for around the time Animal Kingdom is currently scheduled to close for the evening. And that's all the plans we have so far, but it'll be FastPass day very soon.

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Exciting! We'll be doing Homecoming for our first time the week after you so I'm excited to hear what you think!

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Allie wrote:
Exciting! We'll be doing Homecoming for our first time the week after you so I'm excited to hear what you think!

That's the one I'm a tad uncertain about. We prefer international flavors and generally skip places at WDW that serve food I could make at home. But people rave about Homecoming, so I checked the menu and decided to give it a shot. That will be lunch on our second Epcot day; our plan is to sleep in, head over to Homecoming for an early lunch, and then on to Epcot. So I cannot guarantee that someplace like Spice Road won't entice me to switch ADRs eventually.

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The announcement of the new Epcot Arts Festival with its Food and Wine-style food booths has already got me changing plans. Epcot is now the park du jour on our first full day, Monday, so Sanaa is backed up to Tuesday and Rose and Crown is cancelled. We're also planning Epcot on Friday and still have Homecoming on the schedule for that day, but if the food offerings at the arts festival are good and varied, Homecoming will also go in favor of grazing at Epcot.

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Awesome awesome ! Love winters at WDW, greatest time of the year yeah

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But any time at Disney is much better than not being there.

Cheers

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Thanks, Emilio, I do agree that winter is the best time to go. Last time we went in January it was the best weather I've ever experienced there, never got even a little bit hot. I can't handle the summer heat, though.

And while I'm here, we dropped Homecoming in favor of Spice Road Table. I found a dinner ADR that will allow us to view Illuminations from the restaurant, so to me that was a no-brainer.

FastPasses made today! We got all our usual favorites plus the new Frozen attraction at Epcot twice - might not keep both but want a second chance in case we get rain on our first Epcot day.

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crazycatperson wrote:

And while I'm here, we dropped Homecoming in favor of Spice Road Table. I found a dinner ADR that will allow us to view Illuminations from the restaurant, so to me that was a no-brainer.

Given your tastes, I think you'll be happy with that decision. The quality of food at Homecoming is very good, but it's definitely a stuff yourself with comfort food kind of place. SRT has a much wider variety of ambitious choices.

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco

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We have arrived!

Day 1 was devoted to travel. We are not morning people and are loathe to get up early when we're supposed to be on vacation. So we left home around 12:30 and arrived at the airport less than 2 hours later for our 4:20 flight. Travel could not have gone better. Traffic was light, crowds were low at the airport, our flight was on time and not full, and the third seat in our row stayed empty. There were a few minor bumps along the way but nothing I couldn't handle. Crowds at MCO were also relatively low, our Magical Express bus was waiting for us, and we didn't have to wait horribly long for it to leave. And our resort was the first stop.

We got a fast-food lunch en route and a pretzel to share at the airport, but by the time we arrived at Saratoga Springs we were hungry! Our original plan was to walk to Disney Springs for Earl of Sandwich, but we weren't sure a sandwich would be enough. I was going to check the My Disney Experience app once we reached our room, but as we walked through the clubhouse building we smelled something delicious - the Turf Club! So without even bothering to take our backpacks to our room we headed right over and asked if they had a table. Yes - in fact the place was half empty (it was past 8:00 pm on a Sunday in January, so not a busy time of the week or the year).

None of our upcoming ADRs will involve the kind of food the Turf Club offers, so it was a good spur of the moment choice. I got the prime rib, which comes with broccolini and Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, but since I don't care for mashed potatoes I asked for the roast fingerling potatoes instead. Hubby got the pork chop, which came with Brussels sprouts and apple compote. The prime rib was two or three times as much meat as I usually eat, but I managed to finish it all. The broccolini was cooked with a hint of garlic and while I am not the biggest fan of cruciferous veggies, I would eat this all the time if I knew how to make it. Hubby's sprouts were roasted with what he described as incredibly delicious bacon. He rounded out his meal with salted caramel gelato; I was quite full but did splurge on a glass of dessert wine. We were quite glad the breeze blew the aroma of the Turf Club our way when we arrived.

Then it was on to our room. I'll post a few daylight photos later. It's a one-bedroom unit, same as we've had before. Unfortunately now that Congress Park is considered premium real estate, we are elsewhere and only have a parking lot view, but we're still close enough to walk to Disney Springs and have a bus stop near our building.

Tomorrow we meet up with Alicemouse and Mr. Mouse to do the arts festival at Epcot!

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Allie's picture
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We LOVE Turf Club! Hope you guys have a great time and can't wait to hear what is good at the Festival of the Arts!

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Have a lovely time! That food looks so nice!!

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We were going to eat in the turf club on our last trip when we were booked into ssr. It looks lovely!!

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Have a great time. We've only eaten once at The Turf Club and enjoyed it immensely. Sounds like it was the perfect meal. awesome

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Had a great Monday but stayed out a bit late and now spent way too much time writing notes on the day to actually post much. The arts festival is nice, but since it's so new it has lots of room for enhancement. I do hope they make it an annual event, though.

We spent a lovely not-quite-three-hours with Alicemouse and Mr. Mouse, who henceforth shall be known as the Mice. Here's a photo of Alicemouse chatting up an artist as we watched him work. Lots more to come another day.

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sounds like you are having a great trip so far! can't wait to hear more about it! that food at turf club looks delicious! I will add it to my list to try one day!

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We've never eaten at Turf Club, but might have to check it out during our Feb. stay.. awesome

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To everyone who has never had dinner at the Turf club, you are missing a great meal. It is one of the true hidden gems at the World. You will absolutely muchlove it.

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At Sanaa right now. They've changed the potjie-inspired stew dish. Instead of having one entree where you can get two meats and a second where you can get two vegetarian options, it's now combined and you get one meat selection and one veggie. I know a lot of you loved the all-meat potjie entree so wanted to mention the change. I prefer it the new way; last time I was here I special ordered a combination of one meat and one veggie.

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Bread service has also changed. You now get five breads and the service is different, sauces arranged in two rows of sauces on one plate with bread on a second plate. We didn't get it this time but will try to sneak a photo of someone else's if I can.

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crazycatperson wrote:
Bread service has also changed. You now get five breads and the service is different, sauces arranged in two rows of sauces on one plate with bread on a second plate. We didn't get it this time but will try to sneak a photo of someone else's if I can.

whaaaaaat??? No big beautiful wood slab??? Wonder if that is just lunch?

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JMed wrote:
crazycatperson wrote:
Bread service has also changed. You now get five breads and the service is different, sauces arranged in two rows of sauces on one plate with bread on a second plate. We didn't get it this time but will try to sneak a photo of someone else's if I can.

whaaaaaat??? No big beautiful wood slab??? Wonder if that is just lunch?

Here's a photo I sneaked of a neighboring table. Those little dishes with the little wooden spoons are the sauces for the bread service.

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And here is the potjie entree. It also is served in new dishes. The smaller bowl is the veggie stew and the larger is the meat. The yogurt sauce in the tiny dish is a new addition to this entree.

Second photo is the new boerewores sausage sandwich, lunch menu only. It was excellent.

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crazycatperson's picture
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Robyn, you were so right about Blaze Pizza.

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Mmmmmm that pizza looks lush!! Glad you enjoyed it!

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Our Very Merry 24 nighter Nov/Dec 15
Watson's go West May 15
The one with all the birthdays Oct 14 4 Big Birthdays and a Vow Renewal thrown in
The OMG trip June 14 30th Birthday present from the hubs
Girly trip March 14 A last min cheapy week
September 13 our first all DVC stay
TR May 2013 the last min bargain trip offsite
Oct 2012 TR with a cruise!big family trip featuring the beach club, AKL, the dream and a villa offsite
TR on a budget May - June 2011offsite condo
TR Sept - Oct 2010 big family trip in an offsite villa

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Blaze is on the list for November! Looks delicious!

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I have reported the huge spam post currently two posts up from this one.

Update - it has been removed. Thanks, Vettelover!

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Back to the good stuff. Right now I'm strolling through Magic Kingdom all alone. Hubby went back to SSR after lunch at Skipper Canteen.

We really liked the Canteen and will return next trip since none of the other MK table service restaurants appeal to us. Yesterday at AK we stopped outside Tiffins to check the menu and were not impressed. Oh, I am sure the food is delicious and well-prepared. It just didn't look interesting. Skipper Canteen has interesting food even though I'm sure it's not quite as well-done as the food at Tiffins.

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Carousel of Progress went down while I was in it; got to see the final scene three times plus a bit more before a CM came to rescue us. Everyone was singing along by the end (when they weren't complaining about it).

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That happened to me in November! He burnt the turkey 3 times. laugh

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crazycatperson wrote:
I have reported the huge spam post currently two posts up from this one.

I took care of that for you (and for everyone)

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crazycatperson wrote:
Carousel of Progress went down while I was in it; got to see the final scene three times plus a bit more before a CM came to rescue us. Everyone was singing along by the end (when they weren't complaining about it).

That happened in October. I saw the second scene three times. I talked to CM when I exited. She told me someone exited which caused the rotation to stop. People kept leaving causing it not to get back on track.

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