Remy on Board the Disney Dream – A Night to Almost Remember

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It’s been exactly a year and a half since our Disney Cruise, and I’ve just realized that I never finished blogging about our trip. Life got in the way a little bit when we got home. (To be clear, I got laid off the day we returned from vacation.) Luckily I found a new job within a few weeks and was fine, but then it was a blur of learning new things, meeting new people, etc. Blogging took a back seat.

Having now realized that I never posted the pics from our amazing evening at Remy, I thought I’d fix that. Problem is, I can’t tell you exactly what it is that we ate. Some of the items are fairly recognizable, and some more memorable than others. But as is often the case with fine dining, the final product doesn’t much resemble the ingredients. And I would be hard-pressed to tell you what these dishes actually tested like.

So rather than a “review” I’ll give you the pics and let you decide for yourself. My memory of the meal was one of impeccable service, far too much very, very good food, and a very romantic evening with my love. I would do it again in a heartbeat. It was probably my favorite experience on our cruise.

On our way to Remy Selfie

All dressed up and no kids in sight.

Full length on our way to Remy

A nice couple saw me taking the selfie and stopped to take our pic

Remy entrance

The entrance to Remy. Very posh and clubby.

Colette cocktail at Remy

The complimentary Colette cocktail. Champagne, pear vodka, dried apricot, mint, blueberry. Lovely. And check that view!

Amuse - Tomato soup at Remy

First, the amuse – tomato soup! This was a Willy Wonka-esque experience. Like a perfect tomato exploding in your mouth.

Foie gras mousse at Remy

A lovely, rich foie gras mousse with pistachios

Pork belly at Remy

I believe this was pork belly. My husband and I had different dishes.

Crab at Remy

These were little crab cigars with I believe a yuzu foam.

Crab gazpacho at Remy

Maybe a crab gazpacho?

Sunset from Remy on the Disney Dream

Let’s take a moment to sip our wine and drink in that sunset…

Black cod at Remy

Maybe black cod? I remember I enjoyed it.

Duck at Remy

I suspect this was duck.

Scallop at Remy

Wow, that’s pretty. Maybe a scallop?

Lobster galette at Remy

On the left is potato. On the right is lobster. I remember the really dense and unique texture of the potato.

Side of Lobster at Remy

And what goes best with lobster? Yes, a side of lobster.

Beef at Remy

I’m not entirely sure what this was. Maybe beef? Duck?

Beef at Remy

I’m almost positive this is beef.

Cheese cart, Remy

Why yes of COURSE we’ll have the cheese course. Roll over the cart. We’re not nearly full enough.

2009 Sancerre at Remy

This wine was delicious.

Chocolate mousse pyramid, Remy

Oooh, pretty! Probably chocolate mousse.

Mondrian dessert, Remy

This was my dessert, but I could not tell you what it was. Just that I loved the Mondrian design.

A rose to end the meal at Remy

Awww…they brought me a rose.

Truffles and desserts to go, Remy

Oh yes, and two more desserts to go, in case we got hungry on our way back to our room.

I forgot how amazing this was. I want to go back!

Dinner in Magellan’s Secret Room at Tokyo DisneySea

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Things have been quiet around the MouseChow blog, mostly because I’ve been busy at work. But ALSO because I was on vacation, in JAPAN! This was easily the most incredible trip I’ve ever taken with my family, and I’m happy to be able to share a few snippets of it with you.

I thought I’d start with a very cool experience that we had at Magellan’s at Tokyo DisneySea. We spent a day and a half in the Japanese Disney parks, and could have stayed a few more. First thing you should know about eating at Tokyo Disney – every table service meal seems to be a huge fixed price, expensive, multi-course affair. Unless you’re an obsessed Disney food blogger, only plan to do one table service if you visit.

A great choice for that one meal is Magellan’s, right next to Mount Prometheus at Tokyo DisneySea. It’s classic European cuisine in a building that looks sort of like a chateau at the base of the mountain.

So let me set the scene for you. We had been walking around cold and drizzly Tokyo for three days and were completely exhausted. We had an 8:15pm reservation at Magellan’s, and if we hadn’t been completely starved would not have left our room at the MiraCosta. But we rallied (read: I forced my family to move) and we ventured out of our hotel into the park just as Fantasmic was beginning. It was getting dark and raining, and about 50 degrees and we were exhausted. We climbed the wide stairs that led up the mountain, and turned to watch the Maleficent dragon breathe fire over the lagoon, then made our way to the restaurant.

After a few seconds of language barrier confusion about our reservation, we were ushered inside, down the elevator, past the main dining room, to a bookcase in the wall. Our hostess instructed our daughter to find the hidden button (it’s not hard to find), and the bookcase swung open to reveal a hidden room designed as a wine cellar in the mountain.

There could not be a cozier spot for three bedraggled, exhausted, cold and wet people to settle into a fantastic meal.

Magellan's Secret Room

In the “secret” wine cellar at Magellan’s

We chose one of the set menus and I ordered a Glenmorangie to warm up. We were so tired, and it was so dark and warm, it’s a miracle we stayed awake for the entire meal. There was much discussion about a new invention, the “table bed”.  Sorry for the dark photos. I didn’t have the energy to pull out the real camera, so we’ve got iPhone photos in the dark. And I neglected to take a pic of the best course – a silky and umami-laden cream of cauliflower soup. Even my child who never ever eats cauliflower loved it.

Barrels at Magellan's

Casks on the wall

 

scallops at Magellan's

Scallop dish. I seem to remember it was good. Oh yeah, with a tomato jam.

 

foie mousse at Magellan's

The glass contains a foie gras mousse that was delish. Also prosciutto on a stick, salmon, cress.

 

Beef short rib Magellan's

Melt in your mouth tender beef short rib with lots of tasty accompaniments

 

Creme brulee at Magellan's

Perfectly executed creme brulee

 

tangerine sorbet Magellan's

Fresh and tart tangerine sorbet

Fully satisfied, we stumbled out of our cozy cocoon of a restaurant into the twinkling lights of Tokyo DisneySea at night. It had stopped raining, and everything was glossy and beautiful. We slept pretty well.

Tokyo DisneySea at night

Tokyo DisneySea is gorgeous at night

 

Magellan’s at Tokyo DisneySea: 5 Mice

 

A Solo Introvert at Walt Disney World

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Inspired by episode 51 of the Disney Hipster Podcast, I started thinking back to all of the times I’ve been to Walt Disney World by myself. Over the past 5 years I’ve probably been to Disney alone more than 5 times, and I have to admit, I sort of love it.

I’m a total introvert, and generally enjoy being alone. Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and nothing makes me happier than hanging with my family. But there is something fabulously decadent about being alone in my favorite place on Earth, with time to do exactly what I want on my own schedule. So back in January when I found myself traveling to Orlando for a conference, I took the opportunity to travel a day early to visit Disney.

So first question – where to stay? My friend Disney Hipster Andrew posited that maybe it is somewhat bourgeois to stay at a deluxe resort alone. I say, LET ME EAT CAKE! So I booked Disney’s Beach Club Resort for my solo stay. I’d never stayed there, and it’s an easy 5 minute walk to Epcot’s International Gateway. Plus I had a great off-season rate for a room with a view of the parking lot.

A Foggy Beach Club

A Foggy Beach Club

My inexpensive Beach Club room with the lousy view

My discounted Beach Club room with the lousy view

I arrived at the Beach Club at around noon, checked in, dropped my bags, and headed to Magic Kingdom. My agenda? (1) Eat lunch at Be Our Guest, and (2) Experience attractions I’ve never ridden before.

So first thing I did when I entered the park? Walked right up to the Walt Disney World Railroad train station, and hopped a steam train to Fantasyland. (I’d never ridden the train!) Is there anything more charming than riding a steam train around Magic Kingdom? No there is not.

Town Square from the Train Station

Great view of Town Square from the Train Station

Steam Train Magic Kingdom

Riding the rails

My first stop was Be Our Guest for lunch. Now listen up, all of you who won’t eat alone in restaurants. You can do it, really. I’ve dined alone for the tasting menu at Fleur by Hubert Keller – you can sit alone anywhere. Just keep yourself busy if you’re at all self-conscious. I know you have a smartphone. Take pics of your food and look like you’re busy uploading them to Facebook. Tweet your whereabouts so everyone can be jealous. Read email. Eavesdrop on the tables near you. You’ll be fine. (If you need more encouragement, here’s one of my favorite songs – Dine Alone by Quicksand. Listen to it to get pumped before dinner.)

At Be Our Guest, I busied myself by taking tons of pics and checking out the menu while in line.

Line for Be Our Guest

The line for Be Our Guest was about 30 minutes

Gargoyle at Be Our Guest

My friend the Gargoyle

Be Our Guest menu page 1

Front of the menu

Be Our Guest menu page 2

Back of the menu

Cast member

Random cast member that chatted with me at the entrance

Oh, and another great thing about being alone – you can choose to wait in line or not wait in line for as long as you like. When with kids you might be tempted to avoid a half hour line for lunch because they’re hungry, and therefore end up somewhere that you didn’t really want to be. Or you might be stuck with a group who really wants to wait when you would rather do something else. When you’re alone, you can just do what you feel like doing. It’s pretty nice.

OK, so after ordering, I wandered around to each of the dining rooms to check them out, and took more pics. When dining alone, I really enjoy being able to sit on a banquette against a wall that overlooks the rest of the dining room. For some reason I feel less self-conscious and just more comfortable. Plus it makes it easier to people-watch.

Quick pics of the food:

Tuna Nicoise at Be Our Guest

Surprisingly lovely Tuna Nicoise at Be Our Guest.

Onion Soup at Be Our Guest

Very cheesy but sort of bland onion soup.

Passion Fruit Cream Puff at Be Our Guest

Passion fruit cream puff. I liked the mousse.

So after eating, I started hitting all of the attractions I’d never before experienced (mostly around Fantasyland.) I finally went on It’s a Small World (wow, why did I wait so long?? It’s a classic for a reason – loooooved it), Mickey’s Philharmagic (from the lens of someone who doesn’t have any nostalgia around this, it occurs to me that all 3D movie attractions are now passé) and Country Bear Jamboree (a rip-roarin’ good time. Wish I’d seen it pre-update.)

Country Bear Jamboree

I can never get my family to sit through this.

Then I proceeded to ride my favorite attractions that my family doesn’t love, like Tiki Birds, Jungle Cruise, and Tomorrowland Transit Authority peoplemover.

A quick stop back at Beach Club to jump in the pool and change for dinner, and I was off to Epcot!

The only awkwardness I experienced at Epcot was at Rose & Crown. I stopped in at the pub for a pint. The crowd was very raucous and much younger than me, and mostly interested in hooking up with the hotties at the bar than chatting. It was sort of a drag. Their conversations weren’t even interesting to eavesdrop on. I finished my beer and left to walk around World Showcase.

I ate dinner at Katsura Grill in the Japan Pavilion. This is a fantastic spot to stop for a bite alone. I sat on the beautiful patio and slurped my noodles (and sake) in peace. It was some welcome quiet after the crowd at Rose & Crown.

Katsura Grill Japanese Curry Udon

The Japanese curry udon were totally delish

Katsura Grill patio Epcot Japan

One of the prettiest spots to eat in Epcot

After dinner I shopped around World Showcase, spending as much or as little time in each store as I wanted. (I loaded up on gifts for my anime-obsessed kiddo at Mitsukoshi. Trip-guilt hits hard every time I’m in Disney alone.)

I ended my evening at Cantina de San Angel in the Mexico pavilion with chips, guac, Corona, and Illuminations.

Chips and guacamole at Cantina de San Angel

Stale-ish chips and meh guacamole. Great view.

The next morning, I was up early for the Segway tour around Epcot’s World Showcase! (Sadly this tour has been discontinued.) Tours are a fantastic way to spend time at Walt Disney World when you’re alone. The groups are typically very small, and everyone is focused on the tour guide and what they’re doing, especially on the Segway tour where the focus for the first hour was just learning how to ride the thing without falling on our butts. No one will think you’re weird for doing the tour alone, and even a total introvert may end up striking up a conversation with others on the tour. I ended up chatting with an older couple from Minnesota who were there without kids or grandkids just because they love Disney. Their friendliness overrode my standoffishness and it was pretty nice.

Segway Tour of Epcot Selfie

Traveling alone is a great time for selfies!

Segway Tour Epcot

Cast members and tour guides make good photographers, too.

After the tour, I headed back to the Beach Club to check-out and grab my bags. But before saying goodbye to Disney and heading to my conference, I made one last stop. Lunch at the counter at Beaches & Cream.

Burger and Vanilla Coke at Beaches & Cream

Riding around on a Segway makes you hungry and thirsty. Free Vanilla Coke refills!

So really – if you have the chance to go to Disney World alone, don’t let your fear of feeling awkward keep you from having a fantastic time. See it as a chance to do whatever you want on your own timetable. Wander, look at details you’ve missed in the crush to ride every ride, chill. Or as I’ve done on other trips (especially at Universal), take advantage of single-rider lines and ride every thrill ride you can. Take a tour, read a book on a bench and soak in the atmosphere, spend as much time as you want in Innoventions.

No one will even ask you to share your school bread.

School Bread at Kringla Bakerei Og

My precioussss

Have you been to Disney alone? What did you do? Any advice?

MouseChow Ratings:

  • Be Our Guest restaurant – 3 mice
  • Katsura Grill – 4 mice
  • Cantina de San Angel – 2 mice
  • Beaches & Cream – 3 mice

Wordless Wednesday – Luau at the Polynesian – 2 Mice

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The Focused on the Magic (almost) Wordless Wednesday blog hop theme this week is ‘E’, so we’re hopping along with Eating and Entertainment!

Inspired by my Twitter friend @Kelmour’s question this week, “Any thoughts on the luau at the poly?”, I thought I’d answer for others as well.

The “Spirit of Aloha” dinner show at the Polynesian is the show that inspired me to designate 2 Mice as “Worth a visit for the theme or show, but maybe you should eat elsewhere.” If you’re looking for delicious food, look elsewhere. If you’re looking for a fun show and great atmosphere, then head to the luau!! We had wonderful seats and really enjoyed the show. The drinks were just OK, but definitely better than the wilted salad and mediocre BBQ. We LOVED the pineapple coconut bread, and could have eaten that all night. The good news is that you can use your Disney Dining Plan for the show.

So rather than a bunch of food pics, I’ll show you the fun instead.

Big ol’ tiki getting his nose picked

Smaller tiki getting his nose picked

Band at the Spirit of Aloha show

Cheers!

Focused on the Magic Wordless Wednesday

Feel free to link up below!

Rose & Crown Pub, EPCOT – A split decision

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Arguably one of the most charming, wonderful places to relax in all of Walt Disney World is the United Kingdom pavilion in EPCOT. The Tudor facades, gardens, tea shop, and regular appearances of Mary Poppins and Alice make it a place to linger long. Add to that an authentic-feeling drinking establishment with water views and good beer, and you may never want to leave.

Rose & Crown Pub, UK Pavilion EPCOT

Rose & Crown Pub, UK Pavilion EPCOT

The pub at the Rose & Crown is dark and cozy, with outstanding British beers on tap. On any given day you’ll be sure to hear British accents ordering pints, and on occasion the entire pub will break into a jolly sing-a-long of “Hey Jude.” It’s a fantastic place to be, warranting 4 Mice. (4 Mice = I’d be here every day if it were in my neighborhood.) And as a close friend reminded me today, it’s the last stop for many on their “drinking around the World” tour, so can be a bit rowdy. On his last trip (with his pre-teen and teenage sons) he came across a couple of inebriated young ladies getting amorous at the bar. World Showcase became instantly more educational, but not in the way he intended. You’ve been warned.

Black and Tan at Rose & Crown Pub

Black and Tan

The restaurant is similarly atmospheric, usually a little less crowded, and definitely more kid-friendly. Here’s a quick peek at the dining room. (Look, there is malt vinegar already on the tables – you don’t even have to ask!)

Rose & Crown Dining Room

Rose & Crown Dining Room

So how’s the food? It’s pretty good. Not great, but it goes down well with a pint. That is, it’s mostly heavy, greasy, and salty. (In a good way.) One of my favorite items on the menu is the Scotch egg, which I may have mentioned once or twice on this blog. There are very few foods that go better with beer than a Scotch egg, and this is a fine example.

Scotch Eggs, Rose & Crown Pub UK Pavilion EPCOT

Scotch Eggs

A couple of other stick-to-your-ribs options are the bangers and mash, and shepherd’s pie. I’m not a fan of shepherd’s pie, but Mr. MouseChow enjoyed it. My bangers and mash were yummy. (Yes, I had sausage as an appetizer and main. It’s called vacation.)

Shepherd's Pie, Rose & Crown, UK EPCOT

Shepherd’s Pie

Bangers and Mash, Rose & Crown, UK EPCOT

Bangers and Mash

And what meal in a pub would be complete without fish and chips? Sadly, these are only mediocre. The cod is fine, and the batter usually crunchy and redolent of beer. (Usually – but not always.) The chips are perfectly good, just not great.

Fish and Chips, Rose & Crown, UK Pavilion EPCOT

Fish and Chips

I’ve heard that there is a sticky toffee pudding for dessert that’s yummy, but haven’t had the chance to try it. If you have, let me know what you thought in the comments!

So I would give the Rose & Crown dining room 3 Mice. Decent for food within a theme park. If you’re looking for good pub food, get yourself over to Raglan Road at Downtown Disney. It’s awesome.

Oh, and if you’re not into sitting inside on a beautiful day, and you just want a pint and some fish and chips, you can head to the window at the right of the pub.

Yorkshire County Fish Shop, UK Pavilion EPCOT

Yorkshire County Fish Shop

The view is fantastic. (Especially if you can get it for Illuminations.)

Seating for Yorkshire Fish Shop

Seating for Yorkshire Fish Shop