My place to share lots of photographs of my random crafty, makery, bakery and cookery projects, as well as random thoughts that might strike me and are too long for Twitter...

Thursday, 12 July 2012

20-04 - Cinderella's Royal Table!

OK, so we did a lot more than Cinderella's Royal Table today. But that was The Main Event! I had read on the the Disney Go blog that if you are having a special event at Disney World then you can get some really cool treats, so we decided to bring our 5th wedding anniversary celebrations forward from July 7th to our trip. We never really do much for our anniversary, but we decided to book a meal out in one of the nicer Disney restaurants, and for me there was only one place to go: Cinderella's Royal Table!

CRT is actually inside Cinderella castle (yes it is Cinderella castle, not Cinderella's castle). When I was little I was always told that the castle was just a solid "model", and that there was nothing inside it. Turns out, there's actually quite a lot inside it! On the ground floor there is a reception area where you meet Cindrella if you are waiting for the restaurant. On the second floor is the restaurant, and the top floor is a suite originally planned for Walt Disney and his family. As he died before the park was completed, the suite was never finished and the area was a dressing room and at one point even a call centre! It's now a fabulous suite that only VVVIPs get access to. Originally it was given away in daily draws, guest number X through turnstile number Y would win that night in the suite. Now I  believe it's mainly for Make a Wish visitors and guests of other charities, etc. I hope I never have a reason to, but I would LOVE to stay in that suite!! Literally something money can't buy, the suite is never available to hire, but you can see pictures of it here.

Anyway, we didn't start off at the castle.

We had lots of requests for presents and other things that people wanted bringing back, and so first off, we hit the shops. There are two big discount outlet centres on International Drive, and I had already seen an advert for Sheplers Western Wear (pick up a map, they are FULL of discount vouchers),so we headed to the outlet nearest to that.

Sheplers is in what I assume was once a pretty nice mall. However, when we went it was like a ghost town. The 10-12 shops that were still open were all having closing down sales (apart from Sheplers), and the rest of it was empty and boarded up.

This swimming-pool-sized water feature was in the middle of the mall. It was HUGE, and obviously meant to have all kinds of fancy fountains, etc going on in there.
The whole place was truly eerie, it reminded me of the time Meadowhall flooded (AKA The Great Flood Of 2007...A month before my wedding!!) and only staff were allowed in. Creepy!

I just love the tagline for this shop: Welcome Fishermen, Hunters and other Liars!

Anywho, after we had a wander around I got lost in Sheplers for half an hour or so, drooling over all of the cowboy/girl-wear, and then we headed to Florida Premium Outlets. That was just a basic designer discount outlet, but HUGE. We found the items we'd been sent for (in Victoria's Secret, no less!), and we also found THE most delicious Chinese food, at a little cheapy stall in the food court. Seriously, the sticky orange chicken was the best I have ever tasted, and the bourbon chicken came a close second! *drool* That place is definitely due a re-visit when we go back! There were some MAJOR downpours whilst we were shopping, and we got drenched! Fortunately it was still hot enough that we dried off pretty quickly under cover.
We decided to head back early to MK, we had dinner reservations for 9:30pm, but we still had a fair bit of MK to cover. Unfortunately that was the day that it rained in MK, so we headed around some of the indoor rides.
That is NOT a magical sky! :S

You can see from the puddles in the background how much it rained!

I was wayyyy more excited than this face makes out. ;)

After Wednesday's debacle I was still VERY conscious of getting enough fluids (even though sunstroke was clearly not going to be a problem!), so we headed to Pinocchio's Village Haus for a drink. I love Pinocchio's. The decorations are so detailed, and totally adorable.

After our drink stop, we decided to hit Peter Pan's Flight. We didn't do PPF on our first trips to MK, so this rainy day sounded like the perfect time! The queue was given as 65mins, but really we were waiting about 25mins.

View of IASW from PPF queuing area.

Somewhere up there there's a really pretty sunset!

Playing with my new camera...If only it was that easy to conjour a blue sky in real life!!

We did It's a Small World (for the second time...We had promised a very good friend that we would ride IASW three times, once each for her, her Mum and her Grandad who sadly passed away before he got to take her there, as it was their favourite ride and she now can't go to WDW (medical/travel insurance reasons)), and Peter Pan. I really enjoy the "story-telling" rides like IASW, Peter Pan, Winnie The Pooh, etc. They're just so Disney! We went on The Cat In The Hat ride at Universal Islands of Adventure and, though it was a bit more "ridey" (the cars rock and spin and throw you about a bit) I didn't find it nearly as good as the Disney ones (though I am very biased!).

This time through IASW I took time to photograph all the crazy stuff we noticed last time!

Two small children dangling a frog by it's leg off London Bridge in the English section!

I love this adorable elephant in India.

Penguins in sombreros...

This cute little lady just looks out of place in amongst the new dolls.

Now to me, she looks like one of the Japanese dolls...In Hawaii.

The lonely swing. John reckons the swing was once occupied, but the doll got so sick of singing the It's A Small World song they threw themselves off the swing in front of a passing boat.
When we did head to the castle for dinner, we got trapped in barriers for the Main St Electrical Parade. WDW "Cast Members" are super-efficient, which makes it extra hard to get somewhere when they are meant to be stopping you from going there!! Particularly when you have to point out that you actually have a reason for needing to be in the blocked off area, unlike all of the other people milling around who are trying to get let through (in a variety of different languages) just because they fancy a wander! We eventually made it through the barricades, and into the gorgeous waiting area/thoroughfare under the castle.

I just LOVE this little deer. The gold-coloured tiles are real 24ct gold, they really sparkle.

I left John holding our place in the queue, and wandered out to take some photographs of the Main St Electrical Parade as it wound it's way towards the castle.

And, because you can NEVER, EVER have enough shots of the castle from different angles/times of day/colours, I got a shot of that too. :)

In the waiting area we joined a queue to meet our gracious host for the evening...CINDERELLA!!! Now, I'm 28, and I have a friend who actually spent six months in WDW playing (princesses with, for any kids reading) Sleeping Beauty, and I still saw Cinderella and got excited that OMG, it's CINDERELLA!!! She asked us where we were from, if we had enjoyed our day in the park, and wished us a happy 5th anniversary (she knew! I mean...I know I put it on the reservation and everything when I booked it, but still, Cinderella knew without us having to tell her! Awesome!). That's quite a lot to fit in to a very brief photograph session, I was really impressed!

I did feel guilty a few times when we were meeting the characters, that we were holding up all the kids waiting in line, and when the princesses are the same age (or *gasp* younger) than you it feels a bit, awkward sometimes. But still, I went with my inner child and tried not to feel too bad about the other kids in line! We realised I was truly over this guilt on the last day, when we got to meet *spoiler* the Fairy Godmother! We were the last people up to say hello and get our pictures taken, and the little girls with the family behind us were pretty sad that FGM had to "go to tea with Cinderella" (LOVE the reasons the characters have for taking a break...Particularly Pooh and Tigger's Honey and Birthday Cake breaks!!). The conversation was pretty much "Aww, I feel awful now! If they'd have said that she was leaving right after the next person, I would have let them go first....Oh well, they can come back tomorrow, we can't."

So after our royal photo call, we stood around waiting for the call to head up to the restaurant, and I took the opportunity to snap a few more photographs. I couldn't believe the number of small (and I mean toddler small) children who were still up! Most of them were looking pretty crabby by that point, and there were a couple of melt-downs in the 30mins or so that we were waiting. When it's your turn, the chimes are rung, and you are announced to the room! Then it's time to head upstairs to the restaurant. I loved the detail and the stained glass on the staircase.
The awesome waiting area.

The inside of the castle is just as beautiful as the outside!

Even the fire hose is themed!

I found Jaques and Gus-Gus!! They are literally watching over Cinderella whilst you are having your photographs taken. So adorable!

I had made our reservations at 9:30pm for two reasons. One, because I had been told that if we got a window seat that we would be able to see the Wishes fireworks, and Two, because we figured that at that time there would be fewer kids. Well, we were foxed on both counts! We didn't get a window seat, I was actually sat with my back to the window, but I moved and sat next to John between courses (good timing, waiting staff!) to watch the fireworks. And the kids? Ohhhh, the kids. On the table next to us were two Bibbidy-Bobbity-Boutiqued little (and I mean little) girls, with their Mum and Grandma. The poor little things were falling asleep in their food, whilst Grandma loudly chastised them because "Gramma paid a LOT of money for this dinner, and you two are behaving like this!" Well, maybe Gramma shouldn't have booked it at way past bedtime then!! She wasn't old old either, I'd say late 50s early 60s, so it wasn't like she was really elderly and didn't get that the kids were tired.
In the restaurant we were seated quickly, and our waitress took our drink order straight away, before presenting us with our gifts, a wand for me, and a sword for John (to protect his princess! :D), both marked with "Cinderella's Royal Table". Now, I don't care how old you are, if you are male or female, and someone gives you a sword or a wand, it is pretty impossible not to play with them.

They also had adorable Cinderella's carriage table confetti, but for some reason I forgot to take a photograph of that. :(

Service was really quick, we placed our orders and no more than a few minutes later, starters arrived. We both went for the trio of cheeses, which were delicious and each came with a different sauce, fruit, or pickle. For main courses, I opted for the chicken, and John had the steak. I don't know why I never got around to taking photographs of the starters and mains! I did get some photographs of the desserts though! Between courses Wishes started, so as soon as I had finished I went and sat next to John (I had been seated with my back to the window) and we watched the fireworks together. :D
As soon as our mains arrived, so did the Princesses: Aurora, Belle, Ariel, and Snow White. They started moving from table to table, and they all stopped for a quick chat and a photograph with us. Goodness knows where they'd been before CRT, but every one of them was FREEZING cold! Most of them had their hands on my shoulders and said that they needed to warm their hands! Poor Princesses! CRT wasn't warm either, but I'm guessing that was just the super-strength Florida air-conditioning at work.

Once our desserts were delivered, The Wishing Ceremony started. All of the little princes and princesses get a Wishing Star on their side-plates when they arrive, and there is a special ceremony to make a wish using the star and their wand or sword. It was really cute to see! After dinner I said to the waitress "May I ask a little favour?" "Sure!" she replied with a smile "What'll it be, wand or sword?" :D Actually, it was one of the little wishing stars for a very special friend back home. She came back to our table with a handful of FIVE stars!

Your dinner reservation also includes copies of the photographs taken downstairs with Cinderella (1 8x10, 2 6x4, and an 8x10 print of the castle), all in a lovely presentation frame wallet, which is delivered to your table during dinner.

When we had finished dinner (and loitered for as long as I could spin it out, soaking up the experience!), it was time to leave the castle. :( I took a few shots on the way out of the fantastic interior of the castle!

After CRT we were both stuffed and pretty tired. I don't have many photographs of what we did next, we basically just wandered around a little, looked in some of the shops on Main St, and a little after 11pm we got to the Town Square Theatre. I remembered that Mickey was in there sometimes, so we went in to check. Fortunately he was "working" late that night, and there was NO QUEUE.

I love the "Hippo/Gator Ballet" bit! So much Disney detail.

I was too full to worry about standing up straight and breathing in!:S

Cool decorations on the way out into...surprise surprise...THE GIFT SHOP!

John and I had SUCH a debate over this dress...He insisted that is was Mrs Banks' dress from "Sister Suffragette", I said it was Mary Poppins' dress.

After that we made our way back to the car, and crashed out watching "Friends" at the hotel!

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