Friday, January 28, 2011

January Trip Report, Day 6

Only a great boyfriend would wear these in public... after much begging from me and badgering from Twitter friends.
Since our trip was seven days long, it was starting to come to a close at this point.  But that certainly didn't mean that we were done celebrating!  This day was James' 21st birthday!  Of course, this meant that he got to call all the shots, and his first order of business:  sleeping in a little later than usual.  That didn't mean that we didn't get to Epcot just after rope drop, however, and we went straight to Soarin' as usual.  We were too late to ride stand by, so we grabbed Fastpasses for later and headed to Test Track.  We rode together since the single rider line wasn't even open yet (this is the first time that we encountered this phenomenon), and then we hung out a bit by the exit waiting for Alison who was touring solo this day.  Soon we found her, and we rode Test Track again, this time single rider. 

Neither of us really cared what we should do next, so we somehow decided to head to the Seas and then the Land.  At the Land, we only did Living with the Land, since the Soarin' stand by line was too long, and Alison didn't have a Fastpass.  James didn't want to see Captain EO (shame on him), so after Living with the Land, we decided to tour World Showcase.  We started in Canada, and along the way, we even passed Alison's parents on their Segway tour!  Once we got to Italy, we separated for a while.  James and I wanted to eat lunch at Via Napoli, but Alison was having dinner there later that day.  She went off to do her own thing, and James and I used the Nate Parrish ADR method to get seated immediately sans reservation... at noon!  It was awesome!

Unfortunately, the pizza at Via Napoli was less than awesome.  Maybe my expectations were way too high, but I absolutely loved our lunch there in August.  This one wasn't anything like that one.  Sure, the service was great, but the pizza just wasn't the same as the first time we were there.  James agreed, so I know it wasn't just me.  All I can say is that almost once a week after we ate there in August, I declared that I was "in the mood for Via Napoli."  Unfortunately, I haven't thought that once since we returned from our January trip.  My Margherita pizza didn't look anything like I thought it should have (red sauce with clumps of cheese and basil on top... there wasn't even any basil!), and James said his quattro formaggi just wasn't the same.  I won't be doing another review on this one, since I did one back in October, but bear in mind that the quality seems inconsistent.

My pizza in August - so good!
My pizza in January - quite a bit bigger for the same price, but nowhere close in quality. It doesn't even look the same!
Delicious chocolate caramel apple!
After that unfortunate disappointment, James and I continued wandering the World Showcase until I decided that I was hungry enough for the chocolate caramel apple I had been craving all day.  At that point, we headed to Karamell Kuche and bought one.  They even cut it up for your easy eating!  A full review on this delicious new addition to the World Showcase may be coming in the future on this blog.  We chose to eat it in the semi-indoor seating that Germany's counter service offers.  It was actually too cold to sit outside and eat.  It was delicious!  I was recently introduced to chocolate caramel apples, and I must say, they are a brilliant invention!

After munching on our after lunch treat, we met back up with Alison and continued exploring the World Showcase.  We proceeded to almost capsize on the Gran Fiesta Tour because, for some reason, all of the adults were seated on the right side of the boat.  I swear we were an inch or two away from taking on water.  After that, we capped off our early afternoon with a ride on Spaceship Earth, and then we headed back for a nap.

After our nap, I was really unsure on what I wanted to wear to James' birthday dinner at Bistro de Paris.  I obviously wore a nice outfit, but it was so cold that I actually considered wearing my winter coat over it.  I decided to settle on a sweatshirt that I would remove once we got to the restaurant.

James at Club Cool!  Obviously that's not Beverly in his hand!
We arrived at Epcot a little a early for our 6:30 ADR, so we decided to check out Club Cool for a few pre-dinner refreshments.  Beverly was as disgusting as usual, but some were quite good.  I love trying the different sodas, and I especially love watching unsuspecting newbies taste what they expect will be delicious.  Soon, however, it was time for dinner, so we headed around to the World Showcase.

We got up to the Bistro de Paris podium, and the first thing the hostess said to us was "Are you on the dining plan?"  My first instinct was yes, to which she promptly reminded me, "We don't accept the dining plan here."  Realizing that I did know this, but caught off guard, I awkwardly responded with, "I know," and she proceeded to check us in.  After about five minutes, we were taken upstairs.

As with all the other table service restaurants that I have not yet reviewed, a full review of Bistro de Paris will come in the near future.  In the mean time, I will say that the food was quite good but not outstanding.  Although the bill was comparable to California Grill, we would return to California Grill over Bistro de Paris any day.  We certainly weren't displeased, but we weren't wowed either.  It was nice for James' birthday dinner, as he loves French food, but I'm not sure we would come back for a normal dinner.

My delicious dessert!
James started with the escargot, and I opted out of an appetizer.  We both chose the beef entree, and it was quite good.  The mashed potatoes had bits of shredded meat inside them, which was interesting.  I remember enjoying the asparagus as well.  For dessert, James opted out this time, but I ordered a delicious dish that came with four different things to enjoy.  There was the creme brulee that I had so recently come to love, rice pudding, caramel upside down cake, and a bit of delicious creme brulee ice cream.  I would 100 times order this dessert again if I could.  Yum!  And even though James didn't order anything, our waiter brought out a plate with "Happy Birthday" written on it with chocolate.  A lit candle was in a little bit of fruit in the corner, and after James blew it out and went to the restroom, our waiter came back and lit it again while he was gone. 

James' birthday surprise.  It would have looked better with the flash on, but he refused to take the picture with flash.

After dinner, James stopped at the drink stand to have his first legal alcoholic beverage:  the Grey Goose slushie.  He said it was good, but dang that small cup was $9.50!  We didn't really care if we saw IllumiNations, since we had already seen it twice this trip, so James decided he wanted to use our Fastpasses from this morning.  I was very glad we were big Disney fans at this point because many people don't realize you can use Fastpasses past their time windows.  Our Fastpasses said "10:18 - 11:18 am" on them, and the cast members let us through at 9:10 pm (there were extra magic hours that night) without blinking an eye.  After riding Soarin', we were quite tired from James' big day, so we headed back to the room to go to sleep.  The following day would be our last, but we'd also be meeting up with James' brother and his boyfriend!


  1. We haven't tried Bistro de paris yet, but it sounds delicious! I love the Grey Goose slushes, but you're right, they are quite expensive!

  2. Bistro de Paris is definitely worth a try! Just keep in mind that there's no children's menu if you bring kids.

  3. We have tried the French restaurant downstairs but not the Bistro de Paris. I'm sorry it wasn't as awesome as you had hoped, but it's good to know the cost is comparable to California Grill.

  4. Yup, and it's definitely worth a try!