With security lines and tram lines backed up at the Mickey and Friends parking structure, once again Theresa and I decided to get some extra steps in and start walking to the entrance. Seeing a short line at the Monorail, we hopped in line and made it our first ride of the day.
Seeing a super short line at the Storybookland Canal Boats, we were soon swallowed by a whale.
And Alli pointed out the ducks to everybody as we motored past.
A ride that only their daddy takes them on.
Now they're both starting to get into trying to get the teacup to spin faster.
Their mommy has been splurging lately and buying them popcorn... For about 30 seconds, a custodian followed us with his broom and pan, sweeping up pieces as Alli knocked them off while trying to get bigger handfuls of popcorn.
Ask him what his favorite ride is, and half the time he'll say it's Gadget's Go-Coaster.
I keep telling him to drink his milk so he'll grow taller. Then he'll get to ride on the bigger roller coasters.
Ian was really jealous that Alli got to meet Minnie Mouse last week. He made sure to tell us "Let's go see Minnie" when we were nearby.
A parting kiss on the nose for Minnie.
Afterwards, the kids had a tea party at Minnie's table. I think the cookie holograms in the middle of the table are pretty neat.
Being so close to Spring, the trees are already starting to flower up. Some are even starting to drop their flowers. Ian found a couple on the ground and shared one with Alli.
They sure did try to take Mickey's car for a joyride, but for some reason they can't ever get it started.
Still being early in the morning, it's a small world is a walk-on.
Have to visit the Tiki Room at least once every visit. He knows the show inside so well. Now he's started quoting things from the outside. We'll be at home and he'll randomly throw out a "My name is Maui. Natives call me the Mighty One!" or "I appear before you as a mighty tree. Stand back!!!"
On the way over to DCA, we stopped in the fire house, which we haven't done with Ian in a long time. I tossed him up in the driver's seat.
Then he wanted to climb in the back.
"Daddy, you drive now."
Last week when we were here, I gave the Food and Wine Festival a try and was very underwhelmed. What I saw was more of the same problems I'd seen in the past. Expensive foods and tiny portions. Reading some reviews by others, including this one from Micechat.com, I was willing to give it another try.
To tackle the issue of price, I'd read about changes that had been made to the Annual Passholder Lanyard that's available for purchase. Last year they offered these lanyards that had 6 tabs (good for any food item) for $45 and reduced to $39, making each tab worth about $6.50. This year, the price is back up to $45 but you get 8 tabs. Now each tab is worth $5.63. Couple that with the fact that you don't have to pay tax on either the lanyard or the tabs once you redeem them and it makes them an even better deal.
Before you can get in to the AP area, there is a cast member scanning passes at the entrance. In this case, it was Thomas, who I'd met a few weeks ago at Minnie's Moonlit Madness. He's one of the clue crew members who created the Golden Zephyr vs. Space Pirate battle.
Lanyard in hand, plus a few free Annual Passholder buttons, and it was time to start sampling.
The very first stop was Off the Cob for some Sweet Corn Nuggets topped with Chili. The line for this booth stretched about 20 people deep. A cast member was walking the line, letting people know that the Sweet Corn Nuggets were sold out at the moment. Well at least it's nice to know that now, versus waiting in line and finding out afterwards.
Instead our next stop was The Onion Lair. Here I was excited to try the
Braised Waygu Beef on Creamy Polenta - with Haricot Vert-Red Onion Salad & Roasted Cipollini Onion - $7.75 (but really just $5.63 for me with the AP Lanyard).
Have to admit. Still a little disappointed with the portion size. While there's plenty of polenta, what I'm really after is the Waygu beef. And just one little roasted onion, the size of a quarter?
The flavor of most of it was good though. I really enjoyed the polenta. The onion, while small, was still quite good. Why they use Waygu beef for the meat here is beyond me. Just about any roast will fall apart and shred up like this if you cook it right. It's tasty though. I guess those green things are supposed to be the vert-red onion salad?
It's starting to get busy, so instead of hitting the booths along the main drag, we wandered back to the Hollywood Backlot where the LA Style booth was set up. Right about this time, Ian figured out that we get buttons when we redeem those AP tabs for food. He wanted more buttons on his shirt. I told him he was out of room. He pointed at his belly and said I could put more right there.
The LA Style booth had quite a few things we wanted to try. "Can I please have a blue straw?" The cast member heard him and handed him a blue straw for his drink.
First there was the
Chicken Teriyaki Slider - with Spicy Dole Pineapple Jam - $6.50
This must have been made out of thigh meat because it was still really moist and delicious. I also really liked the spicy pineapple jam on top. I would each this again.
Next, Theresa wanted to taste the
Korean BBQ Beef Short Rib Tacos - with Kimchi Slaw - $7.00
This one was just okay. T is a big fan of kimchi and still didn't really care for these tacos. I added a bit of hot sauce to mine.
The big winner for this booth though was the
Dole Pineapple-Strawberry Float - with Vanilla Ice Cream and Strawberry Pearls - $7.00
The pineapple and strawberry juice mix was delicious, and there was a generous helping of vanilla ice cream. The kids both loved the strawberry pearls that popped juice in your mouth when you bit them.
Both Alli and Ian couldn't get enough.
Alli trying to dig in to the Chicken slider.
At the I Heart Artichokes booth, Theresa took a couple bites of the
Fried Artichokes Carbonara - with Garlic Aioli & Smoked Bacon - $6.00
and then gave it to me. This one was also pretty tasty. Especially all the bacon pieces.
At Garlic Kissed I sampled the
Grilled Beef Tenderloin Slider - with Chimichurri Sauce - $7.75
The first couple bites were really bland. Eating the meat by itself, I couldn't taste any bit of seasoning. Once I got to a part with some of the chimichurri sauce on it, things were a bit better. I feel a lot happier getting this for $5.63 than for $7.75.
Our bellies mostly full and crowds starting to pick up, it was time to stop at one of those DCA places where you can get a free snack.
Ariel is closed at the moment, so instead we head back to the next best thing. King Triton's Carrousel.
Someone certainly loves carrousels.
It's certainly been a fun day in the parks. I'm happy I gave the Food and Wine festival a second chance. That's all for now, until next week when we're sure to be in the parks again!