Archive for October, 2012

Come on a Virtual Cruise!

While we were on a recent cruise of the California Coast, we tried out a new toy.  Over the summer, we heard of a camera that takes time lapse photos and puts them into a movie file.  This was a must have for us!  So we purchased the Brinno TLC200.

We set up the camera to record in 1 second increments, strapped it to our balcony railing and were ready to sail!  Here are the results.

We have not edited the videos at all yet, but wanted to share these with you. It’s a lot of fun going back and reliving the cruise, in fast forward!

Review of the Cove Bar at Disney California Adventure

Overlooking Paradise Pier, the Cove Bar at Disney California Adventure offers scrumptious snacks, lip-smacking libations, and arguably one of the best views in the park for the night-time spectacular World of Color.

If you’re planning a visit to the Cove Bar specifically for the World of Color viewing it should be noted that the venue closes to new guests 30-45 minutes prior to the start of the show, and the bar is only accessible during the first performance.

Check-in podium at the Cove Bar entrance

On the night we visited, there were 4 adults in our party and we arrived at the bar around 7:45 pm for the 9:00 show.  There were 3-4 couples in line ahead of us and a host came out to explain to us that while there was no cover charge to watch World of Color, the seating was first-come, first-serve and there was no guarantee we’d get a table before they closed.   I’ll admit, there was a quiet moment of panic among our group in trying to determine if we should stay or go.  A couple of the people in line ahead of us decided to head elsewhere, so we opted to wait it out. Within 10 minutes we were seated, and apparently, we were sprinkled with a bit of pixie dust on our way in because we were given the best seat in the house.  Check out that view!

Spectacular view of Paradise Pier from our table

There are two different seating options, either bar stools surrounding a counter or tables & chairs lining the perimeter.  In keeping with the old-timey boardwalk theme, the bar has a lot of fun decor all over the walls.

Seating inside the Cove Bar
Behind the bar

Once we settled in, we dove into the menu.  Like many of the bars & lounges at both the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World, the Cove Bar has a menu that includes standard cocktails and beers, appetizers, and a few specialty offerings. Tracy and I decided to each try one of the Cove Bar’s exclusive cocktails.

Cove Bar Menu
Specialty Cocktails

I tried the Sideshow Novel-Tea, and while initially a bit on strong side, it was great once you mixed in the strawberry puree.  I’d almost say it was refreshing. I tried a sip of the martini and it was very flavorful and Tracy seemed to really enjoy it, too.

Before we arrived, the four of us decided that we’d all share a few different appetizers from the menu and just make dinner out of it.  The bar is well-known for their lobster nachos, so that was a definite.  From there, well, it took a few minutes to decided because it all sounded so good.

Appetizer menu

We decided on another order of nachos, but asked them to swap the lobster for chicken (blasphemy, I know – I’m just not a big fan of seafood), Tri Tip Sliders, Barbecue Chicken Pizza, and the Bayside Fish Tacos,. Yes, we were hungry!

Lobster Nachos – $12.49

The nachos were spectacular and both plates quickly disappeared!  Although I have to say, the chicken nachos were the clear winner over the lobster.  The lobster wasn’t very fresh and was slightly fishy tasting (more so than it should be), while the chicken had a hearty char-grilled flavor. The toppings throughout both nachos were plentiful, and they were not at all chintzy with the cheese in the underlying layers. The chipotle sauce used in lieu of sour cream was a nice touch, as well.

Chicken Nachos (Special Request)
Tri Tip Sliders – $9.99

The sliders were good, but the flavor balance seemed to be slightly off.  The meat was tender, albeit not very flavorful.  The Mojo Criollo sauce was very heavy with garlic, while I love me some garlic, it was just the only thing I could taste.  They put the sauce on the meat rather than on the bread, leaving the bread a bit dry.  These certainly don’t give the Carthay Circle Theater’s Kobe Beef Sliders a run for their money, but they weren’t bad either.  I would order them again, I may just take a sec to swipe the sauce onto the bread myself.

Barbecue Chicken Pizza – $10.99

Second only to the nachos, the pizza was a big hit with everyone.  Everything about this was good; the crust, cheese, toppings, all of it.  It was fresh and hit all of the right points.  I wouldn’t hesitate to order this again.

Bayside Fish Tacos – $9.99

The only let down of all that we ordered were the Bayside Fish Tacos.  While I readily admit I’m not the biggest fan of seafood, I do enjoy fish tacos.  Unfortunately, these were not at all fresh.  The meat was dry and extremely fishy tasting, the lime couldn’t even calm down the fishiness.  Everything else about them was good, and I really wanted to enjoy these but I just couldn’t.  The consensus of the table was the same.

About 10 minutes before show time, they did a final call for the bar.  Once our bellies and our drinks were full, we chatted and enjoyed the atmosphere until the start of the show.  At this point, we noticed that our panic was for nothing and most of the bar had emptied. I’m guessing because the seats closer to the bar’s main entrance don’t really offer a great vantage point for World of Color, being that the seats are further back and almost parallel with the show’s water screens.  Our table, however, was furthest down the line and closest to Ariel’s Grotto, giving us the best seat in the house.  It seemed that any of the tables along our row had a great view.  I can’t think of any other place where you can sit comfortably (with a drink!) and watch the show.  Heaven.

Credit the lack of wind that night, but we didn’t feel much over spray from the fountains at all.  Although we could really feel the heat from the fire during the Pirates of the Caribbean sequence.

To get an even better idea of the view, you can check out the video below featuring the show’s finale.  Just a note, there was a lot of chatter at the table next to us that the microphone on my phone picked up.  Thankfully, it wasn’t as noticeable to us while we were sitting there.

All of the cast members we encountered here were extremely friendly, as was our server, but I do have to note that he was a bit on the slow side.  Luckily for us, the timing of everything worked out perfectly. If you intend to visit the Bar to view World of Color, I would recommend arriving  at least an hour prior to the show if not earlier.  I also want to mention that we were able to receive 15% off our bill (excluding alcoholic beverages) with our annual pass.  After the show, although the bar was closed, we weren’t rushed out giving us time to finish up our drinks and grab some more shots of the gorgeous fountains.

Overall, the four of us really enjoyed our experience at the Cove Bar and found that it would definitely be a place we’d all go back to for the food, the drinks, and to see the show.  Have you experienced the Cove Bar?  Let us know your thoughts and best tips it in the comments!

All photos © Chrysty Summers.

New Disney Visa Offers For Spring in Walt Disney World

We have just heard of two new offers available to Disney Visa Cardholders today. These are supposed to be released to the public next Wednesday (probably would have been Monday if not for the system outage planned for Monday night and Tuesday).

You can save up to 35% when you stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel for most nights between January 2 and March 7, 2013.  Disney Visa Cardholders can book this offer between now and October 7.  The offer will become available to the general public on October 10, 2012 and must be booked by December 31, 2012.  The promotion excludes 3 bedroom villas and the Art of Animation Little Mermaid standard rooms.

The second offer, also available to the general public on October 10, 2012, offers savings of up to $600 on a 5-night/6-day page with tickets and dining, also between January 2 and March 7, 2013.  We have seen reports that this is a free dining promotion but it is not.  You are required to have the resort room, tickets and dining plan.  The discount is up to $400 on value resorts and $600 on all other resorts.  Campsites, 3-bedroom villas and the Art of Animation Little Mermaid standard rooms are excluded.

To book either of these promotions now, please contact us at Travel On A Dream.  We need to have your Disney Visa card number at the time of booking to apply the $200 deposit.  It is fully refundable until 45 days prior to travel.

If you don’t have a Disney Visa, the offers will be open to the public on October 1, 2012.  Contact your Travel On A Dream agent today so she is ready to get your booking next Wednesday.  Of course we will always check both offers to make sure you are getting the best deal!


Disney Cruise Line Menus

While we were onboard last week, we were able to pick up copies of the current Disney Cruise Line Menus.  We did not get a copy of the ‘Til We Meet Again menu, but did get the Captain’s Gala menu, which we didn’t have.  There is also a special 3D menu for the Pixar Cruises.  Warning:  Eat something before looking or you’ll be hungry!

Animators Palate, Page One
Animators Palate, Page Two
Animators Palate, Desserts

Parrot Cay, Page One
Parrot Cay, Page Two
Parrot Cay, Desserts

Triton’s, Page One
Triton’s, Page Two
Triton’s, Desserts

Golden Mickey’s, Page One
Golden Mickey’s, Page Two
Golden Mickey’s, Desserts

Captain’s Gala, Page One
Captain’s Gala, Page Two
Captain’s Gala, Desserts

Pirates In The Caribbean, Page One
Pirates In The Caribbean, Page Two
Pirates In The Caribbean, Desserts

Toy Story Dinner, Page One
Toy Story Dinner, Page Two
Toy Story Dinner, Kid’s Menu, Page One
Toy Story Dinner, Kid’s Menu, Page Two

Disney Pixar Cruise Navigators

Last week, we were on the Disney Wonder for one of the four Pixar Cruises.  We hope to see these again in the future on Disney as it was a lot of fun!  Here are the navigators from our cruise.

Cruise Overview Page One
Cruise Overview Page Two
Sunday, Page One
Sunday, Page Two
Sunday, Page Three
Sunday, Page Four
Monday, Page One
Monday, Page Two
Monday, Page Three
Monday, Page Four
Tuesday, Page One
Tuesday, Page Two
Tuesday, Page Three
Tuesday, Page Four
Wednesday, Page One
Wednesday, Page Two
Wednesday, Page Three
Wednesday, Page Four
Thursday, Page One
Thursday, Page Two
Thursday, Page Three
Thursday, Page Four
Friday, Page One
Friday, Page Two
Friday, Page Three
Friday, Page Four
Saturday, Page One
Saturday, Page Two
Saturday, Page Three
Saturday, Page Four

New Savings for Fall Dates at Walt Disney World

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