April 2015 / Trip Reports

(April 2015 Trip Report) Shopping Builds an Appetite

After a refreshing (and cool) break back at Bay Lake Tower, we were dressed and ready to go to dinner. Our plans were taking us to Downtown Disney that evening. And by the looks of the crowd that boarded the bus with us, we weren’t the only ones with that plan.

But we were good, and on our way.

I’m not going to lie, getting to DTD was a traffic nightmare. The bus sat forever, waiting to turn into the bus depot at DTD. The reason for that wait? Disney was only utilizing ONE of the slots for buses to drop off. At the dinner rush. One drop-off. Geez.

Anyway, we finally got off the bus.

It was time for my favorite Disney activity: Disney shopping!

Co-Op was our first stop.

Franklin surprised me with a birthday present!

We then wandered over to the Wonderground Gallery. We were in the market for a piece of art for our newly remodeled kitchen. And this Madame Leota piece was absolutely perfect.

It was getting late and we had a reservation to make for dinner. So we left Co-Op and made our way over to our dinner destination: Raglan Road!

It wasn’t just a dinner for two that evening, we were meeting Sirvasha, Steve and Jayson. Yay, best dinner group, ever!

We were seated right next to the stage, which gave us an awesome seat for the Irish dance lessons that had started. So freaking cute.

The setting sunlight was hitting the stained glass windows perfectly, throwing the beautiful colors all around.

Franklin started with the Irish craft beer flight.

And as the Irish band took the stage…

… the waitress brought our soda bread and took our orders.

Franklin and I split our usual, the Heaven on Earth ribs and the schnitzel.

Oh, and a huge order of fries!

The dancing was fantastic, as usual. For those of you who haven’t been to Raglan Road, it’s not exactly a nice, quiet meal. There’s fun Irish music and dancing sprinkled throughout the evening. It makes for fun, if loud, meal!

We finished up and paid the bill. We had post-dinner plans to get to. We made our way through the re-done section of DTD, which was turning to Disney Springs before our eyes!

Hi Boathouse, we’ll be back for you later!

Where were we headed? Oh, yes, it was time. Time to finally experience…

Sirvasha and Steve dropped Jay off at the kids’ club, while Franklin and I went to get a pager. Well, I got the pager and Franklin took pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. This place is A-MAZING.

Let’s start with the patio, which is a lovely place to wait if you have a few minutes to kill before they let you into the Grotto.

Our pager started to buzz almost immediately after the four of us met back up.

The picture window changes throughout the evening.

And when anyone orders a Nautilus, the whole Grotto goes “underwater” while the CM delivers it.

There are just so many fun details to take in at the Grotto. You could visit 100 times and discover something new each time.

Here’s my one gripe with the Grotto. It seems that the pager only serves to get you in, but once it goes off, you’re on your own to find seating. And there’s not much seating to be had. So the four of us ended up at the bar. It turned out to be fun because the bartender were awesome.

I had the rum flight.

Franklin went all-in and ordered the Nautilus. Yes, that’s a boat filled with booze.

Sirvasha got the Shrunken Zombie Head.

And Steve got the Uh-Oha. Which was promptly set on fire.

This isn’t like any regular bar. It’s like drinking with a floor show. The CMs are incredible, truly hilarious. For instance, this is how they procure the glasses for a drink called the Pearl.

Or how they deliver drinks underwater.

Oh, and there’s an octopus that hangs out in the rafters and holds some of the rum hostage.

We were having a blast.

Yes, I took this photo — which is why poor Franklin is blurry.

Did I mention how much fun the CMs were having?

The good news was Franklin powered through his Nautilus like a champ. The bad news is they forgot to tell us before he ordered it that they were out of the Nautilus boats to take home. Whomp-whomp. But Gustavo, our bartender, tried to make it up to Franklin by giving him another drink, a Tahitian Torch.

We were all feeling pretty, pretty good right about now. It was almost midnight, so we called it a night. Luckily, Franklin and I only had a quick monorail ride to get home. Very convenient! It had been a fantastic night with fantastic friends, a night that will be remembered for a long time!


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