Since we'd be in the park over the weekend, I went ahead and made reservations at a couple of spots, one to try and one to remember. We'd been to Carthay Circle for drinks and I wasn't impressed, hopefully dinner would be more spectacular and it was. The upstairs restaurant is old school Hollywood with low lighting and lots of dark wood decor. Black and white photos of Walt Disney and the likes of Julie Andrews accepting awards adorned the walls. The place wasn't very big but had several attached private dining rooms all named after prolific streets like Buena Vista and Hyperion. There's special cocktails on the menu to commemorate Disney's 60th anniversary so we started with a couple of Manhattan's that came with diamond shaped ice. I'm not a huge fan of Manhattan's so after struggling through I went back to my staple of an Irish Mule. Food wise it was simple yet high end fare like you'd find at Napa Rose or Club 33. I went with the giant porkchop special and we also tried out the fried biscuits filled with cheese and jalapenos, delicious. Most shocking of all discovering Kurt Russell's Gogi line of wine on the menu going for a cool $110 smackers a bottle. Speaking of dranking, we did a mini Disney pub crawl around the resort after Trader Sam's was packed we opted for Steakhouse 55, walked around downtown Disney, Paradise Pier, more dranks at the Grand Californian and finally at a couple of hotels on our way back to basecamp.
Sunday was a big day as we started with the Holiday Time tour, a 3 hour excursion highlighting all of the great Christmas decorations and history. Highlights included learning that one of the 60 foot trees caught on fire and was replaced over night, there's a candle lit menorah in one of Main Street's windows, a little knowledge of candy canes as well as walk on access to Jingle Cruise, Haunted Mansion and It's a Small World. We ended by having front row seats for the parade complete with hot chocolate and gingerbread men and seeing special guest Dick Van Dyke riding dirty along with dancers from local schools and themed floats with Mickey, Santa Claus, Woody and the like. We had reservations over at Big Thunder Ranch for some all you can eat ribs and chicken as the joint is one of the many attractions closing down soon to make way for Star Wars land. It's a fun set up with live entertainment and country music, buckets of meat, baked beans, cornbread and cornslaw along with drinks served in Mason jars. That Damme hot chocolate and gingerbread cookie filled me up though so we only mowed down two buckets of barbecued chicken and ribs. Fare thee well, Big Thunder Ranch! BBQ in peace.