To follow a repeating trend, we started our third day of our anniversary trip at Disney World’s Polynesian Resort by sleeping in. We ordered a pot of coffee and sat out on our balcony over looking the quiet pool behind the Hawaii Long House. During the day and early evening Hawaiian music is played, truly setting the mood with tropical gardens all around. The Hawaii, Samoa, Nieu, Rarotonga and part of Tokelau Long Houses surround the quiet pool. The first floor guest rooms have patios and the third floor rooms have balconies with chairs and tables to enjoy the pool and music.
We decided to visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park and walk through the animal exhibits. Typically the highlights of visits to Animal Kingdom Park with our kids include Kilimanjaro Safaris Expedition, Expedition Everest , Kali River Rapids, Finding Nemo – The Musical, and Festival of the Lion King shows. It has been many years since we have slowed down and enjoyed the animal exhibits. Before walking through the Maharajah Jungle Trek and Pangani Forest Exploration Trail we decided to share a Slow Cooked Pulled Beef sandwich from Tamu Tamu Refreshments and a Sugar cane Mojito from Dawa Bar, which is right next to the Tucker House restaurant. After exploring the animal habitats (and throughly enjoying the gorillas) we were ready for lunch (yes our trip is planned around eating and drinking).
We were in the Asia section of the park and decided to try Yak and Yeti Restaurant. The restaurant is decorated with original Asian art and furniture and makes you feel like you are a world away. There is bar downstairs for those who would like to stop in to cool off and enjoy a asian beer or drink. We were brought up to our table on the second floor. We enjoyed Pork Egg Rolls, which was one of the best I have had. We ordered Sweet and Sour Chicken and a vegetarian Lo Mein. The Yak and Yeti Restaurant is run by Landry’s which we found out when we tried to use our Tables Across Wonderland card to get a 20% discount. Yak and Yeti Restaurant does not participate in Tables Across Wonderland but we were able to get a 10% discount with our annual pass. We strolled around the Animal Kingdom Park after lunch and decided to head back to the Polynesian Resort to enjoy the grounds and relax.
The California Grill restaurant was where we decided to enjoy our 25th anniversary dinner. With reservations difficult to come by, I made our reservations about 4 months in advance. The California Grill is located on top of the Contemporary Resort and overlooks Magic Kingdom and the resorts around the Seven Seas Lagoon. A dedicated elevator brings guests from the Contemporary Resort to the California Grill. When you step out of the elevator you enter the lounge with includes a bar and tables where guests can relax while waiting for a table or just to stop in and enjoy a drink and great view. In keeping with the restaurants name, California Grill specializes in California wines and West Coast inspired dishes. We started our evening with a glass of sparkling wine in the lounge area during the short wait for our table.
We both love sushi and started our meal with Yoshie’s Delux Sushi Platter with Maki and Nigiri. The sushi was excellent. We also decided to share a Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli which has a very thin pasta layer containing the creamy goat cheese sitting in a light tomato and red wine sauce. For dinner we selected had Oak-fired Filet of Beef and Seared Diver Scallops that were both wonderful. To compliment the meal, we spoke to the wine Sommelier to recommend a Pinot Noir wine that would compliment both dishes. After a short discussion, we selected a 2008 Rochioli Pinot Noir from Russian River region of Sonoma County California. The Rochioli Pinot Noir was wonderful and is now on my wish list for the future.
We ended the night with Fonseca 20 year port and a Remy Martin Cognac XO to watch Magic Kingdom’s Wishes fireworks display. The soundtrack for the fireworks display is played in the restaurant and on the outside observation deck, which provides an unobstructed view of the fireworks. We had a memorable evening and look forward to coming back to the California Grill for dinner or just a glass of wine (or two).