We started day two of our anniversary trip to the Walt Disney World Polynesian Resort slowly again. This trip has been all about spending time together as a couple and using Walt Disney Resort more as a backdrop to our vacation than focusing on the rides. With all the great resort hotels, recreational activities, parks and restaurants, there is something for any couple. For our anniversary trip we stayed at the Polynesian Resort Club Level, which is located in the Hawaii Long House.
We ordered a pot of coffee this morning to enjoy freshly brewed coffee in our room. The coffee machine in the club area is great, but in the morning we like to relax and linger in our room. Being a Sunday, we went to a late morning Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe. A church that started out holding it’s Sunday services at the Polynesian Village Luau theater many years ago. The Basilica was built to serve the tourists that visit the Orlando area and is truly magnificent.
After mass, we decided to head to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for lunch. We ended up at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano, which we were told was recently renovated. The restaurant serves a wide range of items from brick-oven-fired flatbread pizzas to oak-grilled steaks and seafood. Just like the day before, we ordered an Antipasto appetizer and shared a margarita flatbread. With a bottle of Pellegrino water and two glasses of Frescobaldi Nipozzanco Chianti Researva wine from Tuscany, we enjoyed a great lunch. We were able to walk in and only had a 5 minute wait, but I would make reservations in the future since I think the popularity of Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano keeps it very busy.
We enjoyed walking around Disney’s Hollywood Studio and checked out the model of the new Fantasyland at One Man’s Dream. We’re looking forward to the first section of the new Fantasyland opening later this year. Walking down to Sunset Boulevard, we stopped in to sample the beautiful and delicious cupcakes at Staring Rolls.
For dinner, we made reservations at Jiko – The Cooking Place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. We started out with Taste of Africa appetizer which provides a great array of dips and breads to enjoy together. After selecting our dinner, our waiter Simo, recommended a 2009 Del Toren Fusion V, a red wine blend from Stellenbosch region of South Africa. I highly recommend this wine and will try to find it in Houston when we get home. The attentive wait staff, great ambiance of Jiko and wonderful meal made the evening very special.
Instead of heading back to the our hotel, we took a taxi to Raglan Road Irish Pub in Downtown Disney. We could have taken the bus from Animal Kingdom Lodge to Downtown Disney but we wanted to minimize the time to get there. Taxis are available all over Walt Disney World and a great option if time is a constraint. Raglan Road pub was hosting The Great Irish Hooley over Labor Day weekend with three days of Irish Bands and festival events. We enjoyed a Guinness Stout and listed to a band from Dublin playing upbeat versions of Irish pub songs. It was a great way to end the evening.