We bid the Roots farewell for a couple of hours (til our dinner reservation at California Grill), changed our clothes, and sprinted off to the Magic Kingdom for our D23 Cinderella Castle Tour.
They kept us cooling our heels in the tunnel while the group before ours ran long, so we added to our voluminous collection of Dorthea Redmond mosaic photos.
The door is on the right hand side just inside the passageway as you’re entering from Main Street (IF you’re entering from Main Street—is it ever *not* blocked off?)
At last, the door opened and the previous group was slowly pushed out, their fingers clawing at the doorjamb and heels digging into the carpet.
I can’t remember how many of us there were—maybe 8?—but the reason the group was so small is that the suite is so small. This anteroom is where the 24-hour attendant hangs out, ready to service the every whim of the family of pin sharks who kept winning nights in the suite during Disney’s (two) Year(s) of a Million Dreams contest. (Pin sharks: “Less toilet paper!!!”).
Now, The Roots had earlier taken what I consider to be the definitive photos of the Cinderella Castle Suite, so I’ll sprinkle theirs in with ours just so you can see how absolutely gorgeous the place is when you see it through your eyeballs and not just the lens of our point-and-shoot camera.
After telling us, basically, DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING, the guide lead us into the elaborate elevator. This is the most awesome elevator you will ever ride because it’s actually a tiny gallery, complete with display cases and REAL Mary Blair concept art!
None of us wanted to get out of the elevator cuz we were still ooooohing and aaaaahing over everything in it, but then the door slid back to reveal THIS!
The bedroom is nice, but the sitting room is where I’d be hanging out. The afternoon light made it so inviting!
The bathroom is the pièce de résistance. You see a lot of photos of the spa tub, with its beautiful light-up starry-night ceiling, but the rest of the place ain’t too shabby either…
When our time was up, they stuffed us back into the elevator and sent us on our way.
We went around the back and tried to spot the sitting room windows.
The Cinderella Castle Suite tour was definitely the highlight of D23’s Magic & Merriment event for us. It’s just a shame there’s no way any of us will ever get to stay there.
After getting booted out of Eden, we had a few minutes to kill before dinner, so we wandered around enjoying what little time we had left together before Patrick flew back to LA to build puppets for Pee-wee.
I was really excited about our dinner date with The Roots. For one thing, we were introducing them to yet another of our fave restaurants, but also it was going to be nice to have a chunk of time to just sit and talk (my 6-year-old self would shudder to think I’d ever find it interesting to just sit and TALK <eyeroll>). Oh, and also I had a surprise for them.
Here’s what they saw on the way back to the Contemporary:
They started with one of those flatbreads, which I refuse to order because it’s just bread with cheese on top that you have to PAY for!*And you thought it was just the décor that’s stuck in the ’90s!
I had the Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli because at least one person in your party must order it or they’ll slap you in the face.
Patrick had a salad because he is a better person than I am.
The Roots decided to order what we were splitting, and we were so glad/relieved when they loved it as much as we do!
As we got closer to dessert, I got more and more excited for the surprise. Nathan and Jensey had THE most romantic elopement ever, on Christmas Eve, in the woods, with their best friend officiating. However, they never had a wedding cake! Which I think might be illegal… So, projecting my own obsession with cake onto them, I decided that they needed to be surprised with a really over-the-top Disney cake that combined their anniversary and Jensey’s favorite holiday.
I scoured Flickr.com for Christmas cake ideas and then had Patrick cut out all the best parts and reassemble them in Photoshop. I asked Nate what Jensey’s favorite flavor was (chocolate). I called Private Dining at the Contemporary and was given the email address of the pastry chef, so I sent him a message with the picture, the size we wanted and a request for chocolate cake with chocolate chips in it (to keep it from being dry) and chocolate mousse filling.
When our waiter brought the cake out, Nathensey got very confused, but then when Jensey realized it was for them, she freaked out—hooray!
The cake was AMAZING-looking! Check out the inspiration picture we sent…
And the finished product!
It completely broke our hearts to have to cut into the thing…
…So our waiter cut it for us!
Taste-wise, I thought it was just OK, but everyone else seemed to really like it, which is what matters. The chocolate chips did keep it from being dry—I just thought it was kinda bland. But then, my all-time favorite cake recipe is a milk chocolate one, while most places seem to do dark chocolate, so maybe that’s the difference.
At the end of the meal, they boxed up the cake for Nathensey, who, I believe, ate it for breakfast all the next week.