Sunday, 29 December 2013

If you read one article about Disney Dining, make it this one.

Any one who follows Mrs Banks on Facebook knows that time has just disappeared with Christmas and birthdays and travel to Sydney and dining reservations. I am now enjoying my summer holiday and have the chance to sit and relax to prepare these posts for a couple of weeks - in between bouts of chopping things with my new chainsaw!! Oh - how The Ken Man knows me so well......  

OK .. On with the show! Here's a post I started writing about 2 weeks ago: 

It's all fuss and excitement and crazy internets clicking here tonight!

If you want to secure your favourite table service Disney dining reservation you have to book 6 months in advance - and that day is almost here past for me!!  (ha ha ha - that shows how long it takes me to write a post)

guess what I'm doing tomorrow evening?? (source: pscalculator )
Only 4 more sleeps until (now after) Christmas Day - but I feel like it's already arrived as I go crazy with the dining reservations!

We have some underlying rules to follow with our dining arrangements, including:

  • We want to try lots of different things
  • We can't eat everything (dang!) SO a la carte dining more often to give more control over the amount of food purchased and consumed.
  • We are happy to split large dishes, and taste each other's meals - also happy to hoard if it's too good to share!
  • Limit buffet attendance. (Usually poor food items and some of us have limited intake.)
  • Enjoy meals with others.
  • No cheap and nasty park food - hot dogs, burgers and dreaded Disney fries (oh, I shiver just thinking about Pecos Bills - ewwwwww - and where they ask you not to spit. Well not in front of women and children.)
Please don't make me go here (source:Disney food blog)
  • Let your friend wear stretchy pants

By getting online the moment bookings opened I was able to get everything I wanted - some of which are very coveted bookings! Here are some highlights from our bookings so far:  (the links will allow you to see the current menus)

  • Breakfasts - Staying in Boardwalk Villas gives easy access to fabulous breakfasts including Greek style Kouzzina (21st); Captain's Grill (22nd) and Kona Cafe (26th) (the home of REAL coffee in WDW). We are also visiting Safari Donald at Tusker House (24th) for Harambe style.
Kona Cafe's Tonga Toast. My precious ....

 Early American-inspired waiting hall with stone fireplace, benches and chandeliers
No, Please, your quiet enjoyment of the meal will be thanks enough for these coveted bookings:

  • Le Cellier - the Canadian Steakhouse (21st). This small underground wine cellar serves it's signature dishes: cheddar cheese soup and Filet mignon on truffled mushroom risotto. Oh sigh.
Main dining area of Le Cellier Steakhouse at Epcot 

Now the category: "Everyone is arriving in Orlando now. Let's all go out together for a meal"
  • The Crabby Shack! Fulton's Crab House will be hosting at least 10 of us on the 25th. Will you join in for more than you can eat seafood?
lobster tails, crabs, prawns, clams, oysters - served on platters, in towers, in buckets!
  • On the afternoon of the 26th, we shall be raising our pinkies and ensconced at the Grand Floridian Resort's Garden View Tea Room for Afternoon Tea. It's all cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off and scones with jam and cream.
(source: wdwinfo - read their full review including menu)

And now here's a booking that will be a highlight of your trip - the all new California Grill! (26th)

Closed for 8 months in 2013 to undergo a complete overhaul, I am so excited to see this new look and new menu. One thing that hasn't changed - location. It is still on the roof of the Contemporary Resort and every meal offers premier viewing of the Magic Kingdom fireworks show!

Our last evening in WDW will finish on a high note! (source: DisneyFoodBlog - read their full review)
Who cares about pictures of the restaurant or what's on the menu. Because FIREWORKS!

UPDATE: I have now secured a 2nd California Grill dinner booking for Sunday 29 June - when everyone will be in Orlando.

If you would like to come meet everyone and join in, please contact me ASAP before seating books out! As is the case with Zontians, the more the merrier!

Are you a foodie? What type of cuisine do you want to enjoy in Orlando?

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Kill, Refurb, Marry - Thrill Rides!

For the life of this blog, I have deliberately avoided discussing the theme parks.

well - except for this - my precious:

Oh - how I love everything about this baby
Resorts - yes! Restaurants, events, tours - yes, yes, yes.

But park rides - no.

I suppose I just presumed the average Zontian would not be interested.   And there is MILES of park info and blogs available. Well, this is it! Your one chance to read my views on the theme park rides. Pay attention, it will be over quick sticks!

 Kill Refurb Marry Blog Hop

Mouse on the Mind and This Happy Place blogs are once again hosting the Disney Blog Hop - and this month they chose Thrill Rides!
There may be bunnies, kittens and chocolate inside here for all I know - cause I've never been inside
I am pretty easily excited, so most of the rides at WDW give me a thrill - of some kind. yep - I can be tragic. So I am going to restrict my definition of "thrill ride" to the faster speeds, gravity pulled, freefall drops, discombobulatory  things.

But hey - this time the joke is on them - cause I don't do thrill rides!  The topic should have been Thrill Ride Chicken Exits (yes Tower of Terror Chicken Exit* - thinking of you) - cause I know all about those! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.


OK - let's get to business.


anything with free fall airtime. Really. These things are just clogging up my park when I could be having more 3D simulators, or that hi-tech Harry Potter Hogwarts ride. that free fall drop makes me feel soooo ill, and ruins my happiness for several hours. So if I had to pick the most evil of all WDW resort thrill rides it would be my photo above - the Rock and Roller Coaster at Hollywood Studios. I have no idea but it has a loop in the track. In the dark. Why anyone needs that is beyond me - so let's get this waste of space out of the way and build my previous idea for the Aristocats ride - with kittens.


Now Test Track gives me a slight thrill - in the fast bit at the end. And I know it just had a refurb - but I still feel like it is missing a lot in that opening part.  And I appreciate that fixing Disco Yeti at Expedition Everest ain't gonna happen - but that is the only thing wrong with that ride.

The one really in need of a refurb is Splash Mountain. Not that I have ever ridden it. I mean, have you ever seen the freefall on the front of that thing?  4 seconds of torture.

So how do I know it needs a refurb - cause every Disney blog and chat board in the WORLD rabbits (you see what I did there? brer rabbit.....) on about how there are blown light bulbs, animatronics not working, Million dollar bunny wasn't chasing their log etc etc.   The announcement that the 2014 standard 2 week maintenance will now be 10 weeks brings hope they are whipping out the screwdrivers.

Just fix the thing, so we can all get back to whining about the Stitch Won't Escape and Go Away Experience.


Cause I only have eyes for you ...... Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Everything good about Disney is encapsulated within this ride
There is a deep and rich back story, fantastic and thorough theming, awesome safety announcement, and NO FREE FALLS - just speed and turns. Oh - how I spent years looking at you from a distance - too scared to try. Then one day your beckoning was too strong to resist, and I instantly fell in love and found my thrill ride courage!

BTMR made me a more confident, better person!! Now I sky dive INTO other planes! Now I taunt honey badgers with mongeeses (what is the plural?) BTMR changed my entire life!

And this:

You stare at him, and he just stares right back. And that's when the attack comes. Not from the front, but from the side -- from the other two pigs you didn't even know were there.
A bobcat standing on a cactus. (source:
The world's most intense cat scratching post.

Finally - BTMR is not from a movie, has not been made into a movie, has not had Disney animated characters, like Pinocchio, jammed inappropriately into it.

I can't wait to sit inside your little mine train carriage and hurtle around your track again.

* I should have known there would be a chap called "DisneyElevators" who takes video of elevators. Probably friends with those Disney Bus Spotting guys


Learn more about the parks and rides: click on the links below and get more Kill, Refurb, Marry Thrill Ride stories:

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Set free your Enviromentality

Urrgghhh .... here in Australia, we've just had a change of federal government, and with flip on a whole bunch of policies, including their environmental posture.

We're getting coal mines onshore from the Great Barrier Reef;  abolishing the carbon tax; and just today I read a story about a Council who were proposing building a highway through the middle of the a koala high traffic zone.


but our blog is not about bemoaning or activitism for Australia's environmental causes.

It is with much pleasure I remember that I can go on holiday and all around me eco - tourism activities are underway - in more ways than you'll ever be aware.

Disney, as the huge gorilla in the playground, recognise their responsibilities for social citizenship and leading the way. You'll be amazed at the lengths they go to be as enviro friendly as possible.

Physical America — the land itself — should be as dear to us all as our political heritage and our treasured way of life. Its preservation and the wise conservation of its renewable resources concerns every man, woman and child whose possession it is.
- Walt Disney

There are a vast array of green activities undertaken at WDW, some obvious, and some that you'll never know are going on.

Disney tell stories of annually:
  • recycling enough paper to make a trail from Anaheim to WDW and back again, twice
  • recycling 18 million plastic bottles - turning them into "red carpets"
  • 200,000 + LED lights on Cinderella's castle, which are so energy efficient, each night only takes the same amount of electricity as 3 loads of washing in a dryer.
Uncle Walt had a soft spot for the big cats, and launched a slew of keen conservation programs.  I am not going to cover their conservation or community contribution activities today - that's a whole separate post.

This first video covers a whole range of activities - it is set in Disneyland, and all these things happen in WDW too.

I love how they use the french fry oil!! Although it still not enough to make me willing to eat Disney fries - blerghhhhh.

What is getting the big "thumbs up" from me is that our resort - Boardwalk Inn and Villas - has just had it's decade long "Green Lodgings" designation renewed from the Florida Dept of Environmental Protection.  You saw a lot of the ways they run the resorts in the videos - sorting your recycling, using recycled and biodegradable materials, water and electricity management.  (The Marriott also has this certification)

The ESPY's is a show produced by the Disney sports arm - ESPN, who have a HUGE Wide World of Sports at the WDW Resort (Where too much sport is barely enough!). Funnily enough, I've never visited....... hmmm ....I wonder why? Let's just go to the video - and see more eco stuffs at WDW

Don't scratch yourself on that recycled toilet paper.

Actually, in a slightly weird story, there are a slew of Disney fans who are unhappy about the new unbleached, uncoloured recycled napkins. Turns out they were collecting the old printed ones and are sad that not every single thing in their Disney holiday has been Disneyfied.

Say 'goodbye' to the precious printed napkin    (source: disneyblog)
But from where did the idea spring for all the scratchy recycled paper? From their expansive 5 year Paper Sourcing and Use Policy. This policy not just covers the paper they use, it also includes actions for supporting sustainable fibre sources, responsible forest management, moving from timber fibres to grass and bamboo, and minimising consumption of such products.

In 2012, Disney announced 50% achievement of its goal for zero net direct greenhouse gas emissions, and reducing electricity consumption by 10%. Just in October WDW was awarded Sustainable Florida's Best Practice Award for turning out the lights when they left the room.

Unlike the new Australian government about to dump our Carbon Tax, Disney have their own internal "carbon price" imposed on each of their divisions for their direct emissions footprint. The higher the footprint, the more that Division pays. They also support forestry carbon projects around the world, in deforested areas; and are corporate signatories to the Rio + 20 Conference Valuing Natural Capital

source: Valuing Natural Capital

And to close, my favourite eco-fact: Overhead winch motors used to raise and lower scenery for the Disney shows generate electricity during the lowering process which is fed back into the power grid. How cool is that?

So - I'm relaxed on a Disney holiday - knowing that I don't have to buy into the rampant consumerism, and have an enjoyable eco-holiday!

So have I convinced you yet? What do you do to support sustainability principles?

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Zonta says NO to violence against women

Every week at least one Australian women dies from domestic violence.

To me, that's an astonishing statistic. Like the rest of the world, approximately 1/3rd of Australian women will report at least one incident of domestic violence. Something has to change. Women deserve to live with safety and respect. 

And so it is with excitement ..... and honour .... and pride ... and humility ....and and and .... I was given the privilege of planning our contribution to changing this horror situation.

This week Zonta said NO to violence against women here in Canberra. And I believe we did it in the most powerful way possible .... by sharing our message with impressionable 14 year old boys.

So all my convention planning had to go on hold for a couple of weeks, whilst I went out and planned this:

Clubs all over the world are currently delivering an enormous variety of Zonta says NO events - linked to the UN Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25. Go to the Zonta says NO website and watch all the stories start to appear. For now, here's a quick glimpse into my club's event.

Here in Canberra, a fortuitous meeting at the CSW 57 Briefing started it all off. It was over drinks and nibbley things I bumped into Stephen - the Australian National Co-ordinator for the White Ribbon Ambassadors. Next thing you know - we're putting on a show!

I asked Stephen my favourite question: if you could have your way, what would this event be? Stephen had the best answer: go to Namadgi High School, where one of the teachers, Matt, is also an Ambassador, and run an interactive, participatory, learning event with the young male students. 

Lots of emails, lots of committee meetings and finally on Monday, 18 November I found myself in here:

Matt making magic managing the Monday morning male menagerie

Over three hours, the boys explored topics such as:

  • What does it mean to be a man?
  • What do they think a woman is looking for in a man?
  • What happens to lead people into being violent?
 The boys explored Sting's ideas about what it means to be a man

Interspersed between these workshop pieces, the boys were given lots of opportunities for movement and releasing their energy.

Alistair, Ambassador and from ACT Men's Centre and Faye, Zonta Club of Canberra Breakfast - play air arm wrestling
Alistair wrangles with one of the kids
 We were blessed with on-the-spot portable BBQ magic from the Rotary Club of Tuggeranong

Zonta Club of Canberra Breakfast do their best work: supervising
Not being a parent, I wasn't really sure what the kids would be like. I kinda knew they would eat a lot - but they kids must have been hollow! They munched through 150 sausages and a morning tea designed for twice the number of people.

The Rotary chaps have their production line methodology all worked out.
In running this event, we were very careful about appearances - we wanted to make sure the Zontians did not stand behind the cake stall, while the men did all the carrying heavy stuff around. The Zontians participated in the workshop, were part of the group discussions - and of course we were an equal partner in the organisation.

Stephen, White Ribbon Campaign, opens the day - all the pink shirted Zonta ladies are WAAAY OVER THERE...
Matt designed a beautiful, insightful program - he slowly led the boys deeper and deeper into the topic. Taking them finally, to an explicit conversation of violence against women, set against the White Ribbon advertisements and other videos acknowledging the need for more respect in our world.

This advertisement is a reenactment of an actual conversation ex-White Ribbon Chair, Andrew O'Keeffe overhead in a pub.

I was deeply impressed that we didn't have to tell anything to these kids - deep down they knew.  I like to think what this event did was confirm their thinking about how how to live an honorable life, no matter where they end up, no matter what life they will live. Despite how rough and tumble these boys come across right now, I know for certain that many of these boys 'get it'.

So how did it end?  Take a look:

Don't adjust your set - I put in some blurry bits to try prevent identity of the boys

That's all that needs to be said.

We're making a difference in Canberra and in the world.

This will be an annual event in our calendar from now on, as we slowly expand this into a new education program for Canberra schools.

Emma knows what we're doing - I love this photo of her!
What are you doing for Nov 25 - Zonta say NO Campaign? Share you story and inspire us all with your ideas. Individually each of our actions may feel like a drop in the ocean, but together they create the waves of change.

I admit - I am yet to type up the full story including the ideas the boys shared at the workshop. I wanted to share these photos with you to acknowledge Nov 25. So keep your eyes on Zonta says NO where we will post our report.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013


Are you still there?

I'm just here .... I am so busy right now - changed jobs, about to travel for 5 days, post Zonta District Conference paperwork still underway .... The Ken Man has a new client .... and even the changing of the season to a delightful and colourful spring has meant new gardening tasks!

Poor Snorfy is complaining that we aren't playing enough with him!

"Shocked and appalled at your lack of attention. We shall ignore you now."
Let me quickly share planning progress.  Wouldn't it be great to catch up if we are going to be in the same time and place?
I have booked my international flights from Canberra to DFW, and then from Washington back to Canberra. Still gotta think about my domestic USA flights.

Going to New York for my first time. I know there is more in New York to do than I will ever get done. i haven't begun to think about where to stay, what to do, how to get about.
You big green French lady - I want to climb inside your head

I have booked the Boardwalk Villas at WDW from 20 - 27 June. There are 7 of us Aussies going together. The more the merrier - come join us!

Whilst at WDW I'll be booking restaurants, and park visits. We are going kayaking on 25 June. We'll probably go to Kennedy Space Centre on 2 July.  Anyone who wants to join us on any of our adventures need just shoot me an email or join the Mrs Banks Facebook Group.

We are all booked in for Zonta International Convention - rooms, registration, Closing Banquet - even our Taste of the World dinner! My club will be holding down a Trade Stall on the Monday on Fundraising. How can we not demonstrate how successful we have been with Lynn McKenzie's own Pre Loved Fashion Sale idea!?!

Then Washington DC for the 4th of July! Unless someone can tell me a better place to go .... Like New York, this will be my first visit so I am really excited about Washington - The Smithsonian museums, the national monuments, the parade marching up and down the square! The fireworks! Does it get any better?

Colonial Military March

I am looking for Zontians in any of these cities who want to catch up - say for lunch or dinner. Or any Zontians who want to join our fun in Orlando - just shoot me a note!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Zonta International Young Women Award winners making the world a better place

How astonishing are our Zonta Awards Program winners?

I am SOOO looking forward to International Conventions where I know we will meet amazing leaders of the future. 


What I find interesting about these young women, is at such a tender young age they are working out how they can contribute to the world.  These gals live their lives at top speed. They want to achieve goals, that benefit not just themselves but their whole world. A YWPA winner wants to study medicine - not to become a wealthy doctor, but to donate time to children in Nepal. Or the JMK winner who is studying law, not to drive a Mercedes Benz, she wants to specialise in international human rights and support the women lawyers of Afghanistan!

When I was that age, I was just scraping through and thinking about my next chocolate bar. sigh ....



For my non-Zonta readers: YWPA = Young Women in Public Affairs Award, and JMK = Jane M Klausman Women in Business Scholarship

The YWPA award recognises young women (typically in high school) "for their demonstrated leadership skills, and commitment to public service and civil causes".

The JMK scholarship supports women in pursueing "undergraduate and master's degrees in business management and overcome gender barriers from the classroom to the boardroom".

Go now - via those links and learn more about these programs.


Allow me to introduce you to the District 24 winners we met at our recent District Conference. These are the ladies who bring hope in the world and they are not mediocre.

Our JMK winner is Kate Buchanan

Kate is working on her Bachelor of Commerce, and is working in Accounting. In a delightful and respectful touch, Kate told all of us the JMK history! And then she told us of how she has set up her own book keeping business. Which is WAY cool - hasn't even finished Uni but already running her own business.

At this point I am missing a lot of notes. Cause then Kate's story took an interesting twist that stopped me from typing. So now, let's take this young woman - quietly studying and paying her own way in this world and do a 'Scooby Doo wibbly wobbly go back in time' thing. Let's have a look at where Kate grew up and THEN think about her achievements.

Kate explained how she grew up in a small country town, 6 hours from Sydney. The No. 1 past time in this town was alcohol consumption. Her friends drank, her parents drank - and of course the there were the consequences. Her parents divorced, and her friends all fell pregnant as teenagers.

Kate was determined to break this cycle in her own life, and she set off alone for Sydney, CREATED work for herself (if I remember correctly there was the "working several part time jobs to get enough money to get by" thing happening) and now at the young young young age of 22 or 23 she is nearing the end of her degree, she is working professionally, and supporting herself!

One of her friends back in country town has just given birth to her 4th child.

Can you see how far Kate has travelled? The cultural and family bonds she has broken through to discover and create a different life for herself? What a courageous and wonderful young woman. I hope Kate lives with the confidence of knowing all Zontians have encouragement and support for her.

Next time ... we'll meet Abi Rajkumar - our YWPA winner!

What story do you have about your Zonta International Awards Winner?? Feel free to share them here on Mrs. Banks

Monday, 14 October 2013

Munching my way to paradise - at Victoria and Albert's Restaurant

Everyone at some point can enjoy a great meal - right?

Even people who just see food as a calorific experience or at the other extreme - gourmands who chase down extreme meals - even these people can occasionally spot an exceptional experience (surely?)

And so I donned my Mr Creasote attitude and the infinity expanding dress and went to enjoy my highlight meal at Victoria and Albert's restaurant at the Grand Floridian Resort.  My highlight meal - at the Chef's Table!! Solo ..........(said in singsong voice)

yep - I booked that baby - one sitting per night - and it was all MINE!

and, really, that attitude was pretty much the one I maintained throughout 11 courses.

OK - so one arrives at the delightfully elegant restaurant entrance, and am pretty swiftly escorted out the back - although I may tempt the situation at times, I was not escorted ALL THE WAY out through the rear exit. Down to a little area at the back of a pretty small kitchen is where they have the little guest table.

Not a revolving restaurant with fireworks

I have no idea what dishes they produce from this little tiny area - it was obviously not the only  preparation area. There seemed to be working on appetizers / entrees / main course - savory meaty things. There was a distinct lack of dessert.

Sitting there slowly getting tipsy on the provided glass of Piper Hiedieck Cuvee champagne, Head Chef Scott Hunnel was suddenly present - joining me with a glass of champagne - and welcoming me to the restaurant.

so ... it was kinda like this ...except less beautiful people and more Mr Creasote (source: doctored by me, original by wdwcompany)

Chef Hunnel reiterated my booking requests - no chicken or offal, more seafood and game! and then the dishes began to arrive.

In my desire to simply serve you I have made this little mini film of all the dishes! See how I care for you?

Oh WOW - did you catch all that? Here are some little fun facts:

  • The "fog" in the lamb dish is made with appley juice - so the room smells all appley!
  • The miniature herbs and vegetables come from a specialist gardener in Ohio, Chef's Garden. They grow everything to precise order - so 21 day old carrots or 14 day leeks as small as your finger. And they are harvested by miniature bunnies.

  • You can pay extra to add special ingredients including caviar and Australian wagyu beef
  • You can pay extra and get completely smashed with a matching glass of wine for every course! yes 11 glasses of wine for dinner .... your cordon bleu would quickly become "cor, I'm bleurgghhhh"
  • They customise every dinner, so no two meals are the same, and you can have dishes different to what is served in the main dining room.
  • The seating lasts about 4 hours. You can take a break - or possibly even go watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks.
  • Every dish was served by a different person - I met all the main players in the restaurant.
  • The Chef's Table can accommodate up to 10 guests
  • If I had a man with me, his take away gift would have been a small loaf of orange bread stuff
The whole time I am munching away, these guys are working
Chef Hunnel like to run what he calls a "quiet kitchen" - so sorry - there are no Gordan Ramsay-ish outbursts. I suppose it works for him. He does have an awful lot of awards and is considered Orlando's No.1 restaurant by a number of outlets and check out the reviews on Tripadvisor

So this meal went both to my head and my waistline. I was a giggling food expert about 3 dishes in - admiring the technical expertise, how the beauty and flavour of best quality ingredients was highlighted in every dish, and pleasantly surprised at how new blends of flavours came together so well - or old favourite flavours were masterfully replicated.

Preparing the meat portions on a large baking tray on the top burners. Up top is a tray of prepped golden chanterelle mushrooms

I simply can't say anything bad about this meal - they delivered all my favourite ingredients, prepared perfectly, there was plenty of theatre, talking to all of the people was like having a chat with your best friend - they are just so delightfully friendly!

Whilst a lot of money in absolute terms, my proposition is that this meal is actually excellent value - the meal cost me USD $300 - that covered everything - including tax, gratuity, world class 11 courses, an upgraded Dover Sole dish (not in video), 2 glasses of wine, tea, the take home chocolates and rose, and all the pleasure of private entertainment!

I am definitely doing this again in June - bookings open 180 days in advance of my hotel room arrival date - so I will be on the phone seeking a seating!


Save up your pennies now, join up with the Mrs. Banks Facebook Group and you will have first notice to join the group when I book.

I give this meal, 3 Mr Creasotes - cause it really was an extraordinary amount of food

and 6 spoon fulls of sugar - for absolute delightfulness!

What dining experiences are you joyfully anticipating for our trip to Orlando?

Friday, 11 October 2013

Kill, Refurb, Marry - WDW Resorts

Well - apparently I lived a sheltered youth.

Whilst I was avoiding 'spin the bottle' and 'Truth or Dare' ....(side note - although I am the right age for that strange Madonna combination of 'dare with a bottle' - ummm where was I ...???) OH YEAH apparently the girlies of the Americas were playing something called "Snog, Marry, Kill"

Anyway my sheltered life, in Australia, avoiding funnel web spiders, taipan snakes and boxing kangaroos, meant that my teenagerhood was a big snooze fest.

So when Melissa from Mouse on the Mind invited me to participate in her Kill, Refurb, Marry game I thought I was in with the cool chicks! (insert a "whatever..." here)

Kill Refurb Marry Blog Hop 

OK - so let's see - we'll start with KILL - KILL - KILL IT WITH FIRE!! 

Tonight the insurance claim is going in for the Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa

Oh Disney - where is the magic? - well approx 10 kilometres away by a circuitous bus route. Where is the theming? YES - The theme is ORDINARY EAST COAST HOTEL ROOM! HURRAH! or even some of the basics - like the lack of convenience and lack of hidden mickeys.  I may as well have stayed ACROSS THE ROAD at the Plaza and paid one third the price. 


So for being the most inconvenient, boring, "only built to spin timeshare points" resort, SSR is being excommunicated from vision of an ideal WDW. 


Now being a middle- aged woman, I understand the concept of refurbishment. Everyday during my ablutions, all kinds of refurbishments are attempted. But when it come WDW resorts there is one place that I think could do with a pick-me-up to bring her back to the delightful, sunny, exuberant lady she once was.

For me, that's The Beach Club Resort.

The forty bajillion squillion kiddies have run this lady ragged. The once cute "Little Mermaid" carpet looks like it hasn't been replaced since the film originally came out. There are little scuff marks everywhere. There was the wonky door handle on our balcony door, worst pillows and squashed flat cushions on the chairs.

Like me, this lady doesn't have wrinkles and cracks - they're character lines!

With a magnificent pool and lush gardens and fabulous location - Return her to her glory!


This is a hard one - I think I would want to play the field - test a few more out - before I committed to just one resort. Does that make me a Resort slut?? I just sleep in them and treat them like the cheap piece of meat they are.

But not my beautiful Polynesian Resort.

Your sensuous green marble bathrooms; your giant room sizes, your lapu lapus. The giant waterfall in the foyer. Tonga Toast. The amazing gorgeous lush green gardens, the little suction cups on the shower curtains.

The laid back, island time vibe, whilst still on the monorail or walking distance to the transport centre - together allow that you can go at whatever pace you want. How I would love for us to be committed to each other forever. Say it can be so.

Oh - so with that last pleasant thought in my head, I thank Melissa for sending me to my happy place.

Now go! visit the other blogs - and learn more about WDW resorts!!

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Thank you to Zonta International Newsletter!

Google Analytics tells me click rate has been going NUTS today!

My hit rate chart for the past 24 hours
So why the modicum of attention and the thank you title?

If you have read your Zonta International email newsletter, you would have seen me included as one of four excited Convention attendees planning for Orlando 2014!! I was asked by Zonta PR to answer a few simple questions (you can read my answers here) and was given a free promo for Mrs. Banks in return. How sweet is that?

I was tempted to provide this photo:

.... but it's not Christmas yet.

What's that??

Dragging down the tone of their professional, internationally distributed newsletter?

Ummmmm .... maybe......

So perhaps you are landing on this page as a result of reading that article, then I offer you a

Welcome to Mrs Banks' blog, and Welcome Home to Disney's Boardwalk Inn - where I will be staying before convention
Mrs. Banks aims to get you to Orlando - to give you enough info to answer your questions and make your travel a bit easier.

Now Zontians, I don't have all the answers. But that's only because I haven't been asked all the questions yet.

And to facilitate the question asking and extra event planning around ZI Convention, I proudly launch the:

Mrs. Banks goes to Convention Facebook Group!!

Through this group I'll be better able to interact with others coming to convention, and organise special events for Mrs. Banks' Zonta friends. 

For example: my first offering is a Kayak tour with Central Florida Nature Adventures. I've already got a few people coming along, AND we are looking for more. I'll use the Facebook Group to co-ordinate such events.  Check out my earlier post and see what I'm rabbiting on about

I've invited a few people to join the group to start us off - we would love to have you come over and join in with us.

I promise it will be more exciting than kite flying ... not that there's anything wrong with that
It is time for you to get ready for Convention.

The latest version of The Zontian magazine is on its way to you right now. This mag will include a hard copy version of the Call to Convention and paper registration.  You can already register online, including your Marriott accommodation, meals and day trips

How much easier can we make this for you??!!

I am more grateful to my readers and supporters than any of you will realise. I write this stuff, sitting alone on my couch and have no idea where it will end up. My one reader in Poland is slowly developing into a growing band of regulars from across the globe. I recognise the privilege of taking your attention.

and thank you to ZI Convention Organisers, Jane Adams and Alick Chick and the ZI PR team.

Now back to your regular programming.