Thursday, 26 January 2012

Platnium Plan - Part 3 - Aren't you done yet?

Have you noticed?

I am up to Part 3 of this Platnium Plan trip report and so far nothing has taken me inside a theme park. I am keeping myself exhausted with plenty of other diversions.

So exhausted I fell asleep.

in the middle of my facial at the Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa

Hidden Mickey! (source:
This was another one of those little "Disney doesn't contact Australians" moments. In September Disney shut down the conveniently located spa (an entirely new built spa will open in 2013 - in time for you!) at the Grand Floridian and I did a switcheroo over to Saratoga Springs Spa. On arrival, they had no record of my booking - despite it being on the official Disney itinerary - but they found a room and a therapist and suddenly I was downstairs changing into a robe and indulging in gentle background  music, soft lighting and scented heated oils. In my robe and slippers I padded into the treatment room and laydown on the warm, towelled treatment table.

and with the gentle, relaxing face massage using cooling scented cream, I drifted off  to sleep.

(source: Walt Disney Company)
The spa is a large complex with an indoor swimming pool, sauna, hot tub, lounge, treatment rooms, and entrance with shop. It is a fairly new building so everything is very clean and maintained. The atmosphere isn't particularly plush - they maintain a certain level of spartan for easy cleaning. And yet it is not hipster modern. Sort of beige..... and lots of moldings around the doors and walls... and potted plants .. sort of middle of the road classic.

A booking also allows use of entire facility - but I had too much to do!After bringing myself back to life - and she probably did a good job - or she may have just set the timer and read a book for all I know - I headed off to my next event.

Follow me after me the jump to see what's next (hint: food porn is involved)

But first....

Cirque du Soleil's permanent show: La Nouba

Source (Cirque du Soleil)
Like all Cirque shows, the mind is constantly amazed at the ease with which the artists, acrobats and gymnasts perform - and then the realisation that what they doing is incredibly physically taxing. The artists keep moving along at a fast pace, using all the theatre - appearing among the seating or danging on ribbons in the air. Accommpanied by a live band, there is pace, rhythm, dynamics and raw energy in this show.

In among all the boofy blokes tightrope cycling,

trampolining ..

and flying through the air..

(all photos sourced from La Nouba)
came four tiny tiny young asian girls with a delicate - and also highly physical act of gymnastics performed with diabolos - that drew the biggest round of applause. Their skill and physical strength and flexibility is astonishing. Here's a short taster video.

La Nouba lives up to Cirque standards - physical acts done wearing imaginative costumes and wacky makeup and painting a surrealist picture to capture your imagination.

Coming out of La Nouba 90 minutes later I had my last booking : dinner at the Crabby Shack

As flash as a gaudy Saturday night hussy (source: Walt Disney Company)
Fultons is a full on shellfish restaurant, which does a bit of other seafood and steak on the side - but why bother?! At Fultons, it is all about the crab.

The restaurant is located right in the middle of Downtown Disney in an old original steamer. Originally the Empress Lilly - named after Walt's wife (not that I'm saying she is a gaudy Saturday night hussy), it has a backstory of its own and I remember it from my first trip in 1993.
Transported away to crabby goodness (source: Walt Disney Company)
Back then I was too poor to eat there but now that I am on the plan, it was an unfettered festival of the crab!

They have a standard menu and then add specials where something is in season. When I went the specials were stone crab claws and Tasmanian lobster tails. Oh, how I need someone to come with me so I can try that Experience for Two.
(source food pictures III thread)
On arrival they serve bread AND these 5 seeded crackers with boursin cheese mix. How unique is that? Yummo and addictive!

(source: "I'm grumpy because you're dopey" trip report thread)

After much contemplation of the menu and a realisation that even I am going to struggle with over 1 lb of protein, I went for...
The Alaska snow crab with wild cold water lobster tail! served with red skin potatoes
I really love a situation where I get to play with my food, and given the full range of crab dissecting implements I set to ... releasing the juicy, meaty, fresh, warm, succulent crabby chunks.

when I last visited in 2009 I enjoyed the crab claws

(source: Food Pictures Thread III)

oh - and yes - there is a complete lack of fibre. You can order a side dish of grilled asparagus if you have to.... I had just given up by this stage.

After all that protein and potatoes I had entered the Mr Creasote zone. But I NEEDED dessert!

Sorbet - blackberry, mango and lemon
Now don't let the photo deceive you. I was served a bucket of the stuff! That's a dessert spoon in there. It was massive - easily shared by two people. And it was a wonderful way to finish the meal - cool, icey, acidic with very tangy, sharp flavours. Certainly cleared away all that drawn butter cloyingly sticking to my palate!

So I give the Crabby Shack three spoonsfull of sugar for having a menu where every item is my favourite foods ... (oh - I will never get to try them all)

And three Mr Creasotes for being my favourite foods in HUMUNGOUS portions

Extraordinary self-restraint is required to avoid this rating

And with that last fresh raspberry I finished my Platnium Plan.

So - how did it all end up? I saved some money - if I had purchased these items individually the total would have been approx. $1,700 and I paid $785 - I could have stayed somewhere cheaper and paid even less. And Disney cancelled my parasailing and aquarium tours which would have added more value. Included in that Plan price was 1 night's accommodation, 1 day park ticket (which I didn't use and will put towards a future purchase), and the PhotoPass CD. As the pricing is based on the room rate, you will make greater savings if you have a couple of people in the room with you.

I experienced a wide style of events - including shows, tours and dinners. I just scratched the surface of what is on offer and none of them required a theme park.

It was fun, tiring, delicious and full of new experiences for me. Before I do it again, I'm going into training.

(ohh - and I snored when I fell asleep during the facial. I must have been a real treat for that young lady)


  1. LOL I was almost deceived. :P Well, some saunas even have background music playing while you're soaking in or eating Sorbet, which is great, especially for couples - totally romantic, indeed.

  2. LOL--Loved the report. Thank you!

  3. Thanks for reading and your comments. The Platinum Plan was hard work! Hope the report has given you some ideas.