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  1. #1

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    TDLFAN's "Disney A La Carte" report from TDS/ Photos

    A few weeks back, G-Fan and I went to TDS to check out this fall's "A La Carte" event at TDS. An event that is reminicent of "Disney's Delicious Days" a few years ago. Given the lukewarm response of that particular event, I did have to question OLC's motives for reprising an event that was somewhat similar to Delicious Days and one that vaguely celebrates TDS' 6th anniversary the way "Dramatic DisneySea" events did...which also, "A La Carte" seems to draw from as all.

    There is no denying what demoghaphics the OLC people are going after with "A La Carte"... young females, and couples, with disposable income.
    Many would probably think this "A La Carte" event is something along the lines of EPCOT's Wine/Food fest... well... yes and no. Unlike EPCOT, there are no temporary food stands serving overpriced samples of food and wine from various regions of the World. Here at TDS, many of the restaurants are offering special set menus and liquor options as part of the event.. in addition to the regularly scheduled culinary options.

    For added fun, two restaurants in the park are being highlighted for the event.. Mediterranean Harbor's Portofino Cafe for example, has been temporarily remaned the "Festa Pinocchio". The restaurant has been redecorated with a Pinocchio theme and offers special menus during this event. The decor is temporary but nicely done. As an added incentive, they have also gone out of the way to offer walk-around entertainment to delight dinning guests. It adds to a most enjoyable dinning experience.

    Similarly, In the Arabian Coast area of TDS, the Casbah Food Court has temporarily become "Genie's Cafe". It also offers special decor and menus.
    Other special treats and food related souvenirs can be found all over TDS, at regular food stands and other counter service restaurants.

    Like "Dramatic DisneySea", the "A La Carte" event also features a decidedly femenine line of merchandise and a look that is reminicent of the classic Audrey Hepburn movies... like "Funny Face" for example.

    At EPCOT, I have always questioned the popularity of the Wine/Food Fest simply because EPCOT already offers a very varied and expansive international menu in it's different venues.. Similarly, I wonder why OLC feels the need to offer a "food" festival here, concidering that TDS is already the premier culinary park of all of the Disney resorts... (yes, more so than EPCOT in my honest opinion). I guess this type of event gives OLC a chance to brag about that fact, while offering very subtle experiences to entice local guests to re-discover that aspect of TDS.

    Still... to me, the "A La Carte" event is beneath TDS (and OLC's) capabilities. "A La Carte" is a small scale event, mostly driven by the few makeovers at some restaurants and also by the abundant line of merchandise that will appeal to the young ladies who frequent this park in search of romance and a funfilled evening at TDR with thier boyfriends. Even more disappointing... all I wanted to get here was an event pin, yet, in all of the extravagant merchandise.. they forgot/did not care to produce a pin for this event. Bummer.

    I guess this is the only way I can differenciate between what EPCOT does, versus what TDS does... EPCOT aims to capture the alcohol types with some over priced wine/liquor options and expensive hors d'ouvres-type portions around the World Showcase lagoon... while TDS aims for a more sophisticated feel in order to draw the ones who can afford a luxurious experience to drop some cash on overly expensive meal menus and some fancy merchandise.
    This is the only way I can separate both events, based on what I can see so far... EPCOT of course does TDS one better... the shows at the American Garden stage. Village People anyone? YMCA!! OLC could not bring itself to dump money on a special show or parade for this event...and I think it would have been a great way to highlight some of Disney' most visible culinary characters, like the Chef from Lil Mermaid and Ratatouille. A missed opportunity here.

    Anyways... since you are dying to see some of the "A La Carte" menus, decor and merchandise..(or maybe not) then I invite you to browse thru this photo album, which also include some photos from the other regular activities held daily at the park, such as "Lido Meet and Smile", "Mythica", "BraviSEAmo!" and other stuff... Hope you enjoy.

    http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/Albu...3&a=32600505&f=

  2. #2

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    Re: TDLFAN's "Disney A La Carte" report from TDS/ Photos

    The food event looks pretty cool. They really did some snazzy overlays to the restaurant. The genie figures are very cool.
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  3. #3

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    Re: TDLFAN's "Disney A La Carte" report from TDS/ Photos

    Sounds like great culinary fun! Festa Pinochio and Genie's Cafe are catchy themes. I'll bet that the menu offerings make ones taste buds dance.
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  4. #4

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    Re: TDLFAN's "Disney A La Carte" report from TDS/ Photos

    I'm surprised they actually used the Baccus character from the original Fantasia in their main banner! And I'm really liking the Audrey version of Minnie. Very classy. Love the lighting on the Trobador Genie as well. The decorations for this event, while sparce, are definately worth the time to look at. Thank you for photographing them!

    Also, was that a quick grab I spy on photo 67?
    WARNING: Any opinions expressed by this user are wrong.

  5. #5

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    Re: TDLFAN's "Disney A La Carte" report from TDS/ Photos

    No, it was not a grab. In fact I was grabbing on to the bar of the fence behind.. and since the photo has questionable content, I have decided to delete it.

  6. #6

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    Re: TDLFAN's "Disney A La Carte" report from TDS/ Photos

    But you look like such a cute couple

    Anyway being serious TDLFAN thanks for covering the a la carte event and I think your views on this event were spot on!
    Last edited by Malin; 10-21-2007 at 01:32 PM.

  7. #7

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    Re: TDLFAN's "Disney A La Carte" report from TDS/ Photos

    The banners for the event are gorgeous and totally compliment Mediterranean Harbor.

    I'm totally in favor of leaving Cafe Portofino in a Pinocchio theme. Of course get rid of the flashy stuff but leave the stain glass windows and add some new banners to the entryway.
    Last edited by DisneySeaFan; 10-22-2007 at 02:53 PM.

  8. #8

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    Re: TDLFAN's "Disney A La Carte" report from TDS/ Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneySeaFan View Post
    The banners for the event are gorgeous and totally compliment Mediterranean Harbor.

    I'm totally in favor of leaving Cafe Portofino in a Pinocchio theme. Of course get rid of the flashy stuff but leave the stain glass winows and add some new banners to the entryway.
    Like Pinocchio's Villas in MK?
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  9. #9

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    Re: TDLFAN's "Disney A La Carte" report from TDS/ Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneySeaFan View Post
    I'm totally in favor of leaving Cafe Portofino in a Pinocchio theme. Of course get rid of the flashy stuff but leave the stain glass winows and add some new banners to the entryway.
    Hmm nice idea but wouldn't that mean totally changing the backstory to this resturant.

  10. #10

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    Re: TDLFAN's "Disney A La Carte" report from TDS/ Photos

    I don't mind the overlay for now, but I do not prefer for it to be made permanent.

  11. #11

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    Re: TDLFAN's "Disney A La Carte" report from TDS/ Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Malin View Post
    Hmm nice idea but wouldn't that mean totally changing the backstory to this resturant.
    Yes but I don't think too many will mind. It can still keep a lot of it's decor. I doubt that there would any backlash.

    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN View Post
    I don't mind the overlay for now, but I do not prefer for it to be made permanent.
    Well of course get rid of the cheesy cardboard-looking stuff but leave the nice stuff, change the name, and let the Pinocchio characters walk around in there. I think it would really draw people to the restaurant.

  12. #12

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    Re: TDLFAN's "Disney A La Carte" report from TDS/ Photos

    Great photos...

    A few weeks ago, while at TDS, I tried the S.S. Columbia dining room and its Fantasia themed Disney A La Carte menu.

    Portions were small, but it was varied, tasteful and very good.

  13. #13

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    Re: TDLFAN's "Disney A La Carte" report from TDS/ Photos

    I may be in the minority, but the overlay seems cheesy. In particular, I find the roaming face characters to be a bit disturbing.

    It's a nice change I suppose to mix things up a bit every once in a while.

  14. #14

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    Re: TDLFAN's "Disney A La Carte" report from TDS/ Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneySeaFan View Post
    Yes but I don't think too many will mind. It can still keep a lot of it's decor. I doubt that there would any backlash.

    I'm sure your right in saying it wouldn't get any backlash, but still its kind of going against what this area of the park stands for. Its kind of the same as whats happening with Discoveryland in DLRP. Management adding attractions like Buzz that don't fit the overall theme but because its such a popular attraction its added anyway minus any backstory for that area of the park. But in saying that I'm still happy to see it get added,rather have an attraction there than just an empty theatre.

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