Orlando Do-Over: Day 2, an evening out in Dowtown Disney


IMG_1247This is the SIXTH in a series of “do-over” posts that are being created to make up for the mobile blogging errors that occurred during my last trip to Orlando.

It is a well-established fact amongst those who know me that I have excellent parking mojo. At least, they’ve heard me declare it often enough to believe it might be true ;) Parking mojo tends to be somewhat less potent in the parks, as the parking attendant CMs are empowered with mojo over-ride. But outside of the parks, my parking mojo pretty much prevails. Therefore, it was no surprise to me that when Joy, Al, and I proceeded from Disney’s Animal Kingdom to Downtown Disney, we found a spot very close to Planet Hollywood without too much searching, and proceeded to Pleasure Island without further delay.

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Our chosen venue for the evening: Raglan Road, an Irish pub and restaurant located on Pleasure Island. The place boasts Irish cuisine, music, dancing and beer; indeed, there are four bars! I was soon to discover that the beer makes more than just the obvious appearance on the menu. It’s used to make a glaze for some of the dishes which is incredibly sweet and addictive.

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The toe-tapping entertainment began pretty much without delay. Irish step dancers graced the center platform as well as the small stage where a group of acoustic musicians knocked it out of the park with every number. One of the dancers even engaged a small child from the audience, coaching her on the sidelines ahead of time and then bringing her up to the stage to have a go at entertaining the crowd. Of course, the crowd ate it up along with their dinner :)

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Here’s some of that Guinness glaze I was talking about – well, had I not just about licked the bones clean, you might be able to see it better! The three of us decided to split the Appetiser D’Lirrah for Two. Knowing that restaurants over-serve everything, we figured it would be more than adequate for the three of us and we weren’t wrong. In addition to the ribs, there were also sausages, scallops and “Drunk Chicken”, made with whiskey. I actually could have added a salad to all of that and called it a night, but there was more food coming!.

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Ah, dinner – and the only disappointment of the evening. I decided to try something new – colcannon. It’s basically mashed potatoes with cabbage in it, but what I didn’t expect was half an ocean’s worth of salt. I can’t believe how much salt they put in it. I think there were little bits of bacon as well, which only exacerbated the problem. The fish, however, was delightful – Atlantic salmon, baked with a maple glaze. Wonderful!

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Here’s the band at Raglan Road. I believe their name is “Creel”. After a short break, they were at it again, full tilt. Although the language frustrates me – could it be any further from English? – I love, love, love Irish music, and the way you can trace a lot of American folk music directly back to its Irish roots. We had a lively discussion at the table concerning the origins of the banjo; I believed I remembered that it was based upon an African instrument and crossed the pond in a sort of reverse commute from America back to Ireland, but Al thought it was the other way around. Fortunately, the world has smartphones with data plans, and I was able to fire up Wikipedia to bolster my cause. Follow this link if you want to know who won that debate ;)

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We soon found ourselves waddling out of Raglan Road completely stuffed and following the sound of a classical guitar as though we were rats tuning in to the Pied Piper. We found this fellow, an “international artist of the gypsy guitar”, tossing his instrument in the air like it was a pizza and not missing a note in the process. We were enthralled, wandering away with stars in our eyes when he took a break. Food coma + music coma = bliss :)

We tried to get tickets for Characters In Flight after this, but the line was impossibly long and not moving at all, so we decided to call it a night. I drove Joy and Al back to their hotel and bid them goodbye; they flew back to Long Island aka Da Loverly Isle of Long, the very next morning.

NEXT TIME: A blue sky Disney day at EPCOT



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