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View Full Version : BOYS MEET WORLD... NEW! Crystal Palace review on p. 6


kahluacream
05-25-2006, 01:12 PM
Cast of Characters:
Me (DW) The one who makes the ADRs
Him (DH) The one who loves to eat!
Dash (DS-5) The one who would rather be dining with the Incredibles
Little Mickey (DS-2) The one who just loves that Mouse!

The Scoop on Us:
It’s our first family trip to Disney World, and we’re staying at the Wilderness Lodge. (Woo Hoo!) :banana: We have a preschooler and a toddler, both very active little boys. Clearly, Victoria and Albert’s was not going to be an option for our motley crew… :rolleyes1
Our restaurant choices had to appeal to young kids with limited patience and picky appetites. These reviews are based on what mattered most to us : the quality of food we ate, the amount of fun we had, and how fast the service was.

MAY 7:
Chef Mickey’s (Dinner)
Since it’s our first family trip to Walt Disney World, meeting Mickey and the gang was priority numero uno for our two little guys. So where do we head for our first Disney dinner? Chef Mickey’s, of course!

After a hectic morning/ afternoon of travel by car, plane, and bus; it was so relaxing to hop on the boat from the Wilderness Lodge to the Contemporary Resort. Let the vacation begin! We left at 5:00 for our 5:45 ADR, and wound up getting there about half an hour early. I changed our littlest guy into the Mickey Mouse costume that he INSISTED on wearing to this dinner. Stuffing that costume in my carry-on was worth it just to hear him say, “Mickey will just wuv dese clothes!,” over and over. Meanwhile, Dash kept stealing glimpses at all the characters in the restaurant. Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Chip and Dale were making their rounds. Poor Donald got stuck standing in the middle of the buffet area all by himself. Our boys looked so excited at the prospect of finally meeting all of the characters.

Everyone at the podium got a kick out of Mickey, Jr. “Hey, Aren’t you supposed to be working tonight?,” one of the hostesses joked with our little “mouse”. He just buried his head in my shoulder during a rare moment of shyness. After checking in at the podium, we were given a pager and directed into the line for a souvenir photo. Our pager actually went off while waiting in this line, and one of the hostesses told us we could continue to wait in the looooooooong picture line or just go ahead and be seated. Needless to say, we opted for food first. (Note: We never did make it back to have the obligatory family photo done. Oops!)

The buffet looked great—especially since we had lunch on the run earlier that day. Our boys nibbled happily on chicken tenders, pizza, and fresh fruit. They loved the make-your-own sundae bar and had so much fun piling gummy bears (of all things!) on top of their ice cream. DH almost inhaled his peel and eat shrimp, hand carved turkey and prime rib . He gave the turkey a big thumbs up. :thumbsup2 I managed a few bitefuls of parmesan mashed potatoes which were really yummy, but there was too much going on for me to really eat a full meal. You moms out there know what I’m talking about…. Juggling autograph books, a digital camera, and a camcorder while cutting your toddler’s food into bite-sized pieces does not exactly give you a chance to eat all-you-can. ;)

Overall, the character interaction was great. Dash quickly befriended Chip, and they kept giving each other the “thumbs up” sign. (Dale was a little elusive tonight.) Mickey Mouse pointed at our little Mickey, then pointed to himself, and then shrugged his shoulders as if he was confused. Will the real Mickey Mouse please stand up????

Our ratings for Chef Mickey’s:
Food: B (Good variety, buffet food sure beat the salad bar at our local Ruby Tuesday’s!)
Fun: A (Good times!)

Fast: A (Seated really quickly with ADR, prompt service)

Next up: Where can you have lunch and play air hockey at the same time? That’s where we’re headed tomorrow…

TruBlu
05-25-2006, 01:38 PM
Great review! Thanks! I love the costume story!

tinkerbeth
05-25-2006, 02:20 PM
Thanks for the great review. I'm looking forward to reading more. Chef Mickey's is our standard first night too! :)

Beth

TwingleMum
05-25-2006, 02:44 PM
Thanks for sharing Chef Mickeys is one of my 3 litle guys favorites also.

wintergreen
05-25-2006, 02:44 PM
Looking forward to the rest of the review. Our kids are getting older now, but we still look for the same things in a family meal that you do!

kyirish25
05-25-2006, 02:55 PM
Sounds like the perfect start to vacation. I bet your little Mickey got tons of attention all night.

BeckWhy
05-25-2006, 03:01 PM
After checking in at the podium, we were given a pager and directed into the line for a souvenir photo. Our pager actually went off while waiting in this line, and one of the hostesses told us we could continue to wait in the looooooooong picture line or just go ahead and be seated. Needless to say, we opted for food first. (Note: We never did make it back to have the obligatory family photo done. Oops!)

Is this photo included in the cost of the dinner or do you have to pay extra for it?

candykisses
05-25-2006, 03:05 PM
Wonderful review! Chef Mickey's is a great way to start your vacation. I'll be waiting for next review.

nluvwithmickey
05-25-2006, 03:08 PM
I agree that dinner at Chef Mickey is the best way to start a vacation. It is just so festive! The food is pretty good but I go back mostly for the atmosphere and my man Mickey, he's such a cute chef!

Princess89
05-25-2006, 03:17 PM
Is this photo included in the cost of the dinner or do you have to pay extra for it?

You have to pay extra for the photo, they bring it to your table after its processed, and you can decide whether to buy it or not.


Chef Mickey's is our first destination as well what a great way to kick off the Disney celebration.

Cannot_Wait_4Disney
05-25-2006, 03:23 PM
Is this photo included in the cost of the dinner or do you have to pay extra for it?

It is extra. They take it before you go in, then deliver it to your table where you can decide whether or not to buy it. You can buy just one sheet or the package. It was something like $30 for the package. It was priced lower than my kid's package the school takes.

3princesses4us
05-25-2006, 05:35 PM
Such a cute review! You sound like me. We have princess costumes all lined up and ready to go to WDW.

swankybeth
05-25-2006, 05:45 PM
Great first review! I bet your little one was so cute in his Mickey costume, I can just picture it. :goodvibes

3DisneyBuggs
05-25-2006, 06:19 PM
Very nice review but your title said reviews- we need more!!

Princess4Eeyore
05-26-2006, 01:32 AM
I loved your review :thumbsup2 :cool1: Thank you! Glad you all had fun! :Pinkbounc

wendy_uk
05-26-2006, 02:58 AM
Excellent review. More please tho. I am pleased chef mickeys is getting the thumbs up as we have an ADR there for my DD's 12th Birthday.

Ron from Michigan
05-26-2006, 06:47 AM
Thanks for the review. Can't wait to read the rest of your reviews. :)

momofdbsdc
05-26-2006, 07:41 AM
Great review!!! I can't wait for the rest! :thumbsup2

kahluacream
05-26-2006, 08:27 AM
Thanks for the kind words, everyone. I'd like to post a review for each restaurant we tried on the Disney Dining Plan, so maybe you can help keep me from slacking! ;)

MAY 8
TOY STORY PIZZA PLANET (Lunch)

The blast of AC felt great as soon as we walked in the doors of Pizza Planet. When we entered the restaurant at about 11:30, our immediate challenge was getting the kids past the giant room full of arcade games so that we could eat first. Let me assure you… This was no easy feat. It required planning, strategy, and a good measure of bribery to boot! (My line was, “Anyone who eats his pizza all gone gets to play air hockey!!!!!”)

DH ordered our food while the boys and I scoped out a table upstairs. The restaurant was almost empty since we were there so early. We got a nice table overlooking the games down below, which was much better than a window seat for entertaining my crew as we waited for our lunch.

It didn’t take long for DH to find us with his arms loaded down with two trays of food and drinks: personal pizzas and salads all around with huge chocolate chip cookies for dessert. The pizzas were so-so, but our Dash declared, “Buzz makes the best pizza ever!” The salad tasted like the prewashed variety you buy in a bag at your local grocery store. (In other words, for my kids, it was just like the kind mom makes. :laughing: ) Hey, at least we were eating something green! I’d say the cookies were probably the highlight of the meal… How can you go wrong with anything involving chocolate chips!?

When we finished eating, the Disney cleaning crew made a beeline for our table. This was something we experienced at just about every counter service restaurant; I think that’s the good old “Disney difference” at work for you; crumbs and trash disappear magically!

After lunch, we headed downstairs to make good on my air hockey deal with the boys. We started feeding dollar bills into the coin machine, and the kids would have happily stayed there all day. DH finally whispered, “We can play arcade games at home. Let’s get these kids out of here!!!” Al’s Toy Barn was close by, and all it took was an offer to meet Buzz and Woody to get us out the door…

Our ratings for Toy Story Pizza Planet:
Food: C (Average)
Fast: A (Only because we went early, there was a crowd when we left!)
Fun: B+ (The arcade was entertaining for little boys, and they loved the fact that they were at the infamous Pizza Planet.)

Next up: Our waiter yodels while serving us dinner. Can you guess where?

wilma-bride
05-26-2006, 10:57 AM
Can't think where the next review is coming from :confused3

Loved both reviews though - think we will skip Pizza Planet as our girls are not big Toy Story fans anyway. Would love to try Chef Mickeys though. Your little lad sounds adorable in his MM costume - have you got any pics?

jillyjoey
05-26-2006, 12:00 PM
Applause -- Applause. Your reviews are awesome -- information and very entertaining. Are you are writer by profession - -if not, you should be. Cannot wait for the next installment.

kahluacream
05-30-2006, 03:19 PM
Thanks for the compliment, but I'm not a writer. I certainly did have a lot to say about the next place we ate, though, so here goes...

MAY 8:
Whispering Canyon Cafe (Dinner)
Since we were staying at the WL, Whispering Canyon Café seemed like a great choice for a fun family dinner. It’s impossible not to overhear some of the antics from this restaurant when you wander around the incredible hotel lobby. Dash and Little Mickey had heard the hooting and hollering from afar, and they wanted in!

Let me give you some pertinent background information before I launch into our dinner ‘experience’… Both of our boys have entered this “girls are yucky” phase, so they prefer male servers in restaurants. (This sounds utterly ridiculous as I type it… Sorry!) Since all of the waiters at WCC wear western-style hats, Dash and Little Mickey thought these guys were real cowboys live and in the flesh. When we checked in at the podium, I mentioned that our little buckaroos would love to have a cowboy (with added emphasis on the ‘boy’ part!) for our server this evening. At the time, I was just trying to request a waiter as opposed to a waitress. What I didn’t realize was that each server at the WCC plays a part and has a persona; one of them being a cowboy-- the yodeling cowboy to be exact. Our hostess was very sweet about honoring my inane request, and secured us a table in the yodeling cowboy’s section. We were seated immediately. This would usually be a good thing, but the waiting area at WCC has a Lincoln log table that our kids just didn’t want to leave. Once I told them that we were going to meet a cowboy, though, it was all good!

Our table placed us right in the middle of all the action. We heard a waiter yell, “This is the last iced tea I will bring you!” as he placed what looked like a huge jug of tea in front of an embarrassed customer. Dash leaned over to whisper in my ear, “That wasn’t very nice manners, Mom!” Then a ketchup brigade raced by when a neighboring table requested the ever-popular red condiment. Now little Mickey looked confused… What in the world was going on here???

When we met our server, he introduced himself as the yodeling cowboy and began to yodel to us. In all of my thirty four years, I don’t think anyone has ever serenaded me with a yodel! What made this experience even more unique was that someone in the WCC actually answered his yodel!!! It wasn’t another cast member, but a red-haired girl who looked to be about nine or ten and was sitting behind us with her parents. No one in the restaurant knew she possessed a secret talent until she sprang to life with this amazing yodeling voice. You could almost hear a collective gasp from the crowd… There was another yodeler amongst us! She and the cowboy got into a little bit of a yodeling match, and I would have to say that she won hands down. Everyone in the restaurant broke into applause, and it felt like a very Disney moment!

Up to this point, we haven’t even tasted a bite of food . Dash and Little Mickey couldn’t even drink their drinks because they were delivered without straws. When the yodeling cowboy returned, Dash politely requested a straw. “You want straws, do you?,” the cowboy joked as he threw about twenty straws at the kids. Dash, who is the king of “please” and “thank you”, shot me another confused look. Little Mickey, on the other hand, cracked up and used this as a license for throwing things. You could almost hear his mind working, “Awesome! If the waiter can do it, then I can, too!” This was his kind of place, for sure. ;)

When our food arrived, my DH was as happy as a pig in slop. (This simile works here because he did, in fact, make quite a pig of himself!) He ordered the all-you-can eat skillet which he declared fantastic. The ribs, pulled pork, chicken, and sausage smelled so good that I developed a bad case of entrée envy. Have you ever experienced this? It’s when someone at your table orders a meal that smells and looks ten times better than your own pick! As Swiper would say, “Aww, Man!” (I know you get this reference if you have preschoolers.) I tried to travel the health-conscious route, and selected the sautéed grouper for myself. What was I thinking?! :confused3 Sheesh, this is a VACATION, after all… My fish was good, but not nearly as impressive as my DH’s feast. He shared his corn bread with me, though… Yum! I also loved the apple cider vinaigrette dressing on the mixed greens salad. As for Dash and Little Mickey, the grilled cheese kids’ meal received two big thumbs up! :thumbsup2 :thumbsup2

As we finished our dinner, cast members started lining kids up for a stick horse race. Our boys hurried to the front of the restaurant, and claimed their wooden ponies. I stayed close by since Little Mickey was one of the younger participants, and I didn’t want him to get trampled by the masses. No worries, though... Little Mickey was definitely bringing it tonight, and he kicked it right into high gear. In fact, he was one of the first to cross the finish line! It was so cute to watch both boys gallop around the restaurant. One of the cast members made all of the children take a funny oath at the end where they promised to eat all their vegetables and never visit Universal Studios, and then he presented them each with a certificate.

Dash and Little Mickey galloped back to the table, and it was time to order dessert. The stick horse race gave Little Mickey a taste of freedom, though, and he no longer wanted to be confined to the likes of a chair. Stuffed, we decided to decline dessert. Cowboy Hill Bill, the yodeler, offered to pack up our desserts for us when we told him that our little guys were getting restless. (He talked us into taking the desserts with us since we were paying for them anyway on the dining plan.) So, we exited with a huge to-go bag filled with two orders of “worms in the dirt” and two pieces of kahlua chocolate cake. (These made great late-night snacks for us later, and the chocolate cake was sooooo good!)

Overall, this was a fantastic meal! Here’s how we rated it:

Food: A (Delicious!)
Fun: A+ (Great time!)
Fast: A (Wonderful service)

Next up: Easy one... Where can you have breakfast with dinosaur theme and a duck?

zurgswife
05-30-2006, 03:33 PM
Glad you enjoyed your trip to WCC....The cowboy in my siggie picture is our favorite waiter at WCC...actually he is the only waiter I will ever get at WCC. I consider him one of the best shows at Disney..

disneynewbee
05-30-2006, 03:43 PM
Thanks for the great reviews. We also have kiddos so we'll be going to most of the same restaurants. I love hearing the reviews of the kid friendly restaurants. Guess my kids will love Whispering Canyon since they love any excuse to act up.

nluvwithmickey
05-30-2006, 04:08 PM
So glad I have an ADR for WCC! I cannot wait to see this for myself. The food seems delicious too.


First CM's, then WCC up next...I guessed it but I won't spill the beans. We have ADR's for all of the restaurants you have been to so far. Can't wait to read what's up next.

swankybeth
05-30-2006, 04:15 PM
Great reviews! Looking forward to reading your next "mystery" review. :donald:

BeckWhy
05-30-2006, 04:30 PM
OMG How fun was your experience! I love it! I can't wait to have kids to take them there. My bf and I will be eating there in Sept. I am so excited!

kaysmommie
05-30-2006, 04:37 PM
Great Reviews! :thumbsup2 We can't wait for our ADR in September. DD6 will probably be a little shocked by some of the antics like your DS was. We also have a DS who just turned 2 and loves Mickey. Your reviews will help me out alot because our kids are around the same age. Alos we have ADR for Chef Mickey's our first night so DS can see Mickey. I guess alot of people think this is a good first meal at WDW. :banana:

Tinkerbell_Girl
05-30-2006, 04:38 PM
Thanks for the great WCC review! I can't wait to eat there in Sept!

misslissa
05-30-2006, 05:16 PM
I am loving your reviews! Thanks so much. :goodvibes I can't wait to go to WCC, we have never been and it is going to be on the first night of our trip. :cool1:

bigbabyblues
05-30-2006, 06:03 PM
You're reviews are great! I had my then 3-yo convinced that the games at Pizza Planet were for big kids, doubt that will fly next time though, he'll be 6 and a lot smarter.....

WCC was on my maybe list, but it got moved to the "must do" after your review, I loved it!

dbenlee
05-30-2006, 06:37 PM
Glad you enjoyed your trip to WCC....The cowboy in my siggie picture is our favorite waiter at WCC...actually he is the only waiter I will ever get at WCC. I consider him one of the best shows at Disney..

Zurgswife, the cowboy "waiter" in your siggie picture was in top form last year when we were there. A child sitting at one of his tables lost a tooth during dinner. As soon as he found out he called the whole restaurants attention to it. He then proceded to inform all of the children there that if they lost a tooth while at WDW no to expect the tooth fairy to leave them any money. He quickly went on to explain that the tooth fairy had no rights on Disney property and that Tinker Bell did the job of the tooth fairy at WDW and she paid $20 per tooth! You could almost hear a collective gasp from everyone there, the kids with excitement and the adults with dismay. Our DS6 immediately went to work on the one lose tooth he had hoping that it would come out before we left Disney.

kahluacream, these are some great reviews. I look forward to reading your others.

Alexsma
05-30-2006, 09:02 PM
Wow WCC sound great for our group there are 11 of us we can't wait. Less than 2 weeks our ADR for WCC is dinner our first night there!!! Yeah!! We opted for Chef Mickey's later in the week to wind down the magic :wave2:

lexmelinda
05-31-2006, 06:08 AM
Thanks for the fabulous and detailed reviews. I have a little guy, too and I made ADRs at WCC especially for him. I hope he enjoys it as much as your guys did. Can't wait to read your other reviews! :)

3DisneyBuggs
05-31-2006, 08:03 AM
Love your reviews! I was having second thoughts about the WCC but now I will be sure to ask for the cowboy. My kids would love him too.

phisigprincess
05-31-2006, 10:20 AM
I had fun just reading your review, I can only imagine being there!!! I'm making an ADR for WCC in Dec. and opting not to tell DFi what to expect. Should be fun. :)

NurseGodwin
05-31-2006, 09:08 PM
Amazing reviews - thanks for sharing your memories with us!

kahluacream
06-01-2006, 02:01 PM
Thanks for all the replies, everyone. Those of you lucky enough to have WCC ADR's will love it! It's definitely on my family's list of restaurants we would like to visit again. And now, here's my latest review:

May 9, 2006
Donald's Breakfastosaurus

I have a little confession to make… Dining with Donald did not appeal to us for the food (which has gotten less than stellar reviews here on the DIS) or for the characters (most of whom we’d met at Chef Mickey’s on our arrival day). It was all about Expedition Everest! Eating early at Donald’s Breakfastosaurus would place us in the middle of the park before it opened to the public, and we hoped to beat the crowds to EE. :woohoo:

When we left the WL by bus, it was raining. When our bus pulled into Disney’s AK, it was pouring!!! There was a small queue of Donald’s Breakfast-goers being admitted to the park over on the right side of the entrance. We braved the torrential rain, passed through the turnstiles, and rented a double stroller before sloshing across the bridge into Dinoland. There were some poncho-wearing Cast Members lining the path to the restaurant and directing us where to go. “Take your time at the buffet,” one CM told us. “None of the rides will operate as long as there is thunder.” Awww man! So much for EE, I thought.

As we approached the restaurant, a sizeable crowd of wet and hungry people waited to be seated. DH went to check us in as I parked our stroller. I spotted some empty tables on the front porch of the restaurant. The challenge, however, was getting Dash and Little Mickey out of the pouring rain with the entrance blocked by everyone waiting to check in. A man sitting with his family on the porch saw the desperate look on my face, and offered to help. I hoisted my children over the railing and into the arms of a complete stranger, and then climbed over to join them. I still haven’t figured out the answer to this little conundrum: Do nicer-than-regular people visit Disney World or does being in Disney World just make regular people nicer??? Whatever the case, I was as grateful for this nice man’s help as I was for finally being dry again! :goodvibes

Within a matter of minutes, a CM called our name to be seated. She ushered in four or five groups of people at the same time. Mr. Nice’s family was seated at the table right next to ours. Our server invited all of us to start at the buffet before the lines got long, and said that she would be back for our drink order.

Up until now, our vacation breakfasts had consisted mostly of cold cereal and Pop Tarts. The big buffets in front of us looked really good, and it was a nice change of pace from grabbing something on the go. The “cold” line contained fruits and yogurt along with an assortment of bagels, muffins, croissants, and—my weakness—Krispy Kreme doughnuts. There was a second hot buffet with a much longer line. (It moved quickly, though.) Little Mickey headed straight for the bacon, while I managed to serve myself some quiche and breakfast potatoes. DH loaded up on the breakfast pizza and some eggs. Something seemed to be wrong with Dash; he didn’t want to eat much of anything.

Once seated back at the table, we got started on our meal before the characters arrived. I don’t know if it was the lack of quality breakfasts we had been eating in our room or the whole cold, rainy morning thing; but this hot breakfast tasted surprisingly good to me. There was no need to rush due to the weather, so we just took our time and enjoyed being together. We looked around the restaurant a bit, and pointed out some of the dinosaur bones and decorations to our dino-loving boys. Aside from hanging prehistoric-themed decorations on the walls and dressing the characters in dinosaur print shirts, Disney didn’t really seem to do as much with the whole dino theme as they could have here. :confused3

Anyway, Goofy ambled over to our table first. As he posed for pictures with our kiddos, Dash started patting his face. I got a really cute shot of him inspecting Goofy’s whiskers! Donald, Mickey, and Pluto also joined us for photos. They came and went pretty quickly, without quite as much interaction as we had from the characters over at Chef Mickey’s. The boys were happy just to meet Pluto for the first time, and added his autograph to their collection. Nice man’s wife, seated beside us, asked if I could take a picture of their family with Mickey. It felt good to be able to help them after Mr. Nice saved us from the rain!

At this point in the meal, we noticed that Dash had not eaten anything. I asked him if he wanted a doughnut, and he even turned that down. :sad2: DH and I looked at each other and came to the only logical conclusion…. If he’s refusing Krispy Kremes, Dash must be sick! His forehead felt warm, so we decided to get the check. Our waitress gave us directions to the first aid center where, she explained, a registered nurse could take his temperature and administer a dose of Children’s Tylenol or Motrin. We thanked her, said goodbye to the nice family, and made a quick exit into what was now just a light mist of rain.

Here’s how we rated this character breakfast:
Food: B (B is for Better than expected!!)
Fun: B- (Character visits were a little brief IMHO.)
Fast: B (Pretty good overall.)

Next up: We’re headed to Africa for a tasty lunch… Can you guess where?

gshumaker
06-01-2006, 02:47 PM
Thanks for the great reviews....keep 'em coming!!

swankybeth
06-01-2006, 04:17 PM
Great review, looking forward to the next one. Hope little Dash was ok! :worried:

kahluacream
06-01-2006, 07:58 PM
Thanks for thinking of Dash, SwankyBeth. The nurse said that his temperature was normal, and he ended up having so much fun at AK. The morning rain seemed to keep the crowds down and cooled things off for us, too. It was a great day! :)

SandraVB79
06-02-2006, 04:42 AM
I must have seen you going to Restaurantosaurus, because I have been waiting at the park entrance for about an hour in the rain that day!! (yeah, stupid hotel shuttle drops you off that early)

I was the one in white t-shirt not wearing a poncho... green of envy of those who had breakfast-with-Donald ADRs! :rolleyes1

CrzyforPiglet
06-02-2006, 06:40 AM
Love the reviews! We haven't been to WCC for about 5 years but reading your review made me want to go back - today! Alas, I'll have to wait a little over a year to make that happen but it will definitely been in my plans. We were also thinking of Donald's Breakfastosaurus which doesn't sound like the best we could do but not the worst meal out there. We've never done it before and will have a 2 year old ourselves when we go again so I think we'll go for it.

Thanks again!

richard_andmel
06-02-2006, 07:39 AM
Great reviews. Thanks for sharing. :)

janets
06-02-2006, 07:59 AM
Because of Zurgswife, we made sure we had Bobby Joe for our server in February for ds8's birthday dinner. It was hands down the best meal we've ever had. He is absolutely the best server at WCC. When we went back in April, we had another server who was training. While a very nice woman, no special "character" behavior and she even mixed up some of our order. The supervising server quickly corrected it and I'm not one to get stressed, especially at WCC, so we were all very cool and easy about the whole thing. But w/o Bobby Joe, it's just not the same fun.

I also heard from the supervising server that due to some customer complaints, Bobby Joe was toning down his whole routine. What a shame! People go to WCC specifically for the interaction and to think patrons just didn't "get it" and therefore the best server had to tone himself down just upsets me. I could understand if this happened at CG or V&A (which it never would) but WCC is a "theme" restaurant. Too bad people get so easily offended.

Kimball, I know you and the family are going back during free dining (you'll be there shortly before we will) so when you see Bobby Joe, send regards from us. He probably won't remember us (so many guests to serve) but when we were there for ds8's birthday the first weekend of February, he did a song/dance for the men in the restaurant and while dancing across the room, tripped over a high chair and made a spectacular crash onto the floor. Popped up like it was part of the routine and kept going. As far as I was concerned, it was priceless. He also brought all the little girls in the restaurant over to our table to sing to ds8, as well as brought out 2 birthday desserts so that ds3 wouldn't feel left out. You can be assured my tip was well over 20% that night.

Grumpy'n'Goofy
06-02-2006, 08:14 AM
GREAT reviews!!!

Do nicer-than-regular people visit Disney World or does being in Disney World just make regular people nicer???

I honestly think it's a little of both, we've witnessed some wonderful "niceness" at WDW that you just don't find in other places.

I sure hope Dash got over his sickness...

SheenaXena21
06-02-2006, 10:08 AM
Great reviews! We didn't like the food at DB. Off day, I guess. Glad you all had a better experience.

luciloo
06-05-2006, 11:23 AM
Great Reviews, can't wait to read more pixiedust:

LK03
06-05-2006, 12:19 PM
I am absolutely loving your reviews over here! You should write children books, so much detail, you feel as if you are there with Little Mickey!

tinagirl
06-05-2006, 08:05 PM
Please Please post more.

These are awesome!

kahluacream
06-05-2006, 08:10 PM
May 9, 2006
Tusker House (Lunch)

Tucked away inside the Animal Kingdom’s version of Africa, we found a cool and quiet spot to graze: Tusker House. The kids and I sat down while DH went to grab our grub. I should mention here that the dining plan really threw poor DH for a loop. For some reason, this man who can manage multi-million dollar deals in the office had a hard time differentiating between what constituted a snack credit versus a dessert. Counter service??? :confused3 Table service??? :confused3 The lingo just didn’t seem to jive with my better half.

Fortunately, the CMs at Tusker House were as patient as they were friendly. They explained exactly what the dining plan covered, and even made sure that he included our desserts! DH headed for our table with a perfect assortment of drinks, entrees, kids’ meals, and sweets. He done good! :thumbsup2

If you’ve been following along, you might have noticed that Dash and Little Mickey always order the same thing. Although their personalities are as different as night and day, they are best buddies who like to be “a match” in just about everything they do! So when Dash asked for mac ‘n cheese, it was a pretty safe bet that Little Mickey would want the same. Much to Little Mickey’s delight, the kids’ meal included tiny Mickey Mouse-shaped cheese crackers. Dash called them “hidden Mickeys” because they were hiding in his lunch! :rotfl: The boys were too full for their applesauce, but mysteriously found enough room for chocolate cake. Hmmmm…

As for the “grown-up food,” Tusker House didn’t disappoint. I tried the turkey wrap with corn chowder, while DH had the fried chicken sandwich with fries. A few bites of the chocolate cake completed our lunch; it was very rich. We didn’t realize until watching a Tusker House segment on a Food Network special after returning home that the rotisserie chicken probably would have been a better choice. It looked so good that I actually experienced post-trip entrée envy!!!!

While we were finishing up our lunch, DH leaned over and lowered his voice. “Hon,” he asked. “Why do you think that guy over there keeps taking pictures of his food?” :lmao: This is when I had to explain to DH all about the DIS boards, and how people post pictures of Disney food to help others decide where to eat. I told him that this seemingly odd man was probably just one of my peeps from the DIS! DH just shook his head and looked at me in disbelief. So, if you were photographing your entire meal at Tusker House around 11:30 on Tuesday, May 9th…. We saw you! :wave2:


Our ratings for Tusker House:
Fast- A (Awesome CMs!)
Food- B (Good food… should’ve ordered the rotisserie chicken, though!)
Fun- B (No real entertainment or fun factor here, but the kids were happy and this was a convenient stop after Kilimanjaro Safari.)

Next up: Can you guess where we ended up when we let the kids decide our fate for dinner???

notnothin
06-05-2006, 08:40 PM
This is a great review. It sounds like you all had a wonderful vacation!

SandraVB79
06-06-2006, 03:21 AM
While we were finishing up our lunch, DH leaned over and lowered his voice. “Hon,” he asked. “Why do you think that guy over there keeps taking pictures of his food?” This is when I had to explain to DH all about the DIS boards, and how people post pictures of Disney food to help others decide where to eat. I told him that this seemingly odd man was probably just one of my peeps from the DIS! DH just shook his head and looked at me in disbelief. So, if you were photographing your entire meal at Tusker House around 11:30 on Tuesday, May 9th…. We saw you!


TG it was a guy, otherwise, it would have been me!!!

PS: The salmon is DELICIOUS at Tusker House!!!

Minniespal
06-06-2006, 03:25 AM
Excellent review ~ Thanx for sharing.

stacy347
06-06-2006, 07:40 AM
Awesome reviews, thanks so much for sharing! :thanks:


We were watching that same Food Network show that featured Tusker House recently and as soon as we saw that food, we decided to switch our CS on AK day from Pizzafari to Tusker House ~ we can't wait to try it!! :thumbsup2

clhcpaca
06-06-2006, 09:57 AM
Great Reviews :banana:

Tusker House is one of my favorite counter service meals---both the chicken and salmon are fantastic. Plus, It is air-conditioned :cheer2:

Cindy

phisigprincess
06-06-2006, 10:00 AM
The Hidden Mickeys in his lunch is too cute!! :)

lissawynn
06-06-2006, 11:12 AM
Great reviews! I can totally relate to your entree envy. My DH gets this all the time when he orders something and what I've picked always seems better to him. I had a terrible case of sandwich envy on our last trip to Earl of Sandwich. My sister got the Chicken Florentine (sp?) and I had the mozzerella, tomato, and basil. No comparison there. Her sandwich kicked my sandwich's butt.
I also love the reference to Swiper. I'm going to be taking the Rescue Pack on my July trip. :sunny:

carolinagirl
06-06-2006, 11:57 AM
Enjoying the reviews....subbing!

kahluacream
06-22-2006, 02:29 PM
After a long break (sorry!), I'm back with another review.

Still Tuesday, May 9th
Dinner at Roaring Forks (Wilderness Lodge Counter Service)

Our original plan for dinner at ‘Ohanas got scrapped by the dynamic duo, Little Mickey and his big brother Dash. They absolutely LOVED everything about the Wilderness Lodge, and begged us to have dinner and pool time at the hotel because they didn’t want to leave. Ever. So we did something that goes completely against my obsessive-compulsive nature…. We cancelled our ADR and just winged it!!!

When we entered Roaring Forks at 5:30, the newly refurbished restaurant looked more like a ghost town. If you don’t count a few pesky flies buzzing around the tables, we had the joint to ourselves. We looked around and took in the rustic feel of the place. In keeping with the “wilderness” resort theme, we noticed a slate floor and stone-covered walls. It was so dark in there that Little Mickey asked if we were eating in a cave!

As for the eats, the menu featured typical food-court fare (think pizza, cheeseburgers, chicken strips) as well as a few updated sandwiches (turkey and brie, roast beef and blue cheese, grilled veggies on multigrain bread). There were also large glass cases filled with plenty of options for snacks and dessert. Our boys wanted to skip dinner and just sample the large cookies and Mickey rice krispies (or is it rice krispy???) treats… It spells y-u-m-m-y either way for my kids!

Time to place our order. It went something like this:


Me- What would you boys like to eat?
Dash- A hot dog.
Me- They don’t have hot dogs.
Dash- Grilled cheese, please.
Me- Nope.
Dash- Well, do they have ANYTHING for five year-olds?
Me- Hmmmm…I see a four year-old menu and a six-year old menu, but it looks like the fivers are our of luck. Sorry. No food for you!
Dash- Confused look, then big brown eyes start to fill with tears… Uh-oh!
Me- I’m just kidding, sweetie. They have chicken nuggets.
Dash (now excited)- With a Happy Meal toy?!?!
Little Mickey- I want a Happy Meal toy! I want a Happy Meal toy!

You see, it wasn’t starting off so well. My little junk-food junkies ended up with kids meals consisting of chicken nuggets, apple sauce, and fries. They started with the fries, took about one bite of the apple sauce, and then refused to touch their entree. Roaring Forks chicken nuggets got two big thumbs down from the dynamic duo. Apparently, they just weren’t up to the impossibly high standards of my nugget connoisseurs. DH wasn’t overly impressed with his cheeseburger either. What a bunch of whiners! :rolleyes:

As for me, I had a delicious sandwich. I’d highly recommend the roast beef and blue cheese on focaccia bread. I could have eaten two... or three. No more size 6 for me! Seriously, it was sooooo good.

Here’s how we rated Roaring Forks:
Food: C- (I was the only one who liked my food!)
Fast: A (for dinner around 5:30)
Note: We also grabbed breakfast there one morning around 8. The place was packed, and the line almost wrapped around the place. D rating for “fast” in the morning.
Fun: C (No entertainment value whatsoever… It’s just a quick & convenient place to grab a bite!)

Next up: Lunch at the Magic Kingdom with a prime table for people-watching… Can you guess where?

eeyore45
06-22-2006, 02:37 PM
Thank you thank you thank you!!

We're staying for the first time at WL, good to know about those wrap around crowds!! and I definately have a chicken nugget conniesuer!!!

:thumbsup2

really enjoying your reviews, thank you so much for sharing your story - :rotfl: about dh and his comments!! Too true!! :wizard:

kahluacream
06-22-2006, 08:31 PM
We're staying for the first time at WL, good to know about those wrap around crowds!! and I definately have a chicken nugget conniesuer!!!



You'll love the WL!!! I don't know if we just hit Roaring Forks on a bad day, but the breakfast crowd was huge. Have a great trip. :)

kahluacream
07-05-2006, 02:53 AM
Wednesday, May 10
Lunch at Columbia Harbour House

After a busy morning on Wednesday at the MK, our family of four had worked up quite an appetite. We hoped to find a place to grab some grub, cool off, and escape the growing crowds for a little bit. Columbia Harbour House fit the bill nicely.

While reading these boards before our vacay, I learned this little tip: CHH has an upstairs dining room. It may not seem like much of a revelation, but people didn’t seem to know it existed. While everyone else found their way to tables on the main level, we headed upstairs to an almost empty dining room thanks to some of you DISers out there. :disrocks:

It was a little dark in this restaurant. We spotted a table directly under a window upstairs where the boys and I had a bird’s eye view of the Magic Kingdom. They loved watching the people in Liberty Square, and it was cool to have our own “window to the World.” Little Mickey wanted to know why a small child was crying down below, while Dash checked out what where the “big kids” (like himself at the ripe old age of five!!!) were going. DH made it up to our table in no time with a big tray of food.

Everything looked great! It was not your typical “fast food”; even the kids’ meals seemed… gasp… healthy. No French fries! ‘Nuff said. The boys ate chilled chicken strips, cubes of cheddar cheese, red grapes and little Mickey-shaped cheese crackers. They loved their meals. :lovestruc

I ordered the Garden Galley salad. This was a yummy mix of mixed greens with chicken, pineapple, pecans and feta cheese. Delicious if you’re into what DH refers to as “girly” salads. DH is not! He opted for the “anchors away” tuna sandwich with some chips, and gave it his seal of approval. :thumbsup2 We all polished off some triple chocolate cake for dessert, and worked our way back through the crowds to Mickey’s Philharmagic. (Which we LOVED… but that’s a topic for another board!)

Here’s how we rated our meal at CHH:
Food: A- (Great meal for Counter Service)
Fast: A (Great service)
Fun: B (No professional entertainment, but people watching from our table was very entertaining!)

Next up: Meat and potatoes for dinner at the Concourse Steakhouse!

BeckWhy
07-05-2006, 08:14 AM
I think I know the table you sat at! We always try to sit there when we are at CHH. I love people watching!

Ashley80
07-05-2006, 09:18 AM
I wish I would have known about that upstairs level when we were there! :crazy: At least now I know! :thumbsup2 DH and I LOVED the fried fish!! DS6 wasn't into his "chilled" chicken, but liked the rest of it!

Love your reviews, keep em comin'! :teeth:

BeckWhy
07-05-2006, 11:10 AM
I wish I would have known about that upstairs level when we were there! :crazy: At least now I know! :thumbsup2 DH and I LOVED the fried fish!! DS6 wasn't into his "chilled" chicken, but liked the rest of it!

Love your reviews, keep em comin'! :teeth:

Yeah... chilled chicken... I don't like cold chicken... ewww

Shell0616
07-05-2006, 07:28 PM
I am loving your reviews! Thank you so much.... :thumbsup2

PureTcrazy
07-05-2006, 08:00 PM
Thanks for the reviews. I am definitely going to try CHH out my next trip.

deide71
07-05-2006, 11:46 PM
Thanks so much for taking the time to post your reviews!

newfamilyman
07-06-2006, 12:36 AM
I ordered the Garden Galley salad. This was a yummy mix of mixed greens with chicken, pineapple, pecans and feta cheese. Delicious if you’re into what DH refers to as “girly” salads. DH is not!

All right, I have to ask--what does your DH regard as a "manly" salad? And isn't that an oxymoron? I guess I like "girly" salads because that sounds pretty good to me.

The Sweetness
07-06-2006, 07:16 AM
Everything looked great! It was not your typical “fast food”; even the kids’ meals seemed… gasp… healthy. No French fries! ‘Nuff said. The boys ate chilled chicken strips, cubes of cheddar cheese, red grapes and little Mickey-shaped cheese crackers. They loved their meals. :lovestruc



How great that your kids enjoy *healthy * options! I just wish that all CS would offer their specialty (fish, at CHH) as a childrens meal option as well. It doesnt seem fair that our kids on the DDP cant get similar meals to ours, appropriately sized :guilty:

Dawson'sMom
07-06-2006, 01:29 PM
Great Reviews! After reading the WCC review I called to get an ADR for us in September. I gave up 1900 Park Fare because this just sounds go great for my DS7. I really think he will have a much better time at WCC.
Can't wait are there more reviews coming?

kahluacream
07-06-2006, 02:03 PM
All right, I have to ask--what does your DH regard as a "manly" salad? And isn't that an oxymoron? I guess I like "girly" salads because that sounds pretty good to me.

This is me right now: :rotfl:

Truth be told, DH isn't big on salads. He would never, EVER eat a salad for an entire meal-- even if it's topped with shrimp or chicken. He avoids fancy lettuce like the plague.

Ever heard of a wedge salad? It's basically a big hunk of iceberg lettuce, some tomatoes, and bacon smothered in blue cheese dressing. That's his favorite! He'd say that's a man's salad. :thumbsup2

kahluacream
07-06-2006, 02:20 PM
Sweetness - It would be nice if restaurants offered child-sized portions from the regular menu. My kids just help themselves to MY plate!!!! :rolleyes:

Dawson's mom - More to come... eventually... Promise! :teeth:

kahluacream
07-09-2006, 01:28 PM
Wednesday, May 10
Dinner at Concourse Steakhouse

A leisurely boat ride connected our digs at the Wilderness Lodge to the Contemporary Resort. Many moons ago, I described our first night of Disney dining at Chef Mickey’s Restaurant. Tonight we ventured back to the Contemporary to try the Concourse Steakhouse. (I love me some filet mignon!) :love: Meeting Chef Mickey BEFORE dining here is a must if you have little ones. Once we arrived on the expansive fourth floor of the hotel, we heard all the fun sounds emanating from the Steakhouse’s flashier neighbor. I was a little worried that the boys might want to jump ship and greet their favorite mouse again. Fortunately, this did not phase Dash and Little Mickey a bit. They’d already been there, done that.

When we approached the podium at 5 p.m., an empty restaurant greeted us. We always shoot for an early lunch (11ish) and an early dinner (5ish) when we eat out with the dynamic duo. You see, our boys come equipped with internal timers for meals. The timer starts ticking the second we enter a restaurant. They can be sweet, adorable, and compliant for about one hour—give or take a few more minutes for Dash and a few less for Little Mickey. Tick! Tick! Tick! When our tiny human time bombs go off, then it gets ugly. Very ugly. (As in U-G-L-Y; you ain’t got no alibi!!! Does anyone remember that kind of ugly?!) DH and I shudder to hear the Mickster utter the three scariest words in his vocabulary: “I’M ALL DONE!” Because when a two-year old is all done, EVERYONE is all done. No soup for you!

Sorry for the rant. Just a little tip… If your kids have a finite amount of patience at mealtimes, it’s sooooooo worth it to eat ahead of the crowd. Zero wait for a table usually buys us more time with our ticking time bombs… which means we might actually be able to EAT some of our food. Enough said.

Where was I? After checking in at the podium, we were seated almost immediately at a nice table on the far right side of the restaurant. This removed our family pretty far from Chef Mickey's napkin twirling and celebratory dances. Our server greeted us right away, and jotted down our drink order. The kids’ Kim Possible placemats-slash-menus listed “electric light potions” as beverages. They sounded fun, so I asked if these drinks were included on the dining plan. Nope. Oh well, we ordered one Radiant Red Fusion for Dash and one Brilliant Blue Berry Goo for Little Mick anyway. How can you possibly pass up names like those? A few rounds of tic tac toe kept us busy while waiting for these exotic concoctions to arrive. Dash takes this game very seriously; Little Mickey haphazardly places Xs and Os all over the board to declare himself the “winnew” (winner) every time.

The drinks arrived, and we placed our order. DH selected pan seared scallops and a ribeye steak (medium rare) with onion rings. I couldn’t pass up the lobster bisque along with a filet (medium) and garlic mashed potatoes. “Grilled cheese, please!,” requested Dash. Not to be outdone, Little Mickey shouted, “Me too!”… pause… “Pweeease?” The server smiled and informed the boys that they also could have either shrimp cocktail or a salad for an app, so they opted for salads.

The boys eyed up their drinks. Their concoctions resembled blue and red bubbly soda with plastic light-up glow cubes floating in them. One sip each, and “yuck!” was the unanimous verdict. What?!?! I thought that these drinks would taste like my childhood favorite, the good old Shirley Temple. I took a sip of the red one. Ewww! It tasted like colored club soda, without any trace of sweetness. Radiant Red Fusion may have a cooler name, but I’ll stick with my dear Shirley Temple any day. (Maybe the soda machine was out of syrup and we just got a bad one?) :confused3 The blue drink tasted a little better… but not much. Oh well! The glow cubes were cool, and we were in Disney World. Yay! No worries here.

As we nibbled on our appetizers, the boys couldn’t keep their eyes off of the monorail silently speeding over our heads. This is, after all, Little Mickey’s favorite “ride.” (He really thinks of it as a ride, not just transportation.) Their faces lit up each time a new train made its way near the restaurant. Then the waving began. :wave: Incessant waving. They waved their little hands so hard at each and every monorail car I thought their appendages might actually fall off from all the effort. Nonetheless, it kept them occupied while I ate my soup. The lobster bisque was a little bit salty, but still delicious. (I never met a bisque I didn’t like!!!) DH enjoyed his scallops, and the boys picked at the croutons out of their salads in between waves.

A cast member (not our server) promptly delivered our entrees soon after we finished the appetizers. Question: Why is it that your “server” never actually serves you your meal???? It seems like some stranger always appears out of thin air bearing your food. Server is a bit of a misnomer-- not a whole lot of serving going on from the actual “server”. What’s up with that?

Anyhoo, it really didn’t matter who brought our food because it was here. And it was good! For those who frequent big chain restaurants like we do, I would rate the quality of CSH steaks better than Outback but not as good as, say, the cuts of meat which arrive sizzling in butter at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. The chef here cooked our meat to order perfectly; not overdone or underdone. It was just right! I almost finished my last bite of mashed potatoes when it happened…. “I’M ALL DONE,” announced Little Mickey in his loudest outside voice. Oh no! I quickly suggested a little “field trip” to the bathroom as a diversion so that DH and Dash could finish their meals.

We returned just in time for dessert: a Mickey brownie for Dash, the Painter’s Palette for Little Mickey, and a crème brulee for moi. (DH passed on dessert this time.) M and Ms covered Dash’s Mickey brownie so he was a happy camper! I loved my crème brulee. The best dessert, however, went to Little Mickey. The painter’s palette featured a Mickey-shaped sugar cookie with a palette of three different colors of icing, decorative sprinkles, and a paintbrush. Little Mickey happily painted his cookie while the rest of us ate our desserts and DH settled up the check.

The server and I chatted about what a great idea the Painter’s Palette was, and she gave me a simple recipe for replicating the dessert. You just combine powdered confectioner’s sugar, a little water, and food coloring to form a paste. I tried this at home with the boys when the new Cars movie was released, and we had a car-themed play date with some friends. It was such a hit! I just used a car-shaped cookie cutter to cut shapes from store-bought Pillsbury sugar cookie dough, mixed up the edible paint, and let the kids attach mini-oreos to the bottom for wheels. Very cute! I got big props for that idea, of course it wasn't really my own. Shhhh!

I’m really getting off topic here, so let’s wrap this one up with our ratings for the Concourse Steakhouse:
Food: A- (Very good overall)
Fast: A (Efficient service)
Fun: B+ (The monorail overhead was entertaining. Fun dessert options for kids!)

Next up: We have lunch with a bunch of characters from the Hundred Acre Woods. Can you guess where?

misslissa
07-09-2006, 02:39 PM
Yay! Thanks for another great review!!! :wizard:

pilferk
07-12-2006, 10:34 AM
Can't wait for the Crystal Palace review!

Kudos on getting Dora the Explorer AND Wildcats references into your stream of reviews!

jenniferma
08-11-2006, 03:57 PM
love your reviews!

Cupmom
08-11-2006, 06:04 PM
We are eating there for the first time on the 22nd. Thanks for the great reviews!!

lovesdumbo
08-12-2006, 11:50 PM
Love your reviews. Can't wait to try Concourse Steakhouse for the first time in less than 2 weeks. I will admit the painter's pallete was one of the main reasons I made an ADR here.

MissMagnolia
08-13-2006, 12:15 AM
Yeah! I love your reviews. I need to subscribe so I don't miss your review of Crystal Palace.

Disney owl
08-13-2006, 05:09 AM
great reviews, thanks

katiesmomluvsdizne
08-13-2006, 01:01 PM
Just don't want to miss your reviews that are still to come.
Great details thus far!!
Leaving in 40 days and this helps the days go by.

kahluacream
08-15-2006, 09:45 PM
Lunch at Crystal Palace
Thursday, May 11

If you’re still with me, this dining review is from our last full day of our family’s first Disney World vacation. (The end is in sight… Scout’s honor!) Here’s a little recap in case you’re just tuning in:

Cast of Characters:
Me (DW) SAHM, also the one who makes the ADRs
Him (DH) Workaholic, also the one who loves to eat
Dash (DS-5) Picky eater, also the one who would rather be dining with the Incredibles
Little Mickey (DS-2) Human garbage disposal, also the one who just loves that Mouse

About US:
It’s our first family trip to Disney World, and we’re staying at the Wilderness Lodge. (Woo Hoo!) We have a big boy who will start Kindergarten in FIVE days (Yikes!!!) and a toddler, both very active kids. Clearly, Victoria and Albert’s was not going to be an option for us… ;)
These reviews are based on what mattered most to our family : the quality of food we ate, the amount of fun we had, and how fast the service was.

And now, finally, the review:
We’ve already dined with Chef Mickey for dinner and Donald for breakfast. Today, we’re meeting another bunch of characters for lunch at the Crystal Palace. The boys were really excited about this meal after a chance meeting in the Magic Kingdom yesterday. We had a little pixie dust sprinkled on us at Toontown when Pooh came right up to the rope at its opening, took Dash by the hand, and they skipped along together to open Toontown Fair. Little Mickey happily waved to Tigger. The boys couldn’t wait to see their favorite Hundred Acre Woods characters again for a special lunch. In fact, Little Mickey actually thought we were staying IN the Hundred Acre Woods this week at the Wilderness Lodge. Every time we walked along the tree-lined path to our villa, he would ask: “Wow! Is this the Hund-wed Acre Woods? Where’s Pooh?”

And so we headed the Magic Kingdom to find Pooh and his gang. The Crystal Palace contains no Hundred Acre-type forest, just lots and lots of windows. Its bright and airy atmosphere puts you in a great mood right away! As I walked over to the front porch to check in, a mother duck waddled by with three sweet little babies following along behind her in a straight line. Why can’t my babies follow me in such an orderly fashion?, I thought. DH corralled our offspring into the double stroller for a scenic tour of Adventureland to afford me enough time to wait in line. The line was long…. Verrrrrrrrrry long… Heck, they might make it to Tom Sawyer Island and back before our pager flashes!

When I made my ADRs months ago, I asked what the earliest seating would be for lunch. 11:00 was the answer, so 11:00 it was! I reckoned that there would be little or no wait since it was the FIRST lunch seating. Makes sense, right??? Wrong! What I neglected to figure into the equation was that the CP also serves a very popular breakfast. Apparently, the latest seating for breakfast is 10:30 a.m. The Crystal Palace waits for the breakfast crowd to clear before seating lunch-goers. If you figure that it takes at least an hour to eat, you can see why our wait was so long.

Here’s a big tip for anyone lunching at the CP: AVOID THE 11:00 RESERVATION!!! The turnover from breakfast makes it impossible for you to be seated quickly, and you’ll be doing a whole lot of waiting in a potentially hot part of the day. If I had to do this over, I would try for an 11:45 reservation for lunch or an 8:00 breakfast reservation on a non-EMH morning to get into the MK before opening. Please learn from my mistake… 11:00 CP ressie = Loooooooong wait!

Fortunately, our meal at the CP more than made up for the wait. We passed a very cute Piglet, stationed in front of the buffet, as our hostess seated us at a table next to one of the restaurant’s many windows. The buffet beckoned, so DH and I each took turns filling plates for the boys and ourselves. Although I’m not a huge fan of buffets, I really enjoyed the variety of food served here. Heated foods were actually hot-- not lukewarm. The ingredients in all of the salads also appeared to be fresh. I could live on bread alone, and the CP had a great selection of rolls. There was a flavored butter with sundried tomatoes or something that was so yummy! My favorites from this meal were the corn spoon bread, pork tenderloin, flank steak and a penne pasta dish with mushrooms and chicken. I also enjoyed sampling the salads, one with couscous was really tasty. The boys ate typical kid food, chicken strips and pizza, with a little bit of fruit. The restaurant offered plenty of desserts to satisfy any sweet tooth, but the quality of the cakes and cookies was so-so IMHO. I just went back for more bread!!!

As for the characters, the boys loved the opportunity to meet Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet and Pooh up close. There was a very large school group of about 60 middle school students seated in the center of the restaurant who took quite a bit of the characters' time. They wanted pictures in every possible configuration… whole group, individual, just the girls with the character, just the boys with the character, three best friends with the character… You get the idea!

It took awhile for the characters to make their rounds. Tigger seemed to be the most popular, and he had his own special “handler” to facilitate his autograph signing and picture taking. Dash was so cute when Tigger finally made it to our table; he literally bounced up and down! Tigger, always in character, bounced right along with him. Eeyore moped over in a rather sad way. When Pooh arrived, Dash asked if he remembered him from the opening of Toontown Fair yesterday. Pooh nodded yes, and that made Dash so happy!

Watching the boys interact with the characters was probably the highlight of this trip for DH and me. Their little eyes just lit up with excitement because these characters were absolutely REAL to them. Many say that you shouldn’t take a child to Disney until they’re old enough to remember the experience. Well, our youngest may not remember this trip five years from now, but I will never forget the precious look on his face when he leaned over and kissed Piglet right on the snout. And I’ll never forget the way Dash’s eyes sparkled with excitement as he bounced with Tigger or hugged Pooh. Our family would definitely return to the Crystal Palace again. The next time, our oldest son might realize that the characters are just costumes. It will still be fun, but I’m so glad that we got to experience this character meal while the “magic” was still real. :wizard:

Ratings for the Crystal Palace:
Food: A (Very good overall)
Fast: C- (Long wait to check in, long wait to be seated, long wait to see all characters)
Fun: A (We had a really great time despite all of that waiting!)

Next up:
Our last night of Disney dining, and scuba divers wave to us as we eat our meal… Can you guess where?

kyirish25
08-16-2006, 12:13 PM
The "magic" is what is all about! Thanks for another great review and for taking me down memory lane as I could look back and remember the first time my DS met Piglet and also laid a big ole' kiss on his snout.

MomPlanner22
08-16-2006, 03:27 PM
Thanks so much for your reviews! They have been really really helpful. We are going in December with our kids who will be 4.5 and 2.5 and also have the one hour max meal attention span! All of our ADR's and CS lunch plans are 11:00 to 11:30 and 5:00 to 5:30. We are also doing several buffets because I figure at least we can get them some food quickly, if nothing else!

We are going to have to forego WCC and I am so bummed! We are only there for 4 days/3 nights and have opted to do Grand Floridian instead of CRT. At least this way we will see Cinderella but at a much reduced cost and not taking time out of the park. Besides, I hear the food isn't great and the options won't be good my kids.

Again, thanks for sharing!!!

Peri
08-17-2006, 02:09 PM
What a great set of reviews! THanks so much for taking the time to memorialize your visit - you sound really neat and your family sounds like loads of fun!

seven dwarfs
08-17-2006, 05:45 PM
I have enjoyed reading your reviews! Thank you so much for taking the time to share. :)

jpolak
08-17-2006, 06:47 PM
Great reviews! We will be staying at VWL for the first time and I can not wait. We will be doing WCC the first night to start the vacation right. :thumbsup2

kimkreis
08-17-2006, 07:41 PM
Subscribing because these are so good and targeted to my aged kids. Thanks a lot!

Kim

daisy_77
08-17-2006, 08:08 PM
Thank you so much for your reviews!

We are taking our DD for her 3rd birthday next year and it was nice to hear what restaurants are preschooler friendly! Chef Mickey's, WCC, Crystal Palace and Concourse are some TS's that we will definitely be trying out! Thanks again! :thumbsup2 :cool1: