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apirateslife4us!
06-17-2007, 02:28 PM
Hi all! Just back from our first trip and we had a blast! Our dining picks were all with the kids in mind, so no Brown Derby or California Grill this time :laughing: I love reading these reviews... hopefully I'll be as helpful to someone as all of you have been to me!

We stayed at the Pop for 5 nights and were on the dining plan. The dates were Monday, June 11 through Saturday, June 16. Here we are:

Myself, aka Daisy
...loves a good time and getting pampered; gets quacked at a lot by Donald!

DH, aka Donald
...lovable and funny; short-tempered but shhh, don't tell him that!

DD5, aka Tinker Bell
...feisty and sweet; fun-loving but get her mad and watch out!

DS2, aka Peter Pan
...fast and daring and very charming; nothing gets rid of his smile!

Up for review in table service:
Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater (Mon June 11 @ 7:15pm dinner) Page 1
Crystal Palace (Tue June 12 @ 10:25am breakfast) Page 2
'Ohana (Wed June 13 @ 5:25pm dinner) Page 3
Akershus (Thur June 14 @ 4:30pm dinner) Page 4
Chef Mickey's (Fri June 15 @ 11:00am breakfast) Page 4

And in counter service:
Pizza Planet (Mon June 11 @ 11:30am lunch) Page 1
Columbia Harbor House (Tue June 12 @ 7:30pm dinner) Page 3
Flame Tree BBQ (Wed June 13 @ 12pm lunch) Page 3
Casey's Corner (Fri June 15 @ 6:30pm dinner) Page 5
Electric Umbrella (Sat June 16 @ 12pm lunch) Page 5
Pop Century Breakfast (various) and one to go dinner (Sat June 16 around 4pm)

A few notable snacks:
Dole pineapple whip
Sleepy Hollow funnel cakes

I'll get these up soon, if there's anything in particular you want to know just ask!!

disneyjunebug
06-17-2007, 03:08 PM
Look forward to the review! We are also eating for the 4 year old during our 4 night trip in November, although we are taking him to Neverland Club one evening and going to Le Cellier without him!

Minniespal
06-17-2007, 03:20 PM
Looking forward to reading more:thumbsup2

apirateslife4us!
06-18-2007, 09:54 AM
Hi, thanks for reading! I hope this helps or at least isn't totally boring :rotfl:

Rating System Explained
The rating system is based on a family with kids, this being a kid-oriented dining review… there aren’t going to be any “the place was too loud” comments, because that’s how kid-oriented places tend to get (or maybe I’ve been to McDonald’s playlands and Chuck E. Cheese too often!!), just please assume it was loud and rambunctious unless otherwise noted. The “Kid Rating” should be pretty self-explanatory, but a little clarification on the “Parent Rating”. This is based on how the place accommodated parents… not necessarily adults or parents traveling solo, but parents or adults with children in their immediate charge while in the World. So for example, if the Parent Rating for atmosphere is four stars, that doesn’t mean it’s a four star place for adults, it means it’s a four star place for parents, meaning that as a parent it entertained my kid in a safe way and I found it easy to get what I needed, or something like that! I hope that makes sense, anyway, away we go!

Pizza Planet (Disney-MGM Studios)
Lunch (11:30am)

Food-
Kid Rating: * * * * *
Parent Rating: * * * *

Atmosphere-
Kid Rating: * * * * *
Parent Rating: * * * *

Would we come back?:
Kids: Oh yes!
Parents: Only with the kids!

This was our first meal of the trip! We hadn't eaten anything since we changed planes at 7:30am and we were hungry! So with our meal credits ready and waiting on our room keys, we set out to find Pizza Planet. It’s a little tricky for a first-timer to find, but we found it with a CM’s help. There is no kid’s meal here, so here's what we ordered:

Tink and Peter shared: cheese pizza combo, mickey crispy treat, large lemonade

Donald: veggie pizza combo, chocolate chip cookie, large Coke

Me: Pepperoni pizza combo, chocolate chip cookie, water bottle

Food Details
Each combo is a personal size pizza cut in four and comes with a side salad, which was fresh. The kids love pizza, and this was really good pizza, not greasy and really well seasoned. Tink even ate the crust! So the five stars is a no-brainer from the kids. As a mom I’ve had my share of pizza and this was very good, I loved the sauce. I give the food only four stars because it would be nice to have something besides a salad as a side item for the kids, like carrot sticks or apple slices. Tink eats salad, but Peter won’t touch the stuff, and it would have been nice to offer another healthy, kid-friendly side.

Atmosphere Details
The place is an arcade and the kids LOVED the atmosphere, so five stars for sure. Definitely eat upstairs where there are minimal games because then your kids can focus on eating their food (this was well-thought out by Disney, bonus points!) For parents I give it four stars… bathrooms were clean, condiments easy to get, I loved the upstairs area so the kids didn’t go bonkers while eating. I also loved being able to escape the heat for a bit and let them play while Donald and I took turns watching over them, looked at maps, went to the bathroom, etc. But one star was knocked off because you have to spend money on the arcade games, a minimal thing and this only affects families traveling on a very tight budget like ours!

Other Details
The cookies were really big, we saved those, and also saved the water bottle and the crispy treat for later (I shared the large Coke and lemonade). Donald and I finished our salads and he ate his whole pizza. I could only eat half the pizza, it was really good but after the salad and Peter’s crust, two slices was enough for me. The kids didn’t eat the salad (Tink had maybe three bites of mine), and each had only one piece of pizza, which didn’t surprise me since they were big… this was our first lesson in Disney counter service and from here on out we only ordered two adult counter service meals and decided afterward whether we were hungry enough for more food (we never were!). Rather than throw away what was essentially a whole pizza, we asked for a container and saved it for a snack later. The kids did each eat a slice later on that afternoon so that was good. We also tried saving the salad but with the heat it became gross real quick so we ended up tossing it.

The Final Word
This was great! It will be our Disney Studios counter service of choice until the kids grow out of it :banana: Next time we'll split two meals and see if we need a third.

REL1203
06-18-2007, 11:59 AM
Nice review so far!! Keep up the good work

budbeerlady
06-18-2007, 12:07 PM
Wonderful, thanks for the pizza planet review. We are thinking of trying it for DD as it seems really limited on Cs at MGM.

wilma-bride
06-18-2007, 12:48 PM
Great start to your reviews. I will be paying attention as we are taking our 5yo to WDW for the first time in April and so will be looking for more child (and parent) friendly places :)

momtoccc
06-18-2007, 02:13 PM
This will be great - we are going with almost 4yo dd in November. I've tried to pick kid-friendly restaurants for the most part.... I will be anxious to read the rest of your report!

fterie4u
06-18-2007, 02:53 PM
I am looking forward to this as this is the first time our DD will be at Disney! princess:

Busymom85
06-18-2007, 03:43 PM
Great review!

iluvmickeytown
06-18-2007, 10:43 PM
Loving it. Can't wait for more.:thumbsup2

jmb912
06-19-2007, 12:05 AM
[QUOTE=apirateslife4us!;19245634]Hi all! Just back from our first trip and we had a blast! Our dining picks were all with the kids in mind, so no Brown Derby or California Grill this time :laughing: I love reading these reviews... hopefully I'll be as helpful to someone as all of you have been to me!

Glad you guys had a great trip! Thanks for sharing your kid-oriented reviews! I am taking my kids on their 4th trip this Sept., but I am doing it solo so I will be focusing on kid friendly places and doing some character meals. We are on the DDP for the first time and can't wait to try some new things!!!

gumdrops3
06-19-2007, 12:29 AM
Enjoying your reviews--nice to see one aimed at families. We'll be in WDW in January with our 3 girls--4, 8, 10--so I look forward to your reviews. Thank you for taking the time to do it!

apirateslife4us!
06-19-2007, 10:31 AM
Hi all, thanks for the positive feedback!! I really hope this helps some of you out :goodvibes Okay, so on to Sci-Fi

Sci-Fi Dine In Theater (Disney-MGM Studios)
Dinner (7:15pm)

Food-
Kid Rating: * * * *
Parent Rating: * * * * *

Atmosphere-
Kid Rating: * * * * *
Parent Rating: * * * *

Would we come back?
Kids: Yes!
Parents: Yes, but I wouldn’t mind trying something different (I think the kids will win out though, they REALLY liked it)

We technically missed this ADR! It looked super busy in the lobby and we were late but thanks to CM Michael and some Disney magic we got the coveted light-up pager! Also, despite our tardiness, we had less than a five-minute wait from when I checked in, and everyone was super friendly and welcoming.

What we ordered:
Tink and Peter shared: Beef and macaroni meal (asked to substitute the sundae instead of fruit salad for dessert, and they gave them both anyway!) with a chocolate milk for each.

Donald: Spinach and artichoke dip, shrimp penne pasta, flavored cherry Coke, warm apple pecan crisp.

Me: The same as Donald except I had ice cream for dessert

Food Details
Our waiter explained that Peter, being under 3, would get a complimentary drink, and that any non-alcoholic drinks except the glowing ones were included on the dining plan. It was tempting to get milkshakes, but we wanted to save room for dessert. The flavored cherry Cokes were very sweet and yummy. The spinach artichoke dip was SO GOOD, one of my favorite foods of the whole trip! Since Tink wanted the beef macaroni meal, the appetizer was actually the veggies... I wish I would have asked to have the veggies brought out with our appetizers (it was served as a side dish on her plate later) because the kids were hungry and wanted to eat while we did. We gave them some of the corn chips that came with the dip, but our kids eat slowly and it just made the meal that much longer to have all their food brought at once. Once the entrees came we were happily surprised to see that they brought out a complimentary meal for Peter! Also, they included the fruit salad and told us they would still bring them sundaes for dessert as well (despite what the menu said about EITHER fruit or sundaes). After the delicious appetizer I was a bit disappointed with the penne pasta… the sauce seemed a little bland, but the shrimp was delicious and they weren’t skimpy with the shrimp. Donald also felt the sauce was missing something but we both enjoyed the meal. The kids ate most of their fruit, a few bites of veggies, and about half each of their macaroni, so if you go here with two young kids and they don't offer the free meal, still have them share unless your kids are big eaters. As for dessert, Donald loved the apple pecan crisp, and the kids and I loved the ice cream! Winners all around! The kids would give the food four stars, it was good overall but the vegetables were “too hard”, and also they didn’t like waiting for their meal while Mommy and Daddy made yummy noises over their appetizer. As a parent, I give Sci-Fi five stars because there was a lot of variety for the kids, healthy choices, and Sci-Fi was VERY flexible with how the meals and sides were served.

Atmosphere Details
Wow! I had no idea how cool this place was going to be! If you are going to dine here, I highly suggest NOT looking at pictures so you can have the full impact like Donald and I did. Tink jumped right into the car and began “driving”, Peter walked around the car checking out the lights, bumper, asking “Where the wheels? Where the door?” Tink promptly settled down watching movie clips, and she has called this the “movie theater restaurant” ever since. Peter was not interested in the movie clips, he just wanted to check out the car. Hands-down it was five stars in their book! I loved the theming too, and maybe it was the high ceiling or the dimmed lights, but despite being full of kids it was the quietest meal of our whole trip! Very pleasant and it definitely kept the kids entertained. Despite the great atmosphere, I give it only four stars because it was hard to monitor the kids with the way the seats are. Of course, both kids wanted the front seat, so Donald and I sat behind them, facing their backs. Those of you with two-year-olds might be able to relate, but a meal with Peter requires cutting up of food, poking straws through lids, reminding him to take bites, picking up napkins from the floor, etc etc. At a regular table you sit next to the younger one and take care of business, but sitting behind was a bit tricky. This is a minor issue that will only affect the under age 3 kids, and since three people can sit comfortably across, I ended up moving to the front next to Peter and Tink and everything went fine from then on. He definitely enjoyed the car, so I would do it again, but just sit up front from the get-go (sorry Donald, you’ll have to eat alone back there!). Those of you with older kids, or if the little one is your only child and you can on either side of him, don’t even worry about it!

Other Details
Being that Donald and I aren’t big eaters, we asked the waiter about sharing our TS credit. The waiter said that it was no problem at all, even on the dining plan, but after talking it over we decided not to. We didn’t want to end up with an extra meal credit so there was no point. It turned out to be fine without sharing… the servings here were not enormous, we found them to be as large as most restaurants serve. We probably could have shared the entrée after finishing off our appetizers especially since we were looking forward to dessert, but we weren’t sorry to have our own plates either! Besides, what would we have done with one extra TS credit, especially since the rest of our meals were family style or buffets? If you aren’t a big eater, consider splitting the dinner if you have somewhere else to use TS credits, or if you’re not on the dining plan, but otherwise don’t worry that the servings will be huge or anything.
On another note, I think most kids would really enjoy eating here, even princessy girls like Tink who has zero interest in cars at all, and she still thought it was the coolest thing to eat in a car and watch movies.
Lastly, I’ve read elsewhere that the movie clips repeat too soon, and although towards the end of our meal the clips started over, we still found them entertaining and Tink was actually happy to get to see them again!

The Final Word
We loved this restaurant, more for the experience than for the food, and we don’t imagine it will be our last visit. I wouldn’t mind trying a Fantasmic package elsewhere next time we’re in the Studios, but I doubt the kids will want to miss out on this experience again!

Up next... a Crystal Palace breakfast with Pooh and friends!!!

thunderbird1
06-19-2007, 01:35 PM
Great reviews! It's always nice to see a positive Sci-Fi review. We love it, though I don't think anyone ever believes me when I say how quiet it is in there. It's great for lunch, too, during the hottest part of the day, after a long early morning. It's one of the few places I could easily spend 2 hours and not get antsy!

wilma-bride
06-19-2007, 01:41 PM
I must admit, there are a lot of places which we haven't thought of going to before that we will probably try with the kids next time. Sci-Fi will more than likely be one of them. Thanks for the great review :thumbsup2

2ScottishPrincesses
06-19-2007, 02:55 PM
Fantastic report realy comprehensive, with 2 DD's one 2 and one 11 this is realy helpfull. A quick plea for you to do another couple of reviews before we fly out a week today. Our ADR's are Princess Storybook breakfast, lunch at CRT and dinner at Crystal Palace for my birthday. Realy appreciate your help so far...thanks v much

pperfectmom
06-19-2007, 03:21 PM
Wow-thanks for the Sci-Fi review. :thumbsup2 Now I'm even more excited to eat there. I hadn't even given the seating arrangement any thought, however.:sad2: I guess with a 2 year old and a 4 year old, DH and I will be splitting up-one in front and one in back. How are we going to share our spinach dip and onion rings though? Are the seats made where we can easily pass food back and forth? Thanks!

thunderbird1
06-19-2007, 07:13 PM
Wow-thanks for the Sci-Fi review. :thumbsup2 Now I'm even more excited to eat there. I hadn't even given the seating arrangement any thought, however.:sad2: I guess with a 2 year old and a 4 year old, DH and I will be splitting up-one in front and one in back. How are we going to share our spinach dip and onion rings though? Are the seats made where we can easily pass food back and forth? Thanks!

Hope you don't mind me jumping in here. We ate here a couple of times when my ds was 2, or younger. The person in the front seat will have no problem turning around to dip a chip or grab an onion ring. The backs of the seats are fairly low, and the table is only a few inches below that. The person in the back seat will have to rely on the person in the front to hand food back to him, or her. In other words, make sure you grab the front seat! ;) :rotfl:

apirateslife4us!
06-19-2007, 10:08 PM
You guys are so sweet! I'm glad my reviews seem to be helping! I'll try to get up one or two a day and hopefully knock this out in a week :thumbsup2

Pperferct mom, I agree with Thunderbird, sharing from front to back should be no problem! Whoever sits in back will have to get their food handed back to them, and whoever sits in front will be able to reach right onto the back person's table, if you can imagine my meaning. The partition/seat thing is low enough that it will be a-ok, but it will be less messy if the front person has the onion rings. Don't be surprised if one of you ends up with both kids up front though!

And Thunderbird, you're so right, Sci-Fi IS really relaxing! It was the perfect break from the bright Florida sun... all dim and quiet and the kids were really entertained!

Jmb912 how old are your kids and how many? Since you're doing it solo you'll REALLY want kid friendly places! Have fun planning with the dining plan, I think that was my favorite part!

2Scottishprincesses, it's going to be great having your 11 year old to help out! I am putting up the Crystal Palace review right away and hopefully another one or two reviews tomorrow... I'll try to get the Princess Storybook one up soon, I hope they help!!

apirateslife4us!
06-19-2007, 10:35 PM
Okay, here's the next review! Thanks for all the positive feedback!!

Crystal Palace (Magic Kingdom)
Breakfast (10:25am)
Characters: Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore


Food-
Kid Rating: * * * * *
Parent Rating: * * * *

Atmosphere-
Kid Rating: * * * * *
Parent Rating: * * * * *

Would we come back?
Kids: Yes!
Parents: Yes! Maybe we’ll try dinner!

It’s official. We are the notoriously-late-for-ADRs family :scared: At least this time we were within the fifteen minute late grace period and the hostess didn’t even remark on it :) After getting our light-up buzzer/pager, we waited about another ten minutes or so. It was enough time for me to take the kids inside to the bathroom before our meal (very small bathrooms... see below).

What we ate:
Tink: Winnie-the-Pooh waffles and bacon. Chocolate milk refilled once.

Peter: Practically nothing but orange juice. I did coax him to eat a few bites of banana and some bites of waffles, but mostly he was too excited about the characters to eat well.

Donald: Loved everything! He LOVES breakfast. Had plenty of potatoes, egg casseroles, biscuits, and sausage.

Me: The omelet bar, the puffed French Toast from the kids buffet (I had SO many of those!), Pooh’s breakfast lasagna (reminded me of a fruity bread pudding), LOTS of bacon (super crisp!)

Food Details
This was really yummy food, and even though we had a very late breakfast seating everything was fresh and plentiful. As a parent I give it four stars instead of five only because of the long wait for pancakes (you can wait in line at the omelet bar and request some but it would have been nice to just have them ready… sometimes there were some on a tray but not always). Also, Tink wanted ketchup for her breakfast pizza and I couldn’t find it (I meant to ask but with the characters coming I forgot), and the syrup was right near the crowded omelet bar and it was kind of a pain… so I noticed others pouring syrup into a small dish and bringing enough to the table for everyone and voila! Problem solved! These are all minor gripes, but maybe something to keep in mind and handle before everyone is settled comfortably ready to eat. I loved every bite of my food, and the kids, although distracted at the excitement of meeting Pooh and friends, enjoyed what they did eat, and had no complaints at all so five stars for sure!

Atmosphere Details
We had never been to a character meal before so I couldn’t wait! I was happily surprised by how pretty the restaurant was, I loved the fresh, clean feel to it. The characters were all dispersed throughout the restaurant so there was plenty of time between characters, we didn’t feel rushed at all. At first I was shy about asking cast members to take a family picture for us, but after watching a lot of other families do this I got up the nerve and am glad I did. We stayed for a LONG time (it was just so nice to sit and know the kids were enjoying themselves) and we never felt rushed, even when they converted one of the buffet lines to lunch! The character interaction was excellent, even the second time around. Tigger particularly played a long time with my son (who loved waving “hello” from afar but wouldn’t get near any of them). Tigger pretended to hide and then peek out at Peter from behind a plant and made him laugh. Tigger also bounced a long time with Tink, it was definitely five stars all the way around!

Other Details
What nice, wonderful cast members they have working here! They acted like we were royalty dining at the fanciest restaurant in town, not even batting an eye when Peter stood up in his chair and bounced around for a better look at Piglet or dropped his silverware on the floor for the second time. Pleasant smiles and understanding, cheerful nods at every turn.
On another note, if you have an out-going little one, he/she might want to march around the restaurant with the characters during the parade (Tink did!). Just be prepared to have to scan the restaurant to find him or her since the kids end up wherever they end up. Tink wasn’t scared or anything, and I kept a good eye out and waved her over right away, but one little boy got turned around and somehow wound up at the opposite side of the restaurant and couldn’t find his table! He was okay, just wide-eyed and he looked really relieved when his parents found him.
Another thing, the bathrooms are cramped. There aren’t all that many stalls and there always seemed to be a line, so try to make a pit stop before getting to the restaurant if you get the chance. It will do in a pinch, and honestly the bathroom was beautiful with the decorative stained glass... just don't do more than one kid at a time if possible!
Finally, do consider the convenience of eating in the park. I had been going back and forth between Crystal Palace and Park Fare (in the Grand Floridian), and although it would have been easy to take the monorail, it was that much nicer to take a spin on the tea cups and only minutes later arriving at our restaurant!

The Final Word
We had a wonderful time at the Crystal Palace! It’s definitely a place to bring the kids and feel comfortable while in a beautiful setting, yet as a parent you know they won’t be disturbing the peace because it’s geared especially for kids! Plus being right in the park saves on hassle and travel time :)

Next reviews... Columbia Harbor House and 'Ohana at the Polynesian!

fundeepdown
06-20-2007, 11:10 AM
Thanks for the great reviews. I can't wait for the next two!

wilma-bride
06-20-2007, 11:18 AM
Crystal Palace is already a favourite of ours for breakfast - excellent review. I really like how you are breaking up your information :thumbsup2

cinderella_mom
06-20-2007, 11:30 AM
Great reviews. I definately agree with you about CP. Even though DD is more into princesses than Pooh, she remembers this restaurant more from our trip last year than any other.

Also, the late breakfast works great for us, too. Being from CA, the 3 hour time difference means DH and I aren't hungry right away. DD is usually starving from the minute she gets up, so a cereal bar and a banana in the room will keep her happy.

Cherlynn25
06-20-2007, 12:20 PM
LOVE the reviews! They are so detailed. A big help for us with little ones! Thank you!

2ScottishPrincesses
06-20-2007, 01:04 PM
Thank you so much for this these are the best formatted reviews I've seen for parents, they're realy helpfull...Regards Kirsteen

agentpleakley
06-20-2007, 02:13 PM
Awesome -- just awesome reviews. I am so glad I found this thread. Great to hear the perspective of kids too.

pta-mom
06-20-2007, 03:07 PM
Great reviews...Thank you!! I've actually been dreading doing the Sci-Fi as I've heard so many bad reviews but my sons (9 1/2 & 11) REALLY want to go there so I've booked! Now, how was Ohana? That seems to be another one getting the golden boot award of late....please tell me otherwise!!

DisneyJo
06-20-2007, 03:24 PM
Loving your reviews :goodvibes

apirateslife4us!
06-20-2007, 04:38 PM
Hi everyone and thank you so much for the praise! I guess there's a review out there for everyone, I sure liked reading the ones that had to do with kids when I was planning :goodvibes

pta-mom I will try to get the 'Ohana review up this afternoon (Pacific time over here!), but to set your mind at ease, my family SUPER LOVED 'Ohana. Tink loved joining in on the limbo and doing the hula, she ate the shrimp as fast as we could peel it, and we spent about two or three hours afterwards just walking the resort and letting her play at the beach (bring a change of clothes for the kids if they like playing in the sand). And about Sci-Fi, I think your boys will really like it, all the kids in there looked like they were having a great time! Besides, where else but Disney World will your kids eat in a fake car movie theater? We really enjoyed our meal, but if your food isn't the best I bet your pictures will be!

Someone else who asked about Princess Storybook, it was Tink's all-time favorite meal, and very friendly CMs. I noticed that the princesses stayed at neighboring tables longer so I paid attention... these guests had some little thing to say about the princesses' movie/character, and since Tink was absolutely tongue-tied the princesses were zipping by! After that I chit-chatted with Snow about visiting the dwarves and baking them pie, asked Jasmine about Abu, and asked Aurora about the good fairies and they all stayed much longer (much to Tink's delight!)

Okay, Columbia Harbor House review up in a few minutes! Thanks again guys!

apirateslife4us!
06-20-2007, 04:54 PM
Columbia Harbor House (Magic Kingdom)
Dinner (7:30pm)

Food-
Kid Rating: * * *
Parent Rating: * * * * *

Atmosphere-
Kid Rating: * * *
Parent Rating: * * *

Would we come back?
Kids (Tink says): I guess so, it was a nice place
Parents: Maybe… it’s not going to be a family favorite or anything, but if we were nearby it would feed us just fine with tasty food and minimal lines. Next time though I would rather get to the Fantasyland Pinocchio Counter Service so the kids can watch the Small World boats go by and see all the cute murals.

We happened to be in Liberty Square around dinnertime and hadn’t given much thought to which counter service we’d use at the Magic Kingdom (will prepare better for next trip!). Columbia Harbor House seemed a lot less busy than the Frontierland counter service (note to parents with small kids: if you won’t be riding Splash Mountain or Thunder Mountain, Frontierland is busy, full of hills, and hard to maneuver with a stroller! We never went back to that land for the rest of our trip and will avoid it until those rides become necessary!). We decided to eat at Columbia Harbor House before settling down to watch Spectromagic.

What we ate:
Tink and Daisy shared: The chicken, fish and fries platter. Chose a water bottle for a drink (which we saved for later and just shared the large Coke with the boys), and chocolate cake for dessert.

Donald and Peter shared: Chicken, fish and fries platter. Chose a large Coke for a drink and the apple crisp for dessert.

Food Details
After the Pizza Planet experience we decided to split two counter service meals and decide whether we wanted more food afterwards (two meals were fine, if you haven’t noticed, my kids aren’t big eaters!). So each platter came with two strips of chicken and two strips of fish, eight pieces all together which worked out well for our family with fries on top of it all. I LOVED the fish, Donald LOVED the chicken with honey mustard dipping sauce, and the kids slowly ate the chicken I put in front of them with their eyes glued on the chocolate cake. We let the kids split the cake and Donald and I shared the apple crisp, which was sadly cold (they just serve it that way). After polishing off the fries we were all pleasantly full with no wasting of food at all. As a parent, I found nothing to complain about the food that was served… both apple slices and carrot sticks were alternatives to the fries, grilled chicken instead of fried was an option, and milk or apple juice instead of soda, if I had chosen to do so. The fried chicken and chocolate cake were all my own evil doing, and tasted heavenly, so five stars from a parent’s point of view, whichever kind of parenting you choose for the night! From the kids’ side I knocked off a star because if you get the kids meal the only dessert option is the sugar free jello, which may or may not bug some kids (especially if mom and dad are smacking their lips over their cake!). I knocked off an additional star only because the selection at other counter services we passed by showed additional items like grapes and milkshakes.

Atmosphere Details
During our visit, the upstairs area was under renovation, and even so it didn’t feel crowded at all. The décor is nautical in theme, which didn’t make an impact on the kids but Donald liked it. For the kids I give it three stars because it was just fine, nothing special, nothing wrong, just a place to eat. As a parent I thought I’d warn you all that the seats are backless benches. Several times I saw Peter almost fall back, and then, WHOMP, he actually did fall back, bumping his head and scaring himself silly! There was no real harm done, it’s just something to be aware of for the little ones (check around for a booth or something if you can, I don't remember seeing any but I didn't look at the time!). So, three stars from a parent’s point of view (add a bonus star if you want the kids to just eat and get out without lollygagging… minus a star if you want the kids to let you sit for a while and relax because they’ll probably get bored).

Other Details
Napkins and condiments are easy to get to and there were plenty, so getting more ketchup for Tink and honey mustard for Donald was easy. Bathrooms are really small with only a few stalls (seemed like fewer than Crystal Palace), but clean (FYI, for a good “pit stop” bathroom, the ones in Adventureland near Aladdin’s Flying Carpet ride are big, also the ones in Tomorrowland). The CMs were all friendly and helpful, they even gave us a free bag of apple slices after I commented on how I should have ordered one meal with apples since it looked like so much fries!

The Final Word
Nearly everywhere in Disney is geared toward kids, but some more than others. This is a nice little place to stop and eat, but that’s all it is. Great for a quick stop that won’t distract the kids, but if you want to sit for a while at a kid-oriented place there are probably other counter services that’ll do the job better.

SmallWorld71
06-20-2007, 08:42 PM
Hi,
I'm enjoying your reviews.:thumbsup2 We,too, have kid friendly TS planned for our trip in August - 4 of our ADR's are for the same places as you.

apirateslife4us!
06-21-2007, 11:17 AM
Okay, I finished this later than I thought I would, with no excuse except normal Mommy busy-ness :rolleyes1

Oh and it occurs to me as I post this that I skipped our lunch at the Flame Tree BBQ in Animal Kingdom! It'll be up next :)

‘Ohana (Polynesian Resort)
Dinner (5:15pm)

Food-
Kid Rating: * * * * *
Parent Rating: * * * * *

Atmosphere-
Kid Rating: * * * * *
Parent Rating: * * * * *

Would we come back?
Kids: Yes yes yes!
Parents: Definitely yes!

Have I mentioned that we are habitually late to our ADRs? That fifteen minute late grace period was, by this point, already factored into each reservation in our minds! So we took the bus from Pop Century over to the Magic Kingdom, and then opted for the boat ride over to the Polynesian (how often do you get to ride a boat to dinner?). It was such a beautiful little trip across the lake, the castle, the Grand Floridian, the beaches *sighhhh* Anyway, on to the review!

What we ate:
Tink: Her weight in peeled shrimp. Honestly, she couldn’t get enough of the stuff! She also had two chocolate milks and mostly the ice cream from the bread pudding.

Peter: Fries, cheesy potatoes and half of a chicken strip. He also drank a chocolate milk and had loads of bread pudding and ice cream.

Donald: Everything, but really enjoyed the shrimp, cheesy potatoes, skewered pork, sausage, and vegetables. He drank a virgin pina colada and despite feeling stuffed, managed more than a bite or two of the bread pudding.

Me: Everything as well, and I really loved the shrimp, cheesy potatoes, skewered meat, vegetables, and honey chicken wings. I also had a virgin pina colada and even though I was super-duper full, I had a LOT of bread pudding! Yummmmm

Food Details
We are not picky eaters, nor do we visit fancy restaurants at all (Red Robins and California Pizza Kitchen are the fanciest I can think of), so keep that in mind when I say how delicious and tasty everything was! From the moment I saw and smelled the food on everyone’s tables I knew I’d be having a great meal and I wasn’t disappointed. I think my favorite part was the variety, and getting to pick a little at everything before settling on my favorite-favorites! There have been a lot of complaints lately about the food being rushed, but for our family’s experience this was not the case. Although more food was brought out, nothing was ever taken away unless the platter was scraped clean (this happened with the potatoes, the shrimp and the vegetables!), well, technically the platter wasn’t taken, but another full one stacked onto it. We asked for seconds of anything we wanted, whether it had been a starter, appetizer, entrée, etc. and our amazingly wonderful waiter CM Patrick was always on top of things. The first thing my daughter asked him when he was explaining the menu was “Can I have some shrimp please?” and he always made sure she had plenty (yes it’s the kind you have to peel, but they were big and SOOOO good!!). When he asked what she wanted to drink, she said, “I want something that has a little umbrella in it.” Sure enough, her chocolate milk had an umbrella tucked into the straw! Also, we asked for two virgin pina coladas and said that we would pay out of pocket for them, but he let us put them on the dining plan! As a parent, you may be wondering if your picky eater will get his fill at this place, but just a few minutes after the shrimp and chicken were brought out so were a platter of chicken strips and fries, along with a bowl of mac and cheese, so whatever tastes your kids have they should be covered. We ate and ate and ate, took our time, talked, laughed, and enjoyed the food at our own pace. I didn’t have to remind the kids to eat, the kids chose the things they liked to eat and everyone was happy: five stars from parents and kids alike!

Atmosphere Details
Fun, tropical, energetic, I wish there was a restaurant like this back home! The CMs seemed so happy and relaxed amidst all the energy. I mean, most Disney CMs are cheerful, but there is something extra-welcoming with the CMs we met at this resort. The resort and restaurant appealed to Tink right away, and she was saying Aloha to anyone who would listen! Now normally, my kids get bored at long meals and I have to manage this, so it was incredibly nice having the singing, the limbo game and the hula dance break up the meal for the kids. Tink joined in, and Peter was entertained just watching, so I could actually eat my food in peace LOL! If you think your little one will want to join in on anything, definitely have your camera ready. We got some cute shots of Tink wearing a flower lei dancing with the other kids. As far as atmosphere goes, other than a character meal I think this is as family-oriented as you can get! It was a wonderful change of pace, a beautiful setting, everyone was entertained and the kids were able to be themselves without bothering anyone. All the games and singing and dancing makes this a five star from the kids, no question. As a parent, it was really nice to not have to spend an entire meal telling them to settle down and eat; and it was awesome not having to make up lame little games with straw wrappers and sugar packets to keep them occupied… absolutely five stars from me!

Other Details
If you do decide to dine here, or anywhere at the Polynesian, really consider leaving yourselves time afterwards to just wander the resort, it is so beautiful and there’s lots to see. Walking around the lobby, the waterfalls, the little ponds outside, and especially the beach are all a great way to walk off that super-full feeling you may have after your delicious meal. Plus if you bring a change of clothes for the kids they can play in the sand (Tink didn’t want to leave!). The time we spent after dinner that evening was probably two of the most relaxing hours of our trip. For clean up after the beach, we had the kids use the foot rinse by the pool, then walked back to the bathrooms right outside of ‘Ohana to change. The bathrooms were clean, ample, and definitely doable with two kids. Peter loves trains, so we opted for the monorail back to the Magic Kingdom, (the monorail is on the same floor as the restaurant/bathrooms). It was a beautiful ride and Tink thought the monorail was flying (no wonder she seemed so impressed!). Having taken the boat on the way to dinner, I'm not sure which I liked better, so I'm glad we did both!

The Final Word
We LOVED ‘Ohana, and I’m so very happy that I made this ADR. If a Polynesian experience appeals to you, don’t doubt for a moment that this will be a wonderful family experience… it’s at the very top of our family’s Disney “must-do” list, I can’t wait to go back!

Coming up... Flame Tree BBQ lunch and Akershus Princess Storybook dinner!

turning40withMickey
06-21-2007, 11:32 AM
Thanks for these great kid friendly review! IT is just what I was looking for, the mom of young kids version of the dining plan! Fabulous!:cool1:

lisaj
06-21-2007, 12:06 PM
Loving this thread, don't often hear views of really young ones.

Nasus
06-21-2007, 12:39 PM
Love the reviews so far...
The best thing about O'hana for us was the entertainment and coconut races! Our food was only so-so, the meat on the skewers were dried out, but our kids loved participating in all the fun :yay:
Susan

wilma-bride
06-21-2007, 01:17 PM
Your review of 'Ohana really has me wondering whether to do this with our family in April. Would it be possible, do you think, for them to substitute the cheesy potatoes for fries or something as we have 2 adults in our party who don't eat cheese :rolleyes:

Ciciwoowoo
06-21-2007, 01:23 PM
I do love all your details! Things that I remember from when my son was little (his first trip to WDW was when he was 18 months) such as backless chairs and the HILLS!!! (AK can be truly painful after a while!)

I look forward to reading more! :goodvibes

apirateslife4us!
06-21-2007, 07:28 PM
Hi there! It's nice reading how some of you can relate to what we went through at WDW... I wish I'd known about avoiding Frontierland from the beginning... the lines for Splash and Thunder mountains criss-crossed into a huge mob and I was stuck in the middle with a double stroller trying to get down the hill to the train station :lmao: Peter kept yelling "Move it! Move it!" Anyway, hopefully these reviews aren't too rambly, the details are all so fresh in my mind I can't seem to help it!

Ciciwoowoo those backless seats got him every time! It's going to be fun to see how things change with each visit as they grow :)

Wilma-bride, you can definitely ask for fries instead of cheesy potatoes. They're so friendly and helpful at 'Ohana!!

Nasus, I agree about the entertainment at 'Ohana, that and the whole atmosphere won me over much more than the meal (though I did find it yummy!)

Okay, up with Flame Tree in a few!!!

apirateslife4us!
06-21-2007, 07:30 PM
Flame Tree Barbecue (Animal Kingdom)
Lunch (11:30am when we arrived...12pm by the time we ate)

Food-
Kid Rating: * * *
Parent Rating: * * * *

Atmosphere-
Kid Rating: * *
Parent Rating: * *

Would we come back?
Kids: They wouldn’t care.
Parents: Nope. The food was yummy enough that I’d come back if we ever went without kids or when they’re like, 8 and 11 or something.

Caution: Flaming Flame Tree!!! Oh, why didn’t we stop at Tusker House in Africa while we were there? Or even Pizzafari? Actually, the food here at Flame Tree was yummy, especially the barbecue sauce, but holy moly what looonng lines, what strict dining plan rules, what difficult seating! At Tusker House there was a group of dancers, and people were enjoying fries with their meals or mashed potatoes and vegetables instead of a tiny cup of baked beans… Oh well! Without kids these things are tolerable (I guess), but with a 2 and 5 year old I wouldn’t try it again.

What we ate:
Split between us: Beef Sandwich meal with an applesauce (instead of the beans) and smoked ½ chicken with baked beans and corn bread. There was a stack of free “giveaway” applesauces by the condiments, so I grabbed an extra. We also had a medium Coke and a medium lemonade for our drinks, and the chocolate cake and minute maid frozen lemonade for desserts.

Food Details
So, Donald and I split the delicious sandwich and most of the chicken. The kids devoured the chicken skin, then they reluctantly ate a few bites of the chicken meat I pieced out for them, and also they really enjoyed the cornbread and applesauce. The sandwich and chicken were REALLY good, especially after I finally hunted us down some BBQ sauce (details below). Donald loved the baked beans (no one else tried them…I just didn’t feel like beans at the time but they smelled good!). A word about ordering: there is no substituting allowed for those baked beans except for applesauce, so if you don’t feel like beans or applesauce you are out of luck with any of these meals, dining plan or not. Some people were ordering a side of fries or cole slaw on top of the meal and then giving away the unwanted beans or leaving the applesauce on the condiment bar for others, but then I saw a CM throw them all away, which of course is the only thing to be done but still, it seems like a waste. Anyway, the food was really good, just with very structured, limiting meals. Even if they hadn’t allowed fries, just a choice of cole slaw or beans it would have been nice... I guess they really wanted us to try their beans! Lastly, if you ARE on the dining plan, you get a medium drink instead of a large at this counter service, which was fine for us but something to keep in mind on a hot day. We didn’t order the kids meals, but the choices were a hot dog or chicken wings (I forget the side items). Overall, the strict meal choices were a downer, especially as a parent, so despite the delicious food I had to give it only four stars. From the kids, again, this was just another place that didn’t have any of their favorite foods, nothing great, nothing terrible, so three stars.

Atmosphere Details
Okay, so this wasn’t my favorite counter spot, atmosphere-wise. It felt really disorganized. Lines. The line que area was too small so there was a mass of bottlenecked people right before the real lines formed. It took FOREVER to get through this. Seating areas. There are two totally separate seating areas, so if you split up while one person orders and someone else goes hunting for a seat be sure and have your cell phone on, because it will be a toss up… did they choose the path to the right or the path to the left??? Go down one of the paths with your tray, up the three steps and glance around, nope not there… backtrack and go along the other path (“Excuse me for going against traffic with a tray of food and sodas”). Seats. Although Donald eventually found enough seats for us all while I ordered the food, (he chose the left path, by the way), there are not enough chairs for the amount of tables! People were staking out tables, then claiming chairs as they became vacant. It was musical chairs without the music, with people eyeing those lucky enough to have a seat, inching slightly over, glancing around to make sure no one else has laid claim on the chair, then asking in a hopeful voice, “When you’re all done, could we have one of those chairs?” We ended up giving away Peter’s chair to a family with older kids, since Peter wanted Mommy’s lap anyway. Condiments. Finally, we have food after an incredibly long line, we have a table, we have chairs, we have each other and everyone’s happy. I was ready to grab some napkins, utensils, and that famous BBQ sauce so I could sit in peace and eat. Except the sauce pumper thing was broken at our condiment island… the lid was partially off and the whole thing was disassembled. Okay, no problem, there’s gotta be another, so I left our seating area and walked down the other path to the other condiment bar and the BBQ sauce pumper thing over there was empty! So I scouted out a CM, let him know about the broken and also empty pumpers, grabbed napkins and stuff, went back to the table, made sure everyone was eating and under control, then went back to the nearby condiment island. A woman was trying to get the broken pump to work but it was no use. I told her that I’d let a CM know about it, I was ready to forget the sauce but she took the lid all the way off, then spooned some sauce into a few condiment cups… seemed like a good idea to me so I followed suit and filled two cups myself- victory at last!! When we finally left Flame Tree that pump was still the way we’d left it… maybe Flame Tree is understaffed? Oh well, the sauce was awesome so I’m glad I got some. I give it two stars for atmosphere because I feel generous now, the haze of time has taken the edge off that crazy lunch, but at the time I would have given it negative five stars. Considering the nice shade and pretty plants, that’s at least one star, and the cool-looking birds (they looked like miniature storks), entertained the kids a bit so there’s another star.

Other Details
I don’t know, we went for a pretty early lunch so I can’t think of what might have helped this place out. The food is tasty, so go if you dare, I’ve read a lot of really good experiences as well so maybe it was just an off day.

The Final Word
Not the place for us, if you guys go I hope you have a better experience!

bfila
06-21-2007, 09:20 PM
A word about ordering: there is no substituting allowed for those baked beans except for applesauce, so if you don’t feel like beans or applesauce you are out of luck with any of these meals, dining plan or not. Some people were ordering a side of fries or cole slaw on top of the meal and then giving away the unwanted beans or leaving the applesauce on the condiment bar for others


When we were there in May they let us substitute cole slaw for the baked beans. I'm so glad we got lucky! Didn't care for the beans at all, but enjoyed the cole slaw. :thumbsup2

passthepixiedust
06-21-2007, 09:39 PM
Thanks for your reviews! I can't wait for the rest of them!

disneyjunebug
06-21-2007, 09:44 PM
Your review is going great! I'm not sure who is the pickyer eater in my house, my DS who is 4 or my DH who is 48!! You are definitely giving the pros and cons the way I need them spelled out! I've always gone to WDW with myself, or other adults, or with Middle School kids, so going with a preK will be a new experience! I am looking forward to more!

tnkr_bell
06-21-2007, 10:21 PM
I'm really enjoying your dining report. We are going next year with ds6, dd4, and dd1 and I've been thinking about doing SiFi, Ohana, and trying to decide whether or not to do Akershus Princess Storybook or CRT for a Princess meal. I'm really looking forward to your review on Akershus and am now defintely going to do SiFi and Ohana. I can't wait, it sounds yummy!!!

kindakrazy2
06-22-2007, 01:16 AM
Great review! Keep them coming! :thumbsup2

mamasha
06-22-2007, 10:18 AM
Peter: Fries, cheesy potatoes and half of a chicken strip.




Did you have to ask for the other menu for children or did they just bring you the chicken and fries?
Thanks

apirateslife4us!
06-22-2007, 11:56 AM
Hi all, thanks for sticking with me!

Hi mamasha! No, I didn't have to ask for the children's meals, I actually didn't know they had any kids' choices! The waiter came by as we were finishing up our salad and said, "Oh, let me get something special for the kids". A few minutes later the kids' choices came out with our appetizers. Definitely ask if your server doesn't mention it! It was nice for the kids to have things they liked and we were not the only table that had it so it must be pretty common :)

bfila, I wonder if it was just the day we went or just our cashier? I love cole slaw and am not a big fan of baked beans on hot days! Oh well, it was just one thing of many.

Okay, up in a few... Akershus!

apirateslife4us!
06-22-2007, 12:03 PM
Akershus Princess Storybook (Epcot World Showcase: Norway)
Dinner (4:30pm)
Characters: Ariel, Jasmine, Aurora, Snow White, Alice in Wonderland


Food-
Kid Rating: * * * *
Parent Rating: * * * * *

Atmosphere-
Kid Rating: * * * * *
Parent Rating: * * * * *

Would we come back?
Kids: (Tink says): YES! Can we right now please?!
(Peter says): Huh? There was a princess dinner?
Parents: Yes! But if I can get into Cinderella’s Royal Table we’ll give that a try first princess:

Only five minutes late this time, WHEW but did we ever hustle! Learn from our example and be early!! Luckily there was about a ten minute wait from when I signed us in until our name was called, so I was able to catch my breath and compose myself a bit before we went in to meet the princesses. Gracing us with their presence this evening were Ariel (at the entrance taking pictures, wearing a turquoise ball gown), Princess Aurora, Princess Jasmine, Snow White, and Alice in Wonderland (not a royal princess, but a royal friend!).

What we ate:
Tink: The shrimp from the appetizer bar (surprise surprise). Cheesy ravioli, chocolate milk, and half the chocolate mousse cake.

Peter: Some ham from the appetizer bar. His own plate of cheesy ravioli (ate about half, and it was a large serving!), chocolate milk, and the other half of the chocolate mousse cake.

Donald: A little of everything from the appetizer bar (shrimp, pasta, meats). Traditional Kjottkaker (this was a large meatball in a yummy gravy-like sauce, mashed potatoes with VERY tasty seasonings, and vegetables). He had an ice tea and most of the lingonberry cheesecake.

Me: A little of everything from the appetizer bar, pasta Akershus with salmon (should’ve gotten the kjottkaker), a Coke, and a few bites of each dessert!

Food Details
YUM! My favorite was the cold appetizer buffet, and I went up a few times during the meal since the pasta I ordered was not very impressive. At the buffet there was shrimp (the kind you peel) so Tink was in heaven, and there was also this wonderful shrimp salad with teeny tiny shrimp that Donald and I LOVED. I had so much of it, yum! I also tried the pasta salad, which was okay, the orange marmalade chicken salad (very good!) and some meats (salami, ham) and cheese (muenster) with these cracker things they had that were okay. As for our little Peter, being a bit more a fan of “comfort foods”, he stuck with the ham and had his fill, but refused to try anything else. Other than the ham I didn’t see much on the cold buffet that would appeal to a picky eater, so keep that in mind. They did have regular sliced bread if you want to make a ham sandwich. The main course came and I tried a few bites of Donald’s Kjottkaker and WISHED I had gotten that instead of my pasta (I almost did too, it was a last minute switch to the pasta). My pasta wasn’t bad at all, it was in a creamy green sauce that was okay, but it just didn’t have that much flavor and wasn’t as fantastic as Donald’s. I had bad luck with pasta in general at Disney… oh well. Anyway, Donald ADORED his meal and scraped his plate clean. We had spent the morning at Typhoon Lagoon, mainly snacking all day, so the kids were pretty hungry. Even though they had pizza as a kid’s option, I wanted them to have a heartier meal after all that swimming, so we ordered them the ravioli to share, which I knew they also liked. Our waitress let us know that Peter could have his own meal free of charge (nice!) so we ordered him the same so they wouldn’t argue. Tink almost finished her ravioli plate (on top of all the shrimp!), and Peter ate about half of his (which is a lot for him!), so I’m glad he had his own serving. When dessert came out Donald and I each had a taste of the chocolate mousse cake (absolutely heavenly, *sigh!!* ) and then dutifully relinquished it to the children (lucky little monkeys). They gobbled their halves up while Donald and I shared the lingonberry cheesecake, which was also INSANELY yummy. The rice pudding was good too, but no one’s favorite in our family so we only each had a few bites. As a parent I give the food five stars because there were a lot of nice options for different tastes, pizza, pasta, meatballs, chicken etc. From the kid’s side I give it four stars instead of five only because the appetizer bar might not appeal to every kid, although I’m sure if they at least tried it they would be happily surprised

Atmosphere Details
The restaurant looks like a small castle, so it worked really well for the princess-theme. After sign-in you need to stay nearby because they don’t give out a light up pager thing, they just call out names and the poor guy calling them that night wasn’t all that loud (you could tell he was trying!). Inside the place was cool and very royal-looking. Tink kept calling it Ariel’s castle, I think because Ariel was the greeter, and she remarked that Ariel must invite her friends for sleepovers and that the bedrooms were upstairs LOL! The restaurant was staffed with Norwegians, and our waitresses’ accent added to the fairy-tale atmosphere of the whole meal. She taught us how to say hello and thank you but I can’t remember how now! She also chit-chatted about Norway, and how the Kjottkaker here was almost as good as her mom’s. Very sweet, friendly CM and she was very helpful too. And now, the princesses… oh the princesses!!!! Forgive me while I sidetrack to Tink’s reaction to these idols of the Disney realm. Yes, my Tink was completely twinkly-eyed... star-struck... breathless with anticipation when she realized who exactly was at dinner (we hadn’t told her, hee hee!). Back at Crystal Palace we also hadn’t told her about Pooh Bear either, but her reaction to the princesses was completely different. She just couldn’t stop smiling, and instead of her chatty, outgoing self, she became tongue-tied whenever a princess was nearby, smiling even more but not answering the princess with more than the slightest nod. When she did talk her voice was oddly low and the princesses had to lean close to understand her, so it looked like they were sharing some special secret. It was all very magical and very worth it, like watching one of those Disney World commercials with your own little girl in the center of it all *sniffle* Okay, mushy sidetracking all over. The princesses were great, though at first Tink was so starstruck that it seemed they were going to pose for a picture and leave without much interaction at all! She hadn’t said a word to Ariel up front, or to Jasmine, so while we were waiting for Aurora (who was absolutely gorgeous) I noticed a lively family nearby asking Snow White all about the dwarves and living in a cottage, and she was just chatting up a storm with them, so when Aurora came by I struck up a conversation with her about the good fairies, and asked if she’d had much time for berry-picking since waking up. Aurora stayed for quite a while then, much to Tink’s starry-eyed delight. Tink finally “woke up” and told Aurora about her Sleeping Beauty birthday party, and Aurora said she remembered it, then gave her a bright red kiss on the cheek (Tink about melted and wore it all evening). Snow White came by next, and Tink LOVED her voice. Alice was next, and she was bubbly and adorable. Tink never fully snapped out of the princess trance, but she was able to form sentences with them by the end of the night. Despite staying for about an hour and forty minutes, we never felt rushed at all, quite the contrary! Our waitress kept refilling our glasses and chatting a bit with us before heading off again. For atmosphere as a kid (for a girl anyway) it’s five stars hands down. Tink talks about this as her favorite restaurant in the whole world. As a parent, five stars for sure, I feel very lucky to have seen this much happiness in my little girl.

Other Details
One thing we noticed at this character meal as opposed to Crystal Palace (and later at Chef Mickey’s), is that the princesses don’t keep circulating, so they come to your table only once. At the other meals the characters kept meandering through the restaurant, which gave the kids a chance to warm up to them (Peter actually willingly posed in a picture with Mickey the second time he came around!). Maybe others have had a different experience, but I just thought I’d let you know so in case your little one is too shy to interact the first time, there might not be another chance. We were there a long time enjoying the atmosphere, and even though the princesses didn’t come back Tink was in heaven just watching them float around the room from afar so it was okay. As for Peter, he entertained himself drawing in his autograph book, and rarely even glanced up at the princesses. Snow tried to engage him a bit but he only looked up at her for a moment and went back to his drawing. I wouldn’t say he was bored, but the princesses might as well have been more waitresses to him. Another thing, and I know this is probably a no-brainer to most of you, but I didn’t bring her a princess dress to wear and I really wish I would have!!! Tink normally doesn’t like wearing her princess clothes in public, so I didn’t realize the effect that the other little girls’ dresses were going to have on her. I could have stuffed the poofy thing into my backpack or stuck it in a bag and hung it on the stroller just in case, and at least she would have had the option, but I didn’t, and she mentioned it a few times. Lastly, I became very well acquainted with the bathrooms due to some issues with Peter, and they were clean, had enough stalls so I never had to wait, and weren’t cramped at all.

The Final Word
I couldn’t get into Cinderella’s Royal Table, so this was my second choice and I’m very pleased with how it all turned out. If we do CRT then we’ll skip this one next time, only because I don’t imagine we’ll do more than one princess meal per trip. Next time I’m going to do everything I can to get into CRT because ever since meeting the princesses Tink has been talking about wishing she could visit Cinderella in her castle someday. Akershus was wonderful, and I’m sure this won’t be our last visit, so if CRT is too hard to get into or too expensive for your family, feel confident that Akershus will be an absolutely magical experience for your little princess!

LImom222
06-23-2007, 07:13 AM
Finally!! dining reviews with young children in mind, I really enjoyed reading your reviews, I have 2 little ones myself and this has helped me a great deal
Thanks!!

:surfweb: :surfweb:

DisneyJo
06-23-2007, 07:56 AM
Loving your reviews!

mamasha
06-23-2007, 10:00 AM
Thanks for the reply. I was really worried about our Ohana ADR.
Your review has been so helpful!

Booknut
06-23-2007, 05:12 PM
Loved your review!!!

jenrose66
06-23-2007, 06:12 PM
Thank you for this report! These are great dining reviews. I'll be taking my son for the 1st time this September. He'll be 13 1/2 months so I'm in "kid zone" while trying to plan my meals.

MissyDVC
06-23-2007, 07:37 PM
Fantastic reviews :cool1: Very helpful even for someone who has been there alot. Thank you for taking the time to post these :thumbsup2

MissyDVC
06-23-2007, 07:37 PM
Thank you for this report! These are great dining reviews. I'll be taking my son for the 1st time this September. He'll be 13 1/2 months so I'm in "kid zone" while trying to plan my meals.

OT but we are big Bills fans here on Long Island!

wilma-bride
06-25-2007, 05:23 AM
Still really enjoying your reviews - they are so detailed :thumbsup2

2ScottishPrincesses
06-25-2007, 09:54 AM
Thank you again for your wonderfull reviews they have been realy helpful. We're flying down to London tonight and out to Orlando tomorrow so the atmosphere is reaching fever pitch in our home!!

Your a star for helping out all us frazzled parents...Best regards from Kirsteen

apirateslife4us!
06-25-2007, 01:30 PM
Thanks for all the support guys, I'm trying!! I'll get the next review up later today... this past weekend was a busy one!

Have fun on your trip 2scottishprincesses!!!!! I know exactly what you mean by "fever pitch", you could cut the excitement in our house with a knife right before our trip (and the kids didn't even know!). I can't wait to hear how your trip goes and again, HAVE FUN!!!!

apirateslife4us!
06-26-2007, 08:01 PM
Chef Mickey’s (Contemporary Resort)
Breakfast (11:00am)
Characters: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto

Food-
Kid Rating: * * * * *
Parent Rating: * * * * *

Atmosphere-
Kid Rating: * * * * *
Parent Rating: * * * * *

Would we come back?
Kids: YES!!!!!
Parents: YES!!!!! If we had to choose only one repeat restaurant, this would be the one!

Late as usual, by about fifteen minutes :guilty: The CM didn’t say a word, just gave us a cheerful smile and handed us our light up pager. We had been at the Magic Kingdom that morning and took the monorail over, which wasn’t as fast as skipping over to Crystal Palace, but it was still very quick and easy (for future reference here was our timeframe: we left Tomorrowland at about 10:45, were out of the park by about 10:55 but hurrying, were at the monorail station about five minutes later in time to just miss one, caught the next one about 10 minutes later and were checking in at Chef Mickey’s at around 11:15). I should’ve called this the Late to Every ADR dining review!

What we ate:
Tink: Minnie’s breakfast pizza, Mickey waffles (2 of them), bacon, strawberries, hashed brown potato patties (like, 4 or 5)!, and a chocolate donut with gummy bears on top (Why? Because we’re in Disney World). And a chocolate milk!

Peter: A bite of Mickey waffles, pancakes, grapes, strawberries, blueberry yogurt and some gummy bears. Orange juice to drink.

Donald: Goofy’s vegetable breakfast lasagna, seasoned breakfast potatoes, buttermilk biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, Pluto’s corned beef hash, and sausage links.

Me: Three cheese omelet, challah French toast (four pieces! I’m such a pig), bacon and cheese potatoes, plain bacon, strawberries, hashed brown patties (these are at the kids area), and a rice crispy treat.

Food Details
Oh boy, we ate our hearts out at this one! Donald and I love breakfast foods, and with the time difference the last breakfast seating was just when we were getting really hungry. I really enjoyed Crystal Palace, but the buffet counter at Chef Mickey’s was about twice as long, with a lot of extra choices. Everything was hot, fresh, and so deliciously yummy I had to keep reminding myself to take it slow! As a bacon lover, Crystal Palace had yummier bacon (it was the perfect crisp-crunchiness), but Chef Mickey’s was also good, not chewy or anything. My absolute favorites were the French toast (soooo soft!), and the hashed brown patties from the kids’ side, gosh they were so crispy and tasty, I ended up loading up a plate for Tink and I to split since we both couldn’t get enough! I must’ve eaten at least four or five (or six!) Tink LOVED the Mickey waffles, I tried a bite and they were super yummy! If it wasn’t for the French toast I would’ve gotten those too! I also tried some of the Goofy vegetable breakfast lasagna, but I didn’t like it. Donald loved it and had seconds, but I thought the vegetables were too overpowering. He also loved the biscuits and gravy. The pancakes were always ready on the tray, which was nice since that’s Peter’s favorite. He ate fairly well, but Tink really surprised me by how much she packed away, especially considering all the character interaction. From both parents and kids, I couldn’t think of anything more I’d have wanted from a breakfast, and watching Tink gobble up her meal and ask for more was enough for me to give it five stars all the way around!

Atmosphere Details
The restaurant is very fun, and as usual, we settled in for a nice long meal, figuring it would be a good chance for a break and the kids would be entertained by Mickey and the gang. We weren’t disappointed, (except by our waiter, details below). The characters themselves were downright silly and so cute!!! We met Donald, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, and then, Oh Joy, Mickey himself! Peter was so excited when Mickey was across the room, he was bouncing up and down and pointing, but when the Big Cheese was finally at our table Peter lied down on the booth seat and refused to come near. We knew better than to push the issue, and told him to wave to bye-bye to Mickey, and that we’d see him later. Miraculously, with enough time and after seeing the other characters come by for the second time around, when Mickey appeared once more Peter waved hello to him, and then willingly smiled for a picture Hooray!!!! By the end of the meal he was giving any character who would come near a high-five! So if you have a younger child and you’re worried about the characters frightening him/her, I suggest planning a really long meal and only just waving at the characters the first time around. Don’t even attempt to engage him/her or take a picture until the second time and you may be happily surprised! As for Tink, she was skipping along to the napkin swinging parade and loved every second of it! She gave them all hugs and showed Minnie her Minnie Mouse shirt and just loved collecting autographs. It was great to just enjoy good food and watch our kids have so much fun. And we all laughed when Donald played a trick on Minnie (he tied her bow to a chair so she was stuck). I scolded him later, but he made an angel’s halo with his hands above his head and then laughed. There were a lot of these hijinks, I can’t remember them all but it was very cute to see Donald get jealous of the attention any other character got (especially if you mentioned Mickey! Donald is #1!). The restaurant was about half empty when we left, and we were rested and full and in great spirits. I can’t imagine giving such a wonderful place anything less than five stars!

Other Details
Our waiter. The poor guy. I’ve never seen a CM look so bored and disinterested before! And it was from the moment he rattled off about it being a buffet and told us that the characters would be out shortly. There wasn’t a smile to be had from the fellow, and that didn’t change throughout the meal. But we can’t fault Chef Mickey’s because of one waiter’s poor attitude, especially when everyone else from the hostess to the character “body guards” were cheerful and so much fun! Our bored waiter gave us the check while we were still on our first plate and I was barely cutting up Peter's pancakes (hahaha! He had no idea how long we planned on staying!) but we didn’t worry about him, let him heave another sigh, there were plenty of other diners and CMs having a wonderful time!

The Final Word
For our family, Chef Mickey’s was the perfect way to spend our last full day in the World. The characters were incredibly engaging, and being the classic “fab five” made it feel all the more magical and Disney. Mickey was sweet and humble when we complimented his restaurant, Minnie was adorably bashful when we joked about Peter having a crush on her, and even sat next to him on his booth. We spent a lot more time playing with Mickey and friends here than we ever dreamed we could have (especially waiting in autograph lines). It was an incredible experience!!

SadieG
06-26-2007, 08:24 PM
Great reviews! What is the vegetable lasagna like at Chef Mickey's? I've never seen it mentioned before. I can't wait to read more. :)

apirateslife4us!
06-26-2007, 10:00 PM
Hi SadieG! My husband loved the vegetable breakfast lasagna and I didn't really like it :confused3 He loves bell pepper and vegetables in general, and I love really cheesy things, so that probably explains it. This had layers of green pepper, red pepper, zuchinni, and some other veggies I think, plus only a little bit of cheese (it was white, maybe mozarella?). There was more in it, I'm not sure how it was layered with something that looked like crepes but anyway, he couldn't get enough of it, and served himself two heaping portions. As for me, one bite was enough to know that I would be sticking with my three cheese omelet and cheesy bacon potatoes!

Speaking of breakfast lasagna's, the one at Crystal Palace was really sweet, like a dessert and I loved it so much I went back for a huge (loved every bite) second helping, but Donald didn't care for it and had only one bite!

Hope this helps and thanks for reading my reviews!

wilma-bride
06-27-2007, 04:54 AM
Wow, Chef Mickeys breakfast is definitely going to be on our list for April. My kids will love it :thumbsup2 Thanks for taking the time to do your reviews - are there any more to come :confused3

turning40withMickey
06-27-2007, 09:20 AM
I am with you on the sweeter lasagne being a favorite. Your reviews are fabulous. Chef Mickey's is the only on property restaurant we have ever eaten, we are so excited to try them all on our trip in August. WE have picked most of the same places as you, with children in mind!:cool1:

apirateslife4us!
06-27-2007, 11:27 AM
Thanks guys!! I'm really trying to be helpful... the Dis boards are what made our trip so great and I want to pay it back (or forward?) :goodvibes

Turning40withMickey, yum yum on Pooh's breakfast lasagna! I'm wondering how it would turn out if I tried to find the recipe!

And yes wilma-bride I have a few more reviews up my sleeve! Casey's Corner is going up in a few minutes, and then I want to do one of Electric Umbrella and also the Pop Century food court tomorrow if I can. I'll wrap it up with a general good snacks, great snacks thing in my conclusion. You must be so excited about your April trip! I hope your kids have as good a time at Chef Mickey's as ours did! As much as we loved all our picks, Chef Mickey's was something special for the whole family :)

If anyone has any questions about the dining plan or anything at all just ask! I'm very happy to help :thumbsup2

apirateslife4us!
06-27-2007, 11:39 AM
Casey’s Corner (Magic Kingdom)
Dinner (6:30pm)

Food-
Kid Rating: * * * * *
Parent Rating: * * *

Atmosphere-
Kid Rating: * * *
Parent Rating: * * * *

Would we come back?
Kids: Sure!
Parents: Only for a snacky-type bite to eat, for anything more we’d want a counter services with more selection

Not a bad spot if you like a good hot dog! Just don’t expect more than a glorified hot dog stand. We love hot dogs and weren’t in the mood for anything heavy so it worked for us!

What we ate:
Tink: Almost half of a giant hot dog smothered in cheese sauce, a few cups of cheese with fries dipped in :lmao:

Peter: A few bites of hot dog and lots of fries

Donald: Hot dog and fries, large Coke and brownie for dessert.

Me: What the kids didn’t eat from their hot dog and fries… with at least a pint of cheese sauce! A water bottle and a brownie.

Food Details
If you like hot dogs, the ¼ pound dog they serve here is good stuff! Tasty, with soft bread and that extra yummy flavor you get from a good juicy ball park hot dog, we all loved ours! But if you don’t like hot dogs then this is the worst place you could choose to eat because hot dogs is what’s on the menu! The condiment bar has all the trimmings, even a cheese sauce for any other cheese lovers out there (I was in heaven!). I shamelessly went back and loaded my tray with cups of cheese sauce and not a drop went to waste! Tink doesn't normally like fries, she would rather eat apple slices, but she adores cheese (wonder where she gets it?) and the fries became a vehicle for her need for cheese! So anyway, having stuffed ourselves at Chef Mickey’s earlier and eating a few snack credits here and there we were feeling hungry enough to eat but not starving, so we ordered two meals and didn’t need the third. We all shared the large soda and saved the water bottle for later. We also tucked away the brownies for a fireworks treat, and we did it without the kids' knowing that way they wouldn’t pine away for them through the whole meal. FYI, since there’s no kids’ menu, kids order off the adult menu if you’re on the DDP. The dining plan choices are either the ¼ pound hot dog or a rather small serving of corn dog nuggets, both with fries or a side of chili, a large drink, and either a brownie or a small bag of Cracker Jacks (the Cracker Jacks were only .99 cents, so if you have a craving it would come out cheaper to pay out of pocket for that). Our family happens to love hot dogs, so the limited choices were fine for us, but as a parent I knocked off a star for that. I also knocked off a star for the lack of healthy options. Apple slices instead of fries or something would be nice, so three stars total as a parent (but as an non-parent adult I would have given this place four stars for food so long as you like hot dogs, remember the three stars is as a parent). From the kids, one star knocked off for the limited menu, one star added for the cheese sauce and sinfully delicious chocolate brownie! Really, as far as fries and dogs go, these were great and our kids loved them, Tink was stuffed! So five stars from them!

Atmosphere Details
This was a fine little spot to eat with friendly CMs and a nice location right on Main Street. The lines were very, very quick and the condiment bar was well-stocked and easy to get to. The seating area is pretty small but there were plenty of chairs, and a lot of people were taking their dogs or fries with them instead of sitting to eat, so we were the only ones waiting for a table outside. One opened up almost right away. Donald checked the back and there was indoor seating, but he said it was crowded back there. When I took a peek I saw that it was not advisable with a stroller at all. I have to admit I was hoping to sit outside anyway! It was nice munching on our hot dogs and watching Main Street, it wouldn’t be a bad way to watch a parade if you could time it right. I enjoy Main Street, and sitting back watching the sun set on the Magic Kingdom, I felt like we were a part of a living postcard. As a parent, the crowded seating (especially if you have a stroller and want to sit inside) knocked out a star, but other than that it seemed quite nice so four stars. From the kids’ side, Tink liked seeing the castle from our table, but other than that it was pretty neutral to the kids… not great, not bad, just fine, so three stars (at least the chairs had backs!).

Other Details
We had wisely made a bathroom pit stop back in Adventureland’s mega-bathroom so no trips to the bathroom mid-meal (from what I saw, most counter services have cramped bathrooms, especially in the older Magic Kingdom establishments, so we made it a point to go ahead of time when we could).
On another note, knowing that Tink’s meal would be an adult meal was all the more reason for us to split two meals and see if we wanted a third. This system worked so well for us at counter services, and freed up the extra counter service we had each day for a couple of breakfasts and a sandwich meal we took “to go” for the plane on our last day. The heat seemed to slow down our digestion and we felt full enough after our counter services, especially getting to eat all our yummy snack credits, that unless your family tends to eat big portions or you guys feel a little extra hungry, it might be worth trying out (especially if you have younger kids that don’t eat a lot. With older kids this might not work out!).

The Final Word
Very yummy hot dogs! If you like hot dogs this is the place to be. Also, if you want a snack or if you’re not on the dining plan and want an inexpensive bite to eat this could work for you. I don’t know if we’ll make it back to Casey’s for a full counter service meal, but being that it was so quick and in such a central location I imagine us at least using a snack credit for some cheesy fries!

wilma-bride
06-29-2007, 07:14 AM
Casey's sounds good for a quick stop :thumbsup2

thunderbird1
06-29-2007, 11:58 AM
Oooh! Cheese sauce at the condiment bar! I thought that had disappeared from all the CS restaurants, so it's good to hear you can still get it somewhere. And corn dog nuggets and chocolate brownies--my dd will be in heaven! The fries came with your meals? You didn't have to use snack credits for them? We just may have to stop in for a junk food fix!

Thanks again for the awesome reviews!

orlosipher
06-29-2007, 01:13 PM
Thank you so much for the wonderful kid-oriented reviews! Will you be posting a TR as well?

disnut1149
06-29-2007, 06:35 PM
Hi
Thanks for your great reviews. It sounds like you really had a wonderful trip!:thumbsup2

carri5317
06-30-2007, 09:26 AM
I have a question, we have an early ADR at CP for a character breakfast, but after reading your review of chef mickey character breakfast, I'm not sure which to choose, CP would allow us early entry to the MK but I have a 10yr old boy who I think whould enjoy the characters much better at Chef Mickey's, Since you have been to both which would you choose? Thanks Anyone for your advice!

apirateslife4us!
07-06-2007, 06:23 PM
Hi everyone, if anyone's still with me!! Apologies for being MIA so long, between Tink's preschool graduation and the fourth of July I had to put the internet away for a while!

carri5317 I'm so sorry about taking so long to reply, and I hope my response helps (though you've probably given up on me by now! :guilty: ) This would definitely be a tough decision for me as well... we all enjoyed CP, but after going to both I can definitely say we enjoyed Chef Mickey's more. Early entry is a factor to consider, but if it were my kids I know that early entry wouldn't outweigh the characters and overall fun atmosphere at Chef Mickey's. Also, the characters were a bit slower to get around at CP, and there were only four versus the five at Chef Mickey's. We loved CP and I know we'll be back, but only as an extra, and not in place of Chef Mickey's. I don't have a ten year old but I imagine Pooh and Piglet aren't going to be as funny as Donald's hijinks were. Of course please just take my advice with a grain of salt, but if it were me I'd book the earliest Chef Mickey's and ride the monorail over for park opening, rather than CP even with early entrance. Honestly, don't feel bad whatever choice you make because you will have a wonderful time at either, we did! I can't imagine a "bad" choice at Disney World!

Okay, I'm putting up a review of Electric Umbrella in a few... thanks to any readers still out there! :yay:

apirateslife4us!
07-06-2007, 06:28 PM
Electric Umbrella (Epcot: Future World)
Lunch (12:00pm)

Food-
Kid Rating: * * * * *
Parent Rating: * * * * *

Atmosphere-
Kid Rating: * * * *
Parent Rating: * * * * *

Would we come back?
Kids: Sure!
Parents: Yes!

This place was a nice little find on our last day of fun! And had I known how much yummier it was than the Pop Century food court for lunch, I would have used our very last meal credit here and tucked it away for the airplane!

What we ate:
Tink: One chicken strip, a few fries, soda

Peter: About half a chicken strip, lots of fries, soda

Donald: Half of a bacon double cheeseburger, the last two chicken strips, fries, soda

Me: Half a bacon double cheeseburger, fries, soda (saved the water bottle and both of the chocolate chip cookies for later)

Food Details
Yummy yum yum! Great food served here, everything was fresh and there was a little of everything! We hadn’t had a single burger on our whole trip, so we decided to split the bacon double cheeseburger (half of a double burger is a whole burger, no? LOL). We figured the kids could split the chicken strips and fries, and Donald could polish off anything they didn’t eat. For both meals we got the chocolate chip cookies for dessert, and each cookie pack had two cookies, so we saved those for later (and later on they were absolutely delicious, nice and soft!). We did one soda and one water bottle, and the one soda was great because this counter service has self-serve fountain drinks, and refilling is allowed, so we tucked away the water bottle for later on. Much to Donald’s delight, there was that delicious Disney honey mustard he loves! It’s so sweet and tasty I dunked more than a few of my own bites into it! The kids enjoyed their chicken strips, but since the portions were nice and big Tink just finished one strip and was all set. Peter filled up on fries, but I got him to eat about half a chicken strip without much hassle (they were good, I tried a bite!) Everything was great-great-great! And like I said there were PLENTY of different choices. The island chicken salad sounded good, and so did the turkey wrap (would have been a good choice for taking on the airplane). There was also chili and a roast beef sandwich… You could get coleslaw or a fruit cup instead of fries if you wanted, and I saw a lady ask for grapes instead of fries even though it was off the kids menu and the CMs had no problems with that at all! Okay, so for kids meal choices I know there was a kids’ version of the turkey wrap, mac and cheese, or chicken nuggets, plus grapes or carrots or… I want to say some sort of apple? (applesauce or slices, don’t remember). My kids really enjoyed the food they had, so five stars from them! As a parent, there were plenty of healthy choices for my kids, and there were both the old classics (nuggets/mac and cheeses) and the turkey sandwich thing, plus lots of sides to choose from, so five stars from a parent too!

Atmosphere Details
Ahh, air conditioned bliss! Epcot seemed really hot, especially Future World, so I was so happy to see a counter service that had PLENTY of indoor seating. As soon as we walked inside that full blast of AC was just heaven, and the place was spacious and clean, with a nice overall feel to it. Nothing was cramped or too close together, lots of stroller room, lots of seating and tables, lots of windows…just a great place to sit and enjoy a meal. The condiment area was easy to get to, and there were quite a few fountain drink serving places so it was never crowded or a pain to wait to refill. From the kids, since it was just a place to sit and eat I almost said it was neutral, so three stars, but then I remembered how sweaty they were at Flame Tree and Casey’s…I added a bonus star for being air conditioned, so four stars from the kids! As a parent, this was just what the doctor ordered: no hot whiny kids, no stroller issues, plenty of seats, easy to get to ketchup and drinks, quick lines, definitely five stars for any moms/dads/generously loving caregivers out there looking for a spot to eat together!

Other Details
We loved that there were refills on the fountain drinks, but if you find it annoying to have to get up and refill a lot keep in mind that the cups here aren’t as big as in other counter services. We didn’t mind at all, and Donald and I took turns refilling as we usually do at any fast food service at home, I just thought I’d point it out so you could decide whether to just order a second drink or not. We opted for the water bottle, which came in handy later.

The Final Word
Terrific! We’ll be back here for any Future World CS meals, but I'm curious about a few of the World Showcase counter service too!

undertheseas
07-06-2007, 07:52 PM
Terrific reviews, thanks for taking the time to post them!:goodvibes I'm so glad your DD enjoyed the princesses so much, to me that's what makes Disney so special!

wilma-bride
07-06-2007, 08:44 PM
We love Electric Umbrella :thumbsup2

apirateslife4us!
07-06-2007, 10:00 PM
Hey Wilma, you and I must have had our taste buds separated at birth! I see you'll be going to Disney in another month, where are you going to eat?!! *Sighhh* I can't wait to go back :cloud9:

Undertheseas, thank you! It's so hard to describe what it was like watching my little girl at the princess dinner, but it IS what Disney is all about. I get teary-eyed remembering it, and I'll never forget.

apirateslife4us!
07-06-2007, 10:26 PM
Okay, I've had a chance to read through the rest of the posts...

Disnut1149 we had such a wonderful trip, thank you! I remembered before going thinking that it was going to be fun for the kids and a nice memory for us, but I never imagined how much fun Donald and I were going to have too!

Orlosipher I love writing these reviews, actually I'm thankful that anyone's out there reading them! As for a TR, yes! I can't wait to start, hee hee! Writing out the reviews brings me right back there, so I do want to have the full trip report to relive too!

Thunderbird1 Ahhh the cheese... you really know how to go after my heart! Yes, the fries were included in the meal, and for a junk food fix this would be my choice. Mmm, cheese sauce! But I'd do what other people were doing and just take it to go and continue walking while munching :love:

seetheworld
07-06-2007, 10:50 PM
Wow, your reviews are wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you SO much!:thumbsup2 :thumbsup2 :thumbsup2 :thumbsup2

goofy4themouse
07-07-2007, 02:40 PM
Your reviews have been right on. I look forward to reading more your your reviews.
One question....are kids and adult tickets separate on the DDP? Because it seemed like you used adult CS at Flame Tree, Casey's, and Electric Umbrella. I wasn't sure if they were separate on the tickets ie room key.

DisneyJo
07-07-2007, 03:37 PM
Electric Umbrella is now on my list :thumbsup2

kimwim8
07-07-2007, 09:12 PM
Great reviews! Thanks so much for sharing!:thumbsup2

Eeyore's Tailfinder
07-08-2007, 11:15 AM
AWESOME reviews! I don't have any kids, but me and DBF are eating at a few of your choices next month, and now I am so excited for Ohana, Crystal Palace Breakfast and Chef Mickey Breakfast! Everything sounds so yummy and the character interaction sounds great :)

apirateslife4us!
07-10-2007, 12:24 PM
Thanks so much seetheworld and kimwim8! I'm glad they're useful because I really like writing them... and when I was planning I loved reading about everyone's trips! :goodvibes

DisneyJo Electric Umbrella really hit the spot that day! I can't see how it could disappoint, it has everything!

Eeyore's Tailfinder, you and DBF must be too cute! If I could go backwards I would definitely have done this trip at least once before having kids! We saw lots of couples on our trip, too! You two will have so much fun and the characters will be adorable, I know you'll love it!

goofy4themouse thank you! To answer your question in as many words as possible :laughing: I was also confused about how the DDP allotted different meals, so at check-in I asked how it worked and the CM explained that all the meals are on everyone's tickets/room keys. One person with their one room key can order everyone's food, or you can split up and each use your own key, either way doesn't matter because when it is run through the system it will charge the credits as they are used...it's all attached to your room, and not really attached to each person's key at all. As for how the adult vs. kids meals work, she said that we had 15 snacks, 15 counter service, 10 adult table service and 5 child table service. She told me that at a counter service that offered a kids' menu, we would have to order the third meal from the kids' menu. I had originally thought that we had 10 adult counter service and 5 child counter service (just like the table service), but in actuality counter service meals are all pooled together and not divided into kids and adults. So it just so happened that our first meal was Pizza Planet, which offers no kids' menu. Being my first day I was still confused, and I told the CM at Pizza Planet that I wanted to use two adult credits and one child credit. The CM there again explained that all counter service credits were pooled together, so there was no way to put it in as "adult" or "child", although if he wanted he could scroll back and review what I had ordered in the past, but in any case I was only obligated to order from a kids' menu if I ordered three meals at once. GREAT, I had been the lady that held up the line about the dining plan, but now that I really understood I stopped worrying about it and figured we would order two adult meals and share from then on, and get more bang for our buck. We could always go back and order the kids meal afterwards if needed, but knowing we could snack and our kids being munchers this never happened, we all felt comfortably full after our meals. Doing it that way I anticipated the third meal as a breakfast that we split in the mornings, so it was really convenient for our family and we spent zero out of pocket for food or meals, and got to eat each and every day, and never felt like it was too much food at all! Hope that helped, or at least didn't make things more confusing!!!

I'll try and get the Pop Century food court stuff up soon... thanks as always for reading!

momtoccc
07-10-2007, 01:42 PM
Thanks for clarifying the CS credits.. I've been a little confused also. We will be traveling with 3, (2 adults and 1 child) and I plan on sharing CS credits as well if it is too much food.

I will probably use 1 CS for breakfast to share and 2 CS at lunch to share. It sounds like I only need to order a child's CS if I order 3 CS meals at the same time. Correct?

goofy4themouse
07-10-2007, 07:56 PM
Thanks so much!! That answers a lot of questions. We had the free dining plan last year and loved it. I knew that they were changing it so that people could not abuse the system but I did not know what the changes were. Thanks again and I look forward to your next report.

workinmomof2
07-10-2007, 11:02 PM
This was absolutely wonderful of you. I am planning for October 2008 when my boys will be 5 & 3 and this is the type of info I have been looking for.

:thanks:

wilma-bride
07-11-2007, 06:09 AM
Hey Wilma, you and I must have had our taste buds separated at birth! I see you'll be going to Disney in another month, where are you going to eat?!! *Sighhh* I can't wait to go back :cloud9:



Hey there. Just seen this. We are trying to eat at places we haven't before on this trip, seeing as we have the free dining plan. So far, we have ADRs at:

Kona Cafe
Crystal Palace (for breakfast)
Le Cellier
Wolfgang Puck Cafe

We are also planning to go to Planet Hollywood and Liberty Tree Tavern for lunch, if we can get last-minute ADRs.

It does sound very much like we have the same tastes. We are planning a 2 week trip for next year with family and I am anxious to try lots of new places then too.

I have really enjoyed your reviews and I am sure it will help me when planning where to eat with our kids :thumbsup2

dspads
07-11-2007, 06:52 AM
Loved reading your reviews! We are going in Dec and my boys are similar ages to your children. Looking forward to Ohana and CM. Your counter service reviews were very helpful, too.

You mentioned bringing your stroller into restaurants a couple of times and I am just wondering what type of stroller you used. I haven't decided on bringing 2 singles or renting a double. I can't imagine one of those giant park doubles fitting into a CS place though. And that would be a negative! Did your 5yo use a stroller or just the little one?

Thanks for great reviews!

apirateslife4us!
07-11-2007, 06:22 PM
momtoccc yes, you're correct if my experience is anything to go by. You only need to ever use the child's meal at counter service if you order three meals at that particular establishment. And splitting one breakfast and two lunches was exactly what our family did, and it worked great!

No problem goofy4themouse! I'm not sure what meal plan changes there could have been, but that is how it worked from June 11 through June 16. Any other questions just let me know!

workinmomof2 thanks, that was nice! I know I searched through these boards looking for a family with young kids experience, and I'm happy to help out!

Wilma-bride, I can't wait to try Le Cellier someday! Didn't I read somewhere about a soup with cheese in it :lmao:

dspads, oh the nights I spent worrying about the stroller issue! So here's my answer in too many words, as usual: What we finally decided, after a LOT of Googling and asking on message boards, was to do what was right for my kids. A double umbrella stroller! What a wonderful invention! So compact and easy...sure, it wasn't perfect (wheels would get stuck when you first start pushing, mainly, but this was really minor), but it was just what our kids needed. I read through some posts about five year olds walking, and it seems to be a hot button for some people. I just didn't want walking to be what Tink remembered most about Disney, ya know what I mean? She doesn't use a stroller at home, but we don't walk for miles a day at home for six days straight! And boy am I ever glad I had that double stroller for her. She used it almost the whole time and we didn't have to get angry with a tired kid for not wanting to walk. So anyway, we bought a Kolcraft, it cost me $59 at Kmart, and I can't believe how great it was! I looked on Ebay, but a lot of the side by side doubles were the non-umbrella kind, and I already know about those (they fold up so big and bulky!). The ones that were umbrella doubles were either as expensive as the brand new Kolcraft, or else they didn't recline. That was one thing I thought was really cool about the Kolcraft, because when Peter fell asleep I didn't have to worry about him lolling forward. I ruled out the tandem strollers (front to back) doubles, just because they are even bulkier than non-umbrella side by sides. I hate to gush about this wonderful stroller, but it really IS wonderful if your kids are big enough to not need all the storage space and amenities of bigger strollers. It folded up really easily and compact, as small as two regular umbrella strollers pushed together, so at places like Casey's it was no big deal to fold it up. And it was cheaper than renting from Disney, plus it was more comfy for the kids than the Disney rentals. At babies-r-us they didn't sell this model, they had a jeep double umbrella that was $119. The clincher for me, other than price, was that the jeep model had a more complicated folding system, so I thought it would be a pain when I was trying to quickly get the stroller folded up. The double umbrellas aren't super easy to find, but definitely test out the one you want before deciding. Good luck, and I hope you and your boys have an awesome time!

apirateslife4us!
07-11-2007, 06:28 PM
Pop Century Food Court
Various breakfasts and one “to-go” lunch

Food-
Kid Rating: * * * * *
Parent Rating: * * * * *

Atmosphere-
Kid Rating: * * *
Parent Rating: * * *

Would we come back?
Kids: Yes
Parents: Yes

FYI- All the adult dining plan breakfasts here come with two drinks, awesome! You can choose the tiny milk/juice/etc or the large 16-ounce milk/juice/etc, so keep an eye out for the DDP symbol and get the bigger option where available.

What we ate:

Breakfast Tuesday: Box of one dozen donuts (1 snack credit), one large orange juice (1 snack credit), two large milks (2 snack credits)

Breakfast Wednesday: Pancakes with topping and sausage. Came with four small pancakes with strawberry topping and whipped cream, and two sausage patties. Used one counter service credit, which included two drinks, so I got two large orange juices (16 oz container) and the kids still had one whole leftover milk from the day before (we had a small soft-sided collapsible cooler which we used to keep milk and stuff in).

Breakfast Thursday: Waffle with topping and sausage platter, 2 large chocolate milks (Now we were the ones with an extra OJ in the room). This meal came with a nice large waffle that’s sort of pre-split into four pieces, convenient for our sharing habits, with strawberry topping and whipped cream. Also two sausage patties.

Breakfast Friday: A big box of donut holes (1 snack credit), a large orange juice (1 snack credit). The kids still had the extra chocolate milk in the room, which they drank.

Breakfast Saturday: Adult breakfast platter with ane large OJ and a large chocolate milk (1 CS credit), and a croissant (1 snack credit). The platter came with eggs, potatoes, a biscuit and either 2 bacon strips or only one sausage patty. I chose the sausage patty since the bacon looked kinda limp.

To-Go Lunch Saturday: Turkey Ciabatta sandwich (we asked her to wrap it up in plastic wrap, which she did), one drink and one side (1 CS credit). The side could be any snack item marked with a DDP logo, and because the point of this meal was to take on the plane with us, we chose a big box of donut holes. For the drink we asked if we could get another snack instead, and the CM said it was fine, so we chose a container of grapes (after all, the airline at least gives out beverages!).

Food Details
No complaints here, it was all pretty good. Lots of selection and the quality was at least as good as any other food court I’ve been to, and better than a lot! The turkey ciabatta had a lot of onion in it, and in retrospect I’d have grabbed a turkey wrap from electric umbrella instead, but the ciabatta was tasty too. The breakfasts were all tasty, and splitting between the four of us one platter was enough to get us through to lunchtime, especially since most of the time we have toast or cereal at home. On Saturday we used the croissant to make an egg sandwich for the kids to split, and Donald and I ate the rest. On Tuesday and Friday we didn’t use counter service credits since we had reservations for character breakfasts anyway, and we just needed snacks to get us going. We couldn’t finish the dozen donuts on Tuesday morning, and we munched those for a few days too!

Atmosphere Details
This seemed like a nice, although busy, place, but technically we never ate here, we ate in our room! I would wake up first, turn the TV on and get ready, then head over to Everything Pop and get the food, then take it back on a tray to our room. By then if the kids/Donald weren’t awake with the TV, they’d get up with the smell of food. This was the fastest way to get ourselves up and going, so that the kids and I could eat while Donald took a shower, then Donald could eat while I got the kids ready, and we didn’t have to hassle about getting everyone ready and then starting with lines at the food court. From what I could see, the dining area got kind of crowded after about 8am or so, and it was the usual tables and chairs waiting game that most counter services had. Also, there are different food “stations”, I think four of them, and each one serves a different kind of food (one had only waffles, one had only pancakes, one had omelets, and one had eggs and potato kind of stuff I think). There was a line for each, so if you bring the whole family and someone might want pancakes and someone else might want waffles, be prepared to split up. I saw a few other solitary moms and dads getting trays with platters loaded up and avoiding the whole family standing in different lines thing, so I definitely wasn’t the only doing room service, and I’ll do it again in a heartbeat when we go back!

Other Details
A word about the mugs. We didn’t end up getting the refillable mug, though I did second guess this decision a few times. I think if we could do it again we still wouldn’t have gotten it, even though every time we came back to the hotel for a midday break we would have liked a soda…but then again we stopped by the hippy dippy poolside bar and asked for a few cups of ice water instead and this worked out fine (especially since it was delicious filtered water and not the Orlando tap water you get from the food court and everywhere else). As far as staying hydrated goes it was better that we drank water instead of soda, but we were lucky enough to be right at near the hippy dippy pool so one of us could always grab a few more cups whenever we wanted more. This wouldn’t have been as easy if our room were somewhere far. Also, since we don’t drink coffee and we got so much to drink at breakfast we didn’t really need the mugs in the mornings. If you’re debating it, just think about how often you’ll be at the hotel and whether asking for ice water all the time will bother you more than spending the money.

The Final Word
We loved our stay at Pop Century, and the food court never let us down! The Pop will be our resort of choice unless we can afford a monorail resort someday (we can dream!).

SmallWorld71
07-11-2007, 08:05 PM
Just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed your reviews! :cheer2: We also eat our breakfasts in the room. It is a major time saver when traveling with kids. Although I always drool over the wonderful reviews of places like California Grill, Jiko, etc... it was so nice to have a review of places we will actually be eating on our upcoming trip. I figure the kids are only kids for such a short time and I really like to pick dining places that are special for them (but still have good food for us grown-ups!). Thanks again!

2ScottishPrincesses
07-12-2007, 02:48 AM
Thanks
Have fun on your trip 2scottishprincesses!!!!! I know exactly what you mean by "fever pitch", you could cut the excitement in our house with a knife right before our trip (and the kids didn't even know!). I can't wait to hear how your trip goes and again, HAVE FUN!!!!

Just back and had a fantastic time:cloud9: , your reports were right on the money! We did Akershus for breakfast and it was wonderfull, CRT for lunch was good but thought Akershus character interaction was better, less rushed. We did a few of the places you did, we also did both lunch and breakfast at WCC as we were staying at the lodge and the character breakfast at Cape May Cafe, you should try both of these when you go back as we all oved the atmosphere and food selections at both of these, DD's especially loved all the antics at WCC infact DD2 can now whoop "YEE HA" better than any of the CM's who work there. :rotfl:

Thanks again for all your help.....regards Kirsteen :grouphug:

wilma-bride
07-12-2007, 03:07 AM
The Final Word
We loved our stay at Pop Century, and the food court never let us down! The Pop will be our resort of choice unless we can afford a monorail resort someday (we can dream!).


Really loved your reports - very informative. I will be attempting a dining report in September, when we return and I just hope my report is half as good as yours :thumbsup2

And our dream is also to be able to afford a stay at a monorail resort too. We are hoping that DVC at the Contemporary will be announced soon ;)

dellasgirl
05-04-2010, 11:23 PM
Great reviews and very helpful
:cutie:

pmaurer74
05-05-2010, 12:19 PM
Thank you for sharing your trip details, you went to a lot of the places we plan to go.. I am wondering now about the Norwegian Storybook place.... We have the Cinderella's Royal table day #1 for lunch, Chef Mickey's for breakfast one day and 1900 fare for dinner one night. I was wondering if 4 character meals were too many.

apirateslife4us!
05-06-2010, 12:52 PM
Hi Dellas, thanks again for stopping by :hug:

Hi Pmaurer! Here's my long answer :laughing: In my kids' opinion, there was no such thing as too many character meals!! :banana: But my DH and I aren't in any hurry to take a trip to WDW for ourselves. From our experience during our 2007 trip, we are very much "for the kids," meaning our favorite parts of visiting Walt Disney World was giving the kids the most special experience we could. The kids are going to grow up before we know it, and character meals may or may not still be something that appeals to them, so I say visit the places you think your kids will enjoy!! That being said, places like Sci-Fi Drive-In and 'Ohana have no characters but were huge hits with our kids! Last thing to consider, Akershus is a princess meal, so you'll want to take that into consideration if you have boys. On our upcoming June 2010 trip, we are limiting to one princess meal because the boys aren't interested at all. Since we've never experienced Cinderella's, we're not visiting Akershus this time around. In conclusion, you know your kids best and your family best, and truly, I don't think there's a real "wrong" choice at Disney World! Everything is fantastic! :thumbsup2

pmaurer74
05-06-2010, 07:58 PM
Hi Dellas, thanks again for stopping by :hug:

Hi Pmaurer! Here's my long answer :laughing: In my kids' opinion, there was no such thing as too many character meals!! :banana: But my DH and I aren't in any hurry to take a trip to WDW for ourselves. From our experience during our 2007 trip, we are very much "for the kids," meaning our favorite parts of visiting Walt Disney World was giving the kids the most special experience we could. The kids are going to grow up before we know it, and character meals may or may not still be something that appeals to them, so I say visit the places you think your kids will enjoy!! That being said, places like Sci-Fi Drive-In and 'Ohana have no characters but were huge hits with our kids! Last thing to consider, Akershus is a princess meal, so you'll want to take that into consideration if you have boys. On our upcoming June 2010 trip, we are limiting to one princess meal because the boys aren't interested at all. Since we've never experienced Cinderella's, we're not visiting Akershus this time around. In conclusion, you know your kids best and your family best, and truly, I don't think there's a real "wrong" choice at Disney World! Everything is fantastic! :thumbsup2


No boys here except my husband. We have two princesses and one of them calls herself a princess... sigh. I actually enrolled her in the dancing princess week long summer camp where I live and am getting her a Cinderella dress for it so I think she will be thrilled. I am signed up for 3 princess events right now but will most likely cancel the 1900 Fare one.

apirateslife4us!
05-06-2010, 08:21 PM
Two little princesses!! Well in that case, Akershus and Cinderella's table would be amazing for them! We are doing the Cinderella one this time because my daughter longed for it so much the last time... if I could get away with a second princess meal it would definitely be Akershus :lovestruc The interaction was phenomenal, and the food was great too. I can't speak for 1900 Park Fare, since I haven't been there myself, but since your little princesses will see Cinderella at her castle already, I would go with Akershus. (Or keep all three :rotfl: ) Good luck deciding!! I'm sure there isn't a "wrong" choice at Disney World!:cloud9: