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Rajah
01-10-2001, 03:08 PM
WDW Trip Report -- December 14th through the 19th

Cast:
Tammi, "Rajah", primary trip planner and trip report writer. 4th trip to the World
Michael, "VonDrake", once again seriously in need of a vacation. Finals are rough on the instructors too ;) 3rd trip to the World

Supporting Cast:
Becky, long time friend of Tammi and Michael, CM at outdoor foods at MGM
Art, new friend (this year), CM at Innoventions

Trip dates:
Thursday December 14, 2000 through Tuesday December 19th, 2000

Stayed at:
Caribbean Beach Resort Thursday through Sunday, transferring to Wilderness Lodge on Sunday


Crystal Palace (breakfast)
Food: Breakfast was, as usual, quite good. The breakfast lasagna and made-to-order omletes will continue to bring us in.
Characters: Nothing spectacular about the characters this time. They were friendly, they each stopped by to greet us and get pictures, then they moved on. Pooh, as usual, was stationed at the front while Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet came around for greets.
Service: Other than taking what seemed like forever to bring our check, the service was very attentive this time.
Atmosphere: I love the inside of the Crystal Palace most of the time, and at Christmas it's even more beautiful.
Rajah's Rating (of 5): ****

Liberty Tree Tavern (dinner)
Food: As usual, the food was excellent. The dinner is served family style and comes with a salad (mixed greens), rolls (delicious), turkey (good), pepper beef (Michael likes, I don't), and honey-mustard ham (I love, Michael doesn't). Sides include buttered carrots, mashed potatoes and gravy, and macaroni and cheese (stoffer's style). Dessert isn't included, but we had some anyway -- the seasonal Eggnog Cheesecake that was OUT OF THIS WORLD! YUM! :D
Service: VERY attentive, very friendly. We never lacked for anything and she kept returning to see if we wanted more of something. She visited with us and found out the policy for MVMCP dining for us (we had to stay in the lobby until 7:30). She also let us go see "what that noise was" when Fantasy in the Sky was taking place outside.
Characters: What can I say...twice now, we've eaten here when this wasn't "just" a character meal, it was total character interaction and like you were literally immersed in the middle of an animated cartoon with Chip, Dale, Pluto, Goofy, and Minnie. I'd say this is unusual unless you're somehow a "captive audience", but the interaction was again out of this world.
Atmosphere: Great :D It was quite festive for Christmas, especially for the party. And I love the colonial theming in the first place.
Rajah's Rating (of 5): ****** (yes, 6)

Donald's Breakfastosaurus (breakfast)
Food: This isn't my favorite character breakfast, but it's not my least favorite either. I liked the breakfast hash and the breakfast burritos the best. Another buffet, and a good breakfast if you want a buffet and are planning to go to Animal Kingdom.
Service: Fairly attentive, funny, they're part of the act.
Characters: Again, fairly typical. Though I did think they were very cute interacting with the little one (1, 2...thereabouts) in the stroller at the table behind us.
Atmosphere: I'm not too fond of the atmosphere at Donald's. It's loud, it's noisy, it's crazy, and for its theme it's great, but it's not my usual cup of tea.
Rajah's Rating (of 5): ***

Flying Fish Cafe (dinner)
Food: I had the Pork Tenderloin that was cooked over an oak grill or something like that, and it was VERY tasty. Easily the best meal I had the entire trip. Michael had the seared tuna, and after getting over the fact that it was raw everywhere but on a thin shell on the outside, he said it was good. Warning: there may be 2 tuna dishes on the menu, so be sure to check both the main entree list and the "chef's thunder" and *point* to the specific one you want. Michael didn't, and thus ended up with a tuna he didn't expect. I also had the Hail Ceasar Salad which was spicy but pretty good.
Service: Attentive, but not overly so. We had a good server.
Atmosphere: Festive. Somewhat loud, but not overly so again. Nice.
Rajah's Rating (of 5): *****

Artist Point (dinner)
Food: Eh. We'd heard so many good reviews of this place that we came in expecting Flying Fish quality food. However, we were among the last seated and they'd run out of salmon earlier in the day. Salmon is a good 2/3 of the fish menu so that cut the selection down a *lot*. I had a soup of some sort (I forget what it was) which was decent (and green) and Michael had a cold-sampler appetizer. He said that was pretty good for the most part, but he would have liked almost all of the samples warm better. For dinner, I had a steak which was so-so. Michael had the trout and said it didn't have much flavor, but the rice topping was really good. We were both disappointed, but will try again another time when they *have* salmon.
Service: Fairly attentive, again except when it was time to bring the check.
Atmosphere: Nice. One thing I do like about Artist Point is the atmosphere. The murals are nice and it seems fairly rustic.
Rajah's Rating (of 5): **

Chefs de France (Candlelight Processional package dinner)
Food: This is usually our favorite meal of the trip, but this time the food wasn't quite up to its usual standards. It was still good, but you could tell they were rushed because of the Candlelight Processional and the food quality suffered slightly from that. I don't remember what Michael had for an appetizer (if anything) but I started with some scallops over a rice patty which was decent. It had more flavor in November. We both had the beef tenderloin in cabarnet sauce which again was quite good, but not quite as fantastic as usual. And we both ended the meal with a Creme Brule which didn't have quite as much flavor as most I've had. To be fair, there is a possibility that both of us had a slight touch of a cold and thus food didn't have as much flavor *period*.
Service: Sloooooow. Despite everything being rushed, we hardly saw our waiter at all and he was very slow to get to us on anything.
Atmosphere: Crowded. Most of the time, we haven't found the restaurant to be crowded, but this time everyone seemed louder than usual and it seemed a little harder to get around. I don't know if they put more tables in for the Candlelight Processional package or if it just was more crowded, but it wasn't as relaxing as usual.
Rajah's Rating (of 5): ****

1900 Park Fare (breakfast)
Food: We were *very* disappointed in this meal this time. It was absolutely EXCELLENT in January and dinner in November was our best meal that trip, but this visit the food wasn't quite as good as the same dishes at Crystal Palace. We were in a late seating (10:35/10:40) compared to our seating in January (8:30-ish) and that may have made a difference.
Service: We hardly saw our waitress this time. She was very friendly, but almost not there at all. I don't think I ever did get a refill on my coke.
Characters: What a disappointment. After the show we had in January, we were expecting good things here. But of the 4 that stopped at our table, none stopped long enough for a full conversation or pictures (except we did get a picture with Pinocchio). And of the 3 face characters, only Mary really acted like her character. Alice DIDN'T FIT and the Mad Hatter didn't have enough spark. We'll try again, but won't be as hopeful as we were this time.
Atmosphere: Okay. Things were a little louder than our past trips which meant the restaurant was more crowded than past trips which may have had a major impact on the characters' attentiveness and on our service. Take all the people out, and this is one of the most charming restaurants we visit.
Rajah's Rating (of 5): ***

Pasta Piazza Ristorante (brunch/lunch)
Food: For fast service, this place has some good quick italian food. I had the chicken parmigean with a salad which was pretty good. I don't remember what the others had.
Service: Almost non-existent, but this is a counter-service
Atmosphere: Not much
Rajah's Rating (of 5): ***

Pinocchio's Village Haus (lunch)
Food: We had a hamburger (which Michael said was slightly better than McDonald's), hot dog (which was one of the best hot dogs I've ever had), fries (decent) and a Figaro fries (fries with cheese, bacon, and lettuce) which were FANTASTIC! Yum, a great snack and a must-get next time.
Service: Despite it being a counter-service, the people here were very friendly and we did encounter a few people about the restaurant who were helpful -- pointing out the condiments, cleaning up the tables, taking our finished tray from us to dispose of...
Atmosphere: Very cute. It does feel like you're inside a "village haus" and I like the Pinocchio theming. I also like being able to look down over Small World while you eat (if you're lucky enough to get a table there)
Rajah's Rating (of 5): ****

Old Port Royale Marketplace (food court of Caribbean Beach, breakfast)
Food: This was actually one of our better breakfasts, and a TON of food for the price. I'd recommend it again.
Service: Those few people we encountered were friendly and accommodating, like substituting twice the bacon instead of any sausage for me.
Atmosphere: Neat. It's like you're in an outdoor marketplace even though you're indoors, and the "buildings" (each facade different for each eatery) are at a fairly small scale, giving it a more intimate feel.
Rajah's Rating (of 5): ****


On to "Tips and Thoughts" (http://wdwinfo.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?a=tpc&s=40009993&f=12309246&m=335090546) (I hope the link works...)

-Rajah
http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/rajah/tigerbow.gif

http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/rajah/mickeymoonsm.jpg

cdrtrisal@aol.com

Rajah and VonDrake's Honeymoon (http://www.crosswinds.net/~rapp/membook/index.html)

Rajah's Disneyland Crossword Puzzle (http://www.crosswinds.net/~rapp/dis/rajah1.html)

Mackey Mouse
01-10-2001, 03:46 PM
I thought your reviews were excellent.. I have to tell you I have never been to the Crystal Palace in all my years of going to Disney.. That breakfast lasagna entree has me intrigued, thanks for getting the information out to the rest of us who have never dined at some of these restaurants.

Mac-key Mouse QOBGOC http://www.marshantiques.com/clipart/dancecindy.gif
<font color=red>Coordinator of the First Annual Official Dis Convention </font>

Aerobics
01-10-2001, 09:26 PM
Rajah,

Your restaurant reviews thread is a brilliant idea! I like how you describe each one in detail, and I laughed out loud when I saw you awarded Liberty Tree Tavern 6 out of 5. :)

So, did you find A balcony outside at Pinocchio Village Haus? Because, if you did, then you found THE balcony referred to in the NASTEE. It only seemed "hidden" because the rest of the restaurant was packed (seemingly) to capacity, and here we were on our own "private" balcony.

I'm not necessarily I'd *want* to overlook It's a Small World while I'm eating...might lose my appetite! :) J/K

Thanks for the great reviews!

Somebody call I-X-I-I!!!

Rajah
01-11-2001, 07:06 AM
Nate --

Yes and no. We saw the balcony you referred to I think, but there was a door to it that was closed, probably due to the cold and rain outside. The inside balcony was the closest we could come :D

And Liberty Tree *deserves* 6 out of 5 :D It was that much fun :D

Mac-Kay --
The breakfast lasagna is a real treat. I've yet to identify everything in it, but there are bananas, peaches, we think either pancakes or waffles, and some kind of pudding. But even for someone with a mild allergy to fruits (me, of course) it's still good and not overpowering. I can have one serving without reacting to anything in it, which is unusual :D And it's DELICIOUS! Slightly sweet, but not overpoweringly so. I highly recommend both it and the made-to-order omletes :D

-Rajah
http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/rajah/tigerbow.gif

http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/rajah/mickeymoonsm.jpg

cdrtrisal@aol.com

Rajah and VonDrake's Honeymoon (http://www.crosswinds.net/~rapp/membook/index.html)

Rajah's Disneyland Crossword Puzzle (http://www.crosswinds.net/~rapp/dis/rajah1.html)

Beanie
01-11-2001, 04:53 PM
That was a great review of restaurants...I also, have never been to Crystal Palace...We were supossed to go this last time we were in Disney and couldn't make it at the last minute...Someday I will get there...thanks for posting!

<font color=purple>Tricia</font>
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Marla Hellwig
02-09-2001, 09:44 AM
For some reason I am hungry now! Thanks for posting!

snuggles
02-20-2001, 12:27 PM
bump!

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Cousin Orville
02-20-2001, 12:36 PM
Thanks for the post. I'm looking forward to trying Flying Fish. It sounds terrific.

Cousin Orville
Inventor of Air Cooling - CoP

pumba
03-07-2001, 08:43 AM
fantastic.....thanks for giving us alot of info on these restaurants....... :)


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Belle5
03-07-2001, 08:16 PM
I love your review style! Thanks for putting this together. Very helpful!

Mamu
03-09-2001, 03:45 AM
Rajah, Thanks for the restaurant reviews.

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