View Full Version : February Dining Review

02-11-2010, 05:50 PM
Hi everyone,

My name is Kristin and my family has just returned from a wonderful trip to Disney from 2/4 - 2/10. Since I so enjoy reading everyone else's dining reviews, I thought I'd post my own. I didn't take any food pics, but I will do my best to describe our meals. Hopefully you'll find this info useful for your trip planning.

A bit about the trip... my DH, DS1 (age 9), DS2 (age 7) and I stayed at the All Star Music resort in a family suite - which I highly recommend to anyone with kids. It was nice after a long day in the parks to come back and be able to let the boys play/watch TV in the living room while DH and I relaxed in the bedroom. Two bathrooms in the morning is a bonus, too!! It was well worth the extra money we paid (plus, we had the buy-5-get-2-nights-free deal so I feel we paid a very reasonable price for this room). We had the standard dining plan and it was definitely enough for us - we only ended up spending around $60 on food and drinks that weren't covered by the plan, not including tips for our table service meals. I will give you all details on what each day's food would have cost us vs. the dining plan cost to give you an idea of the savings.

If you have any questions about the resort, food, or trip in general, send them and I'll answer them as best I can.

First up will be lunch at Intermission Food Court in the All Star Music resort and dinner at The Plaza Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom.

02-11-2010, 08:08 PM
I'm in!

02-11-2010, 09:07 PM
I LOVE food reviews. I'm here and can't wait to read. popcorn::

02-11-2010, 09:57 PM
2/4 - We arrived at All Star Music around 11 and our room was ready for us - gotta love that online check in!

We decided to grab a quick bite at Intermission Food Court since we had been up since 4:30 am and DS1 and DS2 were starving. DH had a bacon double cheeseburger, DS1 had the kid's cheeseburger, and DS2 and I both had hot dogs. The boys all had fries, I had pasta salad, and we all had chocolate chip cookies. DH's burger was large and he liked it - certainly not the best burger he's ever had, but he said it was cooked well. DS1, who at 9 is a pretty hungry kid, was a bit dismayed at the size of his kid's cheeseburger (especially compared to his DH's!), but DH shared some of his fries with him and we assured him that if he got hungry later we would buy him a snack or two or ten - and then he was fine. :) The hot dogs were standard theme park dogs - fine, but not too exciting. (We were so hungry we would have eaten the table by then, anyway - so they could have been terrible and we wouldn't have cared.) The fries were hot and crispy, just the way we all like them. The pasta salad was tasty - it had an italian dressing on it and had chunks of zucchini, onion, and sweet peppers - yum. The "adult" cookies were good, and the kids did like their "kid" cookies as well - but I do wish that the kids meals would include a cookie from the bakery instead of the packaged ones.

We headed off to MK, where we had a 5:45 ADR for The Plaza Restaurant. We arrived at 5:30, but we weren't seated until 6:10. DH asked around 5:45 how long it would be until we were seated, but the hostess couldn't even "guess-timate" and was a bit snippy with him - not a good first impression. Once we were seated, the service improved dramatically - we had a really nice waiter. DH had the cheesesteak sandwich and fries, and said the cheesesteak was tasty and tender. I had the tuna salad on a croissant and fries- yum! The tuna was really tasty and the croissant was soft and fresh - it was a huge sandwich. The fries were thick cut, crispy on the outside, and steaming hot and soft on the inside - very, very tasty. DS1 and DS2 both had garden salads (from which they each ate about 3 pieces of lettuce and then DH and I nibbled on them), grilled cheese and fries, which they gobbled right down. I had a bite of the grilled cheese and it was really good - very buttery and crisp. DH and I had Plaza sundaes and the boys had Mickeylodeons - all were dee--licious and big! It was a very good dinner and I do recommend this restaurant.

We used 4 snack credits on two orders of popcorn, a soda, and a bottled water. We decided that we wouldn't use any more snack credits on drinks - seemed like a waste to us, so we paid OOP for a just few sodas through the rest of the trip and drank water (brought from the hotel).

The daily cost of the DDP for the 4 of us is $108, and this day's lunch, dinner, and snack credits totaled... $108.50! So today was a wash as far as cost. The saves were yet to come.

Next up - Lunch at Sunshine Season Food Fair and dinner at Les Chefs de France...

02-12-2010, 08:56 AM
2/5 - Epcot day! We had a great morning taking DS1 and DS2 on Test Track, Mission Space, and several other rides, and DS2 got to talk to Crush in Turtle Talk with Crush - which was a highlight for him!

Of course, all of this fun worked up our appetites, so we were off to Sunshine Season Food Fair for lunch. Since we had never eaten there, we did find it a bit confusing at first because there are multiple lines. Once we split up with DH taking care of his meal and DS1's, and me taking care of mine and DS2's, it got better - trying to get things for the 4 of us from 4 different lines and meeting up by the checkout was too crazy. DH had the smoked ham and salami grinder, which was served on focaccia bread with a side of potato salad. He liked the sandwich a lot; the bread was very good and it was a good-sized portion. He's not a big potato salad fan, but said it was good - it must have been, because I didn't even get a chance to swipe a bite off his plate! I had the ginger mongolian beef with white rice and noodles, and it was delicious. It was a big portion with the sides, the ginger sauce on the beef wasn't too strong, and the meat was tender. The noodles were really tasty, too - and I'm a sucker for starchy, sticky white rice - so I was a happy gal. DS1 had mac & cheese, which he declared the best he's ever had. I guess instead of making homemade, I'll have to buy Stouffer's from now on. :) He had carrots and jello as his sides. DS2 had the make-your-own mini sub with applesauce and a brownie. The sub had a nice dinner-type roll, two slices of turkey, a slice of provolone, lettuce and tomato. DS2 decided to only eat the applesauce, the roll with butter, and... the piece of lettuce?? What a funny little guy! He totally loved his brownie, and good thing I got one for my dessert because DS1 didn't know you could get a brownie, and his jello just did not compare. So, being a typical mom, I sacrificed my dessert to him. We moms give and give and give... so to compensate, I took a couple of bites of DH's strawberry shortcake. Oh, YUM. It was heavenly. And a huge piece! That's definitely a winner. Overall, we thought this meal was a really good use of CS credits, and what we liked is that even though it's a big place, it's really pretty quiet when you sit down in there - a nice break from the noise of the crowds and the rides. I definitely recommend this one.

After sloshing around in the rain for a while, we headed over to Les Chefs de France for our 5:10 ADR. We got there around 4:40 and they were able to seat us right away - a nice break from the downpour. This is a really pretty restaurant. We were seated right next to the windows in the atrium portion, and it was a great day to people-watch. Our waiter, Vincent (veen-sahn, as he said with his cute French accent) was really attentive. He brought us a crusty, warm baguette that was really delicious - DS1 and DS2 especially loved that it was wrapped in paper. Little things amuse them! And the little thing that amused them the most was Remy! He was so cute, squeaking at them from his silver tray. That truly was a magical Disney moment. But I digress, so back to the food. Ah, the food. Yum, the food. Delicious was the food! DH had the french onion soup (which we paid for OOP), and he said it was really, really good. He loved the cheese on top. He had the beef tenderloin filet with au gratin potatoes and green beans for his entree, and he said the green beans were cooked perfectly (and he was given a huge portion of them). Again, he's not a big potato fan, but he did like the au gratin. I had a bite and it was creamy and rich, with a crispy crust on the top - yum. His steak was cooked to a perfect medium rare and had a nice crust on the outside. It looked great, but he did say it actually tasted a bit bland, so he used quite a bit of salt on it. Alas, he still ate it all. I had the French menu, which is a great deal on the dining plan because an appetizer is included. I had the lobster bisque, which was creamy and smooth, with chunks of lobster in the middle... very delish. I had the gratin de macaroni for my entree, which my DH thought was hilarious because why order "just" mac & cheese in a fancy restaurant? I told him - it's FANCY mac & cheese! And that it was. It had a rich cream sauce and the gruyere cheese melted on the top was slightly brown and bubbly. Sigh. I could eat a bowl of it right now. The portion was huge; I only ate half and took the rest to go. DS1 had the cheese pastry for his appetizer, which came with a side salad. He nibbled on the pastry and refused to eat the salad because it had a viniagrette dressing on it, but DH and I had a few bites of each and it was very tasty. The pastry was flaky and didn't have a strong cheese flavor, but it was good. The salad dressing was yummy - nice and light. DS1 had a cheeseburger and french fries for his entree. The burger was a good size and the fries were thin and crispy - very, very good and a HUGE portion that he shared with DS2. DS2 had a salad for an appetizer and also would not eat it because of the dressing. He had the breaded chicken strips and pasta with butter. These were three actual chicken tenders, and good-sized ones at that. He gobbled them up and ate a few bites of his pasta, and a bunch of DS1's fries. DS1 and DS2 both had chocolate ice cream for dessert, which was rich and tasty. DH and I had the creme brulee, which was delicious. Now DH is a bit strange, you see, and doesn't like the caramelized sugar on the top of his brulee - so lucky me, he peeled it off and threw it on top of my dish. Double sugar - woo hoo! We both scraped our dishes clean... yum, yum, and YUM. I would highly recommend this restaurant as a great use of TS credits on the dining plan. The food is delicious, the kid's portions are huge (the biggest we encountered the whole trip), Remy is adorable, the service is wonderful, and the atmosphere is really, really nice but not too stuffy for kids. This one was a big winner in my opinion!

We used two snack credits this day for an Itzakadoozie and a soft pretzel, both of which were tasty.

So... DDP cost us $108 for the day, and our total for lunch, dinner, and snacks was $155 (not including the french onion soup we paid OOP for)... so we were ahead by $47 this day - a good deal for really good food!

Next up... Donald's Safari Breakfast at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom, and dinner at Intermission Food Court in the All Star Music resort...

02-12-2010, 11:52 AM
I like how you are breaking down the dining plan at the end, good idea. Nice work, Im reading.

02-12-2010, 12:30 PM
I'm so glad that you enjoyed Chefs de France! I have always loved the food I've had there and have had great service, yet I see so many people say it is not good and to avoid it. Happy you liked it! And loving your reviews!

02-12-2010, 02:41 PM
I like how you are breaking down the dining plan at the end, good idea. Nice work, Im reading.

Thanks, I was hoping that would be helpful to people!

I'm so glad that you enjoyed Chefs de France! I have always loved the food I've had there and have had great service, yet I see so many people say it is not good and to avoid it. Happy you liked it! And loving your reviews!

Thanks, I'm glad you're enjoying them!!

02-12-2010, 03:00 PM
Great start so far! Can't wait for more.

02-12-2010, 03:58 PM
2/6 - Animal Kingdom! This park was not open yet when DH and I came in '95 for our honeymoon, so we were all looking forward to it. It did not disappoint - what a great place! The safaris were excellent and we all loved The Festival of the Lion King show and the Finding Nemo musical.

We arrived at Tusker House at 10:00 for our 10:20 ADR for Donald's Safari Breakfast and only waited about 5 minutes to be seated. We skipped the picture with Donald outside the restaurant because DS1 and DS2 weren't too interested in meeting him. The CM's did tell us he wouldn't be entering the restaurant, but that was ok with us. We still got autographs from/pics with Mickey, Goofy, Daisy, and Minnie. Our waiter was really efficient and brought us coffee and their dee-licious juice, which DS1 drank a ton of! DS2 was too busy stuffing down the chocolate glazed donuts to drink much. :) The buffet was large, and we liked that the stations were set up so you could go to whatever one you wanted without waiting in one long buffet line. There was a pastry section (the cinnamon rolls were a bit dry but the cornbread was really sweet and good, and the donuts were yummy according to DS2); a fruit section which was full of very fresh melon, berries, whole apples, etc.; a yogurt section with a bunch of different yummy toppings (granola, raisins, etc.), and an oatmeal section that we all skipped, but it smelled good. They also had a cold cereal section that we skipped. The hot offerings included two kinds of frittata - one veggie and one ham and cheese, which were both really fluffy and light. There were crispy tater tots and really delicious potato wedges that had an interesting mix of spices on them. I really enjoyed those. There were biscuits and gravy; the biscuits were light and tasty, but the gravy was a bit "blah" in my opinion (especially if you're used to southern style gravy with sausage in it). The sausage patties were nothing special, but weren't horrible either. The bacon was thin and crispy - not as bad as I feared based on some other reviews I've read! The best part of the buffet was the ham carved off the bone - sweet, salty, and moist. We all ate a ton of that, which probably raised all of our blood pressures, but hey - it's vacation! There were other pastries and a couple of hot items none of us tried, but they all looked good. And there was bread pudding that I unfortunately didn't leave room for - the ham o'ertook me. :) Overall, I think the quality of this buffet was very good and I recommend it. You can really get your fill here. Because we had a later ADR, we didn't end up having lunch this day, only snacks late in the afternoon and a late dinner. We were able to ride the safari before breakfast and still make it in plenty of time for our ADR because the restaurant and the safari are both in Africa.

We had a late dinner at Intermission Food Court at the All Star Music resort. DH had the bacon double cheeseburger with fries again, which he again scarfed down and declared "fine", and he had a vanilla waffle cone for dessert, which was good. They make the cones right there and they are tasty. The ice cream is Edy's, which we get at home too. I had the chicken penne pasta, which came with a small garden salad with a vinaigrette dressing. It was a refreshing, if plain, little salad with cucumber slices and cherry tomatoes. The chicken breast was breaded in a crispy coating and was nice and moist inside, and I got a ton of penne with just the right amount of alfredo sauce. The sauce was fairly plain, but was still good. The breadstick was hot and garlicky. I gave my mint chip waffle cone to DS1 for his dessert and he loved it, and we used a snack credit for another one for DS2. DS1 had a hot dog with fries (see 2/4 review) and DS2 had chicken nuggets and fries. The "kid" chicken nuggets leave a lot to be desired. DS2 ate them, but they really are not a very good quality - nothing at all like the really good breaded chicken strips at Les Chefs de France. What I don't get is that the adult chicken nuggets at other CS places are pretty tasty, but they give the kids the "yuckier" ones. I'm sure it's a cost thing, but it just doesn't seem right to me. Ah, well, everything can't be perfect in the most magical place on earth, I guess!

For snacks this day, we had the waffle cone mentioned above, a box of popcorn, and two soft pretzels. DH also got a soda using a snack credit because he forgot we decided NOT to use snack credits for drinks! Oops!

So... DDP cost us $108 for the day, and our total for lunch, dinner, and snacks was $134. We came out ahead by $26 this day, and we really did enjoy the breakfast buffet - a very good pick, in my opinion.

Next up... lunch at Toy Story Pizza Planet and dinner at Hollywood & Vine.

02-13-2010, 09:13 PM
2/7 - Hollywood Studios day! Toy Story Mania is a hoot... but you definitely need to grab a fast pass early in the day for it! We rode it around 12:30 and when we came out to grab a second set of fast passes, they were already gone for the day and the line was 100 minutes long. Too long for my kids to wait, for sure.

We had promised DS1 and DS2 that we could have lunch at Toy Story Pizza Planet, since Buzz and Woody are some of their favorite characters and they also love video games. We went around 11:15, before the lunch rush, and were able to land a table upstairs overlooking the arcade. DH had the veggie pizza with a salad and a sugar cookie. I had the pepperoni pizza with a salad and a Mickey-shaped rice krispie treat. DS1 and DS2 had the kid's cheese pizzas with carrots and those never ending "kid" chocolate chip cookies. The pizzas reminded me of Pizza Hut pizzas - very sweet sauce and thick crusts. They were very hot and filled us up, and although they weren't the best pizza we've ever had, they were fine for theme park food. The salads were fresh and crispy, and a fairly good size, bigger than the side salads served at the resort food courts. The kids' pizzas were small (only about 4-5" round), but they were enough to fill them up coupled with the carrots and cookies. DS1 and DS2 really just wanted to play the games, anyway. Warning about the games - they are $1 or $1.50 each for most. DH enjoyed his sugar cookie, which was pretty large, and of course I loved my Mickey rice krispie treat!

We had an early 4:05 ADR for Hollywood & Vine as part of the Fantasmic! package. We arrived there around 3:50 and were seated within 10 minutes. The restaurant is cute, but the buffet is one long line for each side of the restaurant, so you have to go through the whole line even just for a refill of one or two items. The set up at Tusker House was much better than this one (see previous review). DH and I each tried several things and enjoyed a few, including nice fresh dinner rolls; caesar salad that had a tasty dressing; asian-style rice, and green beans with garlic. We also tried some things that weren't so great. The chicken was very dry, and the hand-carved beef wasn't very tasty - kind of coarse and chewy all at the same time. The mashed potatoes were blah, even though they were supposedly cooked with garlic and cheese. There were other salads on the buffet that didn't look appealing at all to us, so we skipped those. DS1 and DS2 hit the kids' buffet and got steamed broccoli which was overcooked, mac and cheese which was the standard Stouffer's-type, and those yucky kids chicken nuggets. There were also meatballs on the kids' buffet, but my kids don't eat them. They did enjoy the soft serve ice cream with chocolate sauce for dessert. DH had a dish of vanilla soft serve, and I tried a few desserts - the chocolate mousse was really good, the "Hello Dolly" cookies were ok as far as flavor but dry, the key lime tarts were good, and the cookies were fine but nothing special. They also had a couple of cobblers that I didn't try. Overall, I feel this buffet is just plain old standard buffet food that you could get at any buffet restaurant in your home town - nothing special about it, and some things that just weren't good at all, which were unfortunately the meats. I would not eat here again, especially if paying OOP at $30.99 for adults and $15.99 for kids. The service was good, but the quality just isn't there. It was nice to get the Fantasmic package, but next time I'll pick Mama Melrose's or opt for the two TS credit dinner at The Hollywood Brown Derby.

For snacks this day, we had an Itzakadoozie, a Mickey ice cream bar, a soft pretzel, and a marble cheesecake, all of which were yummy.

Cost for the dining plan was $108, and cost for all of the above was $154, so we came out ahead this day by $46. Take my advice and skip this buffet if you're looking for something special - you won't find it here, in my opinion.

Next up... Flame Tree Barbecue and Whispering Canyon Cafe...

02-15-2010, 10:35 AM
2/8 - Animal Kingdom day 2. My kids loved it so much, we had to go back and we enjoyed every minute of it again.

We decided to have lunch at Flame Tree Barbecue, and I'm so glad we did! The food is great here. DH got the 1/2 smoked chicken with double coleslaw. The slaw was nice and cold, and very fresh. He loved his chicken; it was tender, moist, and flavorful and a good-sized portion. I had the pulled pork sandwich with a side of beans, and oh my heaven. I put the spicy-sweet bbq sauce on the sandwich, and it was awesome - the meat was so tender and had a nice smoky taste, and the sauce was the perfect mix of sweet and spice. The beans were really good too, and had a bit of a molasses flavor that I like a lot. DS1 and DS2 each had a hot dog with carrots and cookies and really liked them. We also paid OOP for a side of fries, which were hot and delicious, and a side of onion rings, which were really good too - with a thick, crispy coating. Both were a really good portion size and we ended up paying around $8.50 for the two of them. DH had the key lime mousse which he gobbled down really fast, and I had the chocolate mousse, which was smooth, creamy, and rich. We really, really enjoyed this meal. The dining area was pretty full, but we did end up snagging a table in the bright sunshine, which was nice. The birds and ducks were around, but as long as no one feeds them, they won't bother you. I definitely can't wait to eat here again - next time, I'll try the ribs.

After wandering around the park for the rest of the afternoon, we headed to Wilderness Lodge for dinner at Whispering Canyon Cafe. What a beautiful place! DH is a hunter, so he really appreciated the decor there. We had ADR's for 5 pm, which is the time the restaurant opens, so we checked in around 4:45 and were seated right at 5 after the staff had a boy ring the dinner bell and yell, "Come and get it!!". Very cute. Our waitress, Brittany, was great - she pulled a chair right up to the table to sit down and explain the dining plan to us. DH and I decided to go for the all-you-can-eat Canyon Skillet, which came with salads for an appetizer (they were included on the dining plan). Those salads were huge and delicious, with an awesome apple vinaigrette dressing. I only ate half of mine because I wanted to save room for the skillet. And man, was that skillet delicious! It had two huge pieces of baked chicken, a big slab of ribs that were falling off the bone, a pile of brisket, a bigger pile of pulled pork, some corn on the cob, and a pile of red-skinned mashed potatoes. We also each got a side of coleslaw that was sweet and cold. YUM!!! DH ate the pulled pork since I had it for lunch, and said it was awesome with the bbq sauce they provided on the side. We shared the brisket and ribs, which were both flavorful and tender. The mashed potatoes were steaming hot and delicious, and the corn had a grilled, smoky taste. Neither of us tried the chicken because we were too busy with the other stuff, but it looked great. We also had a big basket of cornbread with sweet butter that was excellent. DH1 had a salad, burger, and fries, all of which he liked a lot. He had a chocolate shake with dinner (which is included in the dining plan) that took up most of his attention - in fact, he had two and we had to practically roll him out of there! DS2 had fruit, chicken nuggets, and fries and ate it all up (even though they were those stinky kids nuggets again!!!). We were so full from all of this goodness that we took our dessert to go. The boys had chocolate chip cookies, which were fresh baked and yummy, and DH and I took the Smore's cheesecake - which when eaten later was very delicious. It was regular cheesecake on a plain graham cracker crust, topped with chocolate ganache and toasted mini marshmallows. YUM for breakfast!!! This restaurant was a ton of fun. Ask for ketchup and see what happens! We also did the hokey pokey, and the kids had a wooden horse race around the restaurant. It was noisy, but not so much so that you couldn't hear at the table. The service was great, the food was excellent and very plentiful, and I highly recommend this one. It's a great deal on the dining plan.

This day, we had two frozen Cokes for snacks that were cool and refreshing. DS1 and DS2 loved them!

Cost of the dining plan was $108, and our total cost for all of the above was $157 (not including the fries and onion rings we paid for OOP), so we came out ahead by $49. Great deal - and both meals were absolutely awesome!!!

Next up, Pinocchio Village Haus and the Clam Bake at Cape May Cafe...

02-15-2010, 02:12 PM
2/9 - back to the Magic Kingdom in the rain! The crowds weren't bad, even before it rained. We had a 5 minute wait for Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, and walked right back on it a second time. The kids totally loved it.

We headed over to Pinocchio Village Haus for lunch around 11:30 and there were plenty of tables open. DH had a meatball sub, fries, and strawberry cheesecake. He said the meatball sub was flavorful and the meatballs had a good texture, and it was a good sized portion with lots of oozy cheese. He liked the strawberry cheesecake a lot - it was sweet and creamy. I had the 8 piece chicken nuggets with fries and chocolate cake. These nuggets were tasty, not like the kid ones, so I shared them with DS2. The fries were hot and crispy. The chocolate cake was really sweet and moist with thick frosting. We were pleasantly surprised with the quality of all the pre-packaged CS desserts we had on this trip. DS1 had mac & cheese, fries, and a cookie, all of which he enjoyed immensely. DS2 had a pizza, fries, and a cookie. He only ate a few bites of the pizza because he was eating my chicken nuggets, but DH polished the rest of it off for him - it was the same type as they serve all through the parks. Overall, this meal was tasty and we would come here again.

Since the day was such a soaker, we headed back to the hotel around 3:45 to change into dry clothes and take a break to warm up, and then we took two buses over to the Beach Club for a 6 pm ADR at the Cape May Cafe Clam Bake. We arrived around 5:45 and were seated within 10 minutes. I heard another couple ask how long the wait was without an ADR, and it was an hour - so I was glad we had made the ADR's for this one. The restaurant is really nice inside - we sat at a table with a glass-encased sand castle next to it, so the kids liked that. They also liked the paper on the tables and the bucket of crayons to draw with. That kept them busy for quite a while. This is a buffet dinner, and it was a ton of food! The kids' buffet contained steamed carrots and beans which were crisp-tender and tasty, mac & cheese that was definitely homemade and really creamy, pizza, and "kid" chicken nuggets. There were really good soft dinner rolls and sweet cornbread, clam chowder and minestrone soup (that we didn't try but both looked and smelled good), and a bunch of cold salads. The caesar salad was very tasty with a creamy dressing and crispy croutons. There was a cold couscous pasta salad that was super lemony and refreshing, and the potato salad was creamy with a bit of oniony flavor. The hot offerings included a pasta in a lobster sauce that was really, really creamy and good; mashed potatoes that were fine; steamed corn on the cob that was cooked just right; a seafood pot pie that was really yummy (I think there were shrimp and scallops in it); and steamed red potatoes that were also cooked just right. The meats included carved pork loin (which we didn't have), ribs that were falling off the bone, and carved beef sirloin that was tender and juicy. DH had it with a horseradish cream sauce that he really liked. The seafood included baked fish (which we didn't have); peel and eat shrimp that were good; steamed mussels and clams that DH really enjoyed, and steamed crab legs that we all loved. Mind you, the crab isn't as good as what you get in-season in Maryland or Maine, but it was still good, none the less. DS1 and DS2 enjoyed cracking the shells, and they did actually eat some, too! You can definitely fill up at this buffet! The desserts included cookies, cupcakes, brownies, apple cobbler, key lime tarts, mini raspberry cheesecakes, caramel flan, and oreo something-or-others (I can't remember what they're called!!). Oh my, all of the desserts were delicious - especially the oreo things. They had a creamy topping that tasted just like oreo filling and they were dusted with cocoa powder... sigh. The key lime tarts were light and refreshing, as were the berry cheesecakes. These were great desserts. I think this buffet is a good choice - you can get your fill on a variety of foods, even if you're not a seafood fan, they have good kid choices, the desserts are great, the atmosphere is really relaxed, and the service was very good. Another winner!

For snacks this day, we hit Aloha Isle and had a rootbeer float which was excellent and huge, and a Dole Whip float made with orange Dole Whip and pineapple juice - again, huge, and delicious. You've gotta love that Dole Whip.

Cost of the dining plan was $108, and total for all of the above was $142, for a savings of $34. Another really good food day!!

Next up... Backlot Express and Mama Melrose's at Hollywood Studios.

02-15-2010, 03:40 PM
2/10 - our last full day at WDW was spent at Hollywood Studios.

We grabbed some lunch after the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular at Backlot Express. DH and I had bacon double cheeseburgers and fries. Again, the fries were hot and crispy, and the burgers were big and although not the best we've ever had, they weren't bad either. DS1 didn't like anything on their kids menu (only chicken nuggets and meaty macaroni), so I gave him 1/2 of my burger. We ordered DS1 and DS2 chicken nuggets, fries, and cookies, and DH and I finished off the nuggets - yes, the yucky kids ones - do you see a pattern here? We don't like them, but we eat them anyway. :) DS2 was content with them once again. I swear he'll turn into a chicken nugget one day! We also all decided we weren't going to eat any fries for at least two weeks once we got home. They were all good at the world, but we ate too many of them (entirely by choice). DH had marble cheesecake for dessert, which he said was creamy and delicious. I had the no-sugar-added strawberry parfait, which was really good. It was vanilla pudding with a strawberry gelatin with chunks of strawberries at the bottom. Very tasty!

We had 5:05 ADR's at Mama Melrose's. We arrived about 4:45 and only waited about 5 minutes for a table. Our waitress here was a bit scatterbrained and forgot to bring us our drinks, so we had to remind her. Later, she left us forever before she brought the bill, even though the place was half empty. Oh well, we didn't mind because we were relaxing anyway. Anyhow, onto the food - DS1 and DS2 had salads for their appetizer which were basically inedible because the lettuce was brown. I'm not talking a couple of brown spots, I mean every piece was brown. Yuck. DS1 had plain spaghetti with butter and parmesan cheese, and they gave him a big bowl of it, which he enjoyed. DS2 had a pepperoni pizza, which he really liked. It wasn't the usual kids' pizza - this was on a thin crust and was baked in their wood ovens. He ate up every bite. DH had a rigatoni pasta with big chunks of spicy italian sausage and a red sauce with peppers and onions in it. It had a big scoop of soft cheese (I think the menu said Caprini cheese) on the top that he mixed in. He said it was "ok" - I couldn't get him to elaborate too much more than that, but he did eat almost the whole bowl, so it must not have been too bad. I had the grilled chicken flatbread, which was the size of a large dinner plate. The crust was thin and crispy, and the chicken was nicely grilled and tender. It had a sundried tomato pesto, asiago cheese, and pancetta on it. It was quite yummy, but so huge - DH helped me eat most of it. For dessert, DS1 and DS2 had sundaes, which were vanilla gelato with chocolate sauce and Mickey sprinkles, and they both loved them. DH had a bowl of vanilla gelato and liked it as well, along with a cup of "real" coffee. For days he complained about the sucky coffee at the resort, so it was nice he finally got a real strong cup. I had the tiramisu, which was heavenly - sweet and light, with perfect whipped cream on the top. Yum yum! I think this was my favorite dessert of the trip. Overall, this meal was pretty good with the exception of the brown salads - but I'm sure if we would have asked for new ones they would have given them to us - we didn't because the kids really didn't want them, anyway.

We used our snacks this day to grab a quick breakfast at Starring Rolls Cafe, which consisted of an everything bagel, plain bagel, croissant, and chocolate muffin, all of which were very good. We paid OOP for drinks. We also had a popcorn later in the day.

Total dining plan cost was $108, and all of the above totaled $121, so we came out $13 ahead. Mama Melrose's was priced very reasonably, so we didn't come out as far ahead as some other days.

Final post... a quick breakfast at Intermission Food Court, and a summary of the costs...

02-15-2010, 04:02 PM
2/11 - we were so sad to be leaving! But, all good things must come to an end. We're hoping to be back in Jan '11 when my hubby has a work conference in Orlando. At the latest, it will be Jan '12.

We used our last four snack credits on an everything bagel, a plain bagel, a chocolate muffin, and a crumb cake at the Intermission Food Court. All were good tasting, but the crumb cake was a bit dry and crusty on the edges.

So... the final totals...

The dining plan cost us $756, and the total we spent that was charged to the dining plan was $979, for a total savings of $223. We spent around $60 on food and drinks outside of the plan, which included one appetizer at Les Chefs de France, two sides at Flame Tree Barbecue, several sodas throughout the parks, and a few random things at the resort and elsewhere (donuts, microwave popcorn, bottled water, milk, candy, etc). We also brought a few things from home, including granola bars, crackers, fruit snacks, gum, etc.

I am very glad we got the dining plan, and will definitely do so again. We didn't change what we would have done anyway just because we had the plan; the only thing I can see we would do differently if we didn't have the plan is maybe choose not to order a few of the desserts, just because we were full from dinner. But that may have saved us only $20-$30 dollars. We had seriously considered only getting the Quick Service dining plan, but I am so glad we got the regular one because we loved the table service meals, and you really get your money's worth. Plus, the buffets give the kids broader choices of things to eat compared to them having to order off a CS kids menu all the time. The other nice thing about having the regular dining plan is that if you want a steak, have a steak! I think you're less inclined to order the cheaper entree when you've paid for everything up front and don't have to fork out the money every time you sit down to eat. We could have really maxed our savings by specifically opting for the most expensive dishes on each menu, but we went with what we wanted.

I think Disney could do some more work on their kids meals. You all know by now my aversion to the kids chicken nuggets, and I think they could offer more choices. I know some of the fancier restaurants do have more extensive kids menus, but they need to look at this throughout the park, including CS menus. They also need to do something about the horrible coffee!!!!!!!

Overall though, we all enjoyed our Disney dining experience and can't wait to go back. On our next trip, the one CS we'll definitely hit again is Flame Tree Barbecue. I'd like to try all new TS meals so we can experience new places... Yak & Yeti, Tutto Italia, Le Cellier, Teppan Edo, resort restaurants, the possibilities are endless... and we can't wait!

I hope you all enjoy your experiences at Disney as much as we did!!!

02-15-2010, 04:47 PM
Thanks for your quick reviews - glad to hear you saved $ with the plan, but didn't do too much different than what you normally would have.

02-15-2010, 08:07 PM
Thanks, it was a great trip and we were very happy with all of our choices but Hollywood & Vine - we won't do that one again.

02-19-2010, 12:39 AM
Great reviews! I really enjoyed reading them - thanks for posting!

02-19-2010, 09:06 AM
Thank you for your report, we had decided on the WCC and I am gld to hear such great things abou it

02-20-2010, 12:16 PM
Great reviews, liked the sound of the Donald's breakfast.

02-28-2010, 11:01 AM
Thank you for your report, we had decided on the WCC and I am gld to hear such great things abou it

It was fantastic! Lots of fun and great food. A friend of mine took his daughter there for her 8th birthday and she loved the attention she got.

02-28-2010, 07:39 PM
Thanks for the great detailed reviews!! I enjoyed reading them.