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View Full Version : Our reviews from 8 days on Dining Plan (sorry no pics) COMPLETE


jabead
04-03-2010, 10:45 AM
Our group of 6 (DH, myself, and 4 teenagers) spent Spring Break (March 20 - 27) at Disney World. We were on the DeLuxe Dining Plan for the first 3 days (first 2 nights at the Poly, but we spread out our meals over the first 3 days) and then on the regular Dining for the remaining 5 days (stayed at Boardwalk Inn for 5 nights). We had several very good to great dining experiences, just a few mediocre ones, and happily none that were terrible. Unfortunately, being with 4 teenagers, I was not allowed to take any food pictures. My rare attempts at taking pictures, even outside of the restaurants, were met with groans, so I resigned myself to doing this review without pictures. Sorry for my failure :guilty:. So anyway, here is a brief overview. We did a lot of meal sharing between the three girls and myself (two of the girls were concerned about still fitting into their prom dresses when they returned, lol) and had no problems doing it at any of the restaurants. In fact, some of the restaurants actually split the meal and served it on two plates. However, my son (age 14) never shared and usually ate most or all of his meal... which was usually some kind of steak, so we definitely got our money's worth from the meal plan with him. Since he ordered steak at almost all of the sit-down meals, I will have him do "rate the steaks" at the end of the review. Our group also tried many different desserts, so might try to come up with a list of our overall favorites.

Reviews for the first 3 days on DeLuxe Dining Plan are complete, with cost vs. value analysis and overall thoughts regarding DeLuxe Dining on Page 2, Post #18. (Also added a TIW vs. DeLuxe Dining cost analysis as an added bonus)


Reviews for the 5 days on regular Dining Plan are complete, with cost vs. value analysis and overall thoughts regarding regular Dining Plan (vs. DeLuxe) on Page 5, Post #66. (Also added a TIW vs. Dining Plan cost analysis as an added bonus)

Short on time and want to cut to the chase? See Page 5, Posts 67 and 68 for a short review of our reviews.


So here is the list of sit-down restaurants we will be reviewing:

1. Narcoossee's (dinner) - Page 1, Post #4
2. Liberty Tree Tavern (lunch) - Page 1, Post #6
3. Kona Cafe (dinner) - Page 1, Post #7
4. San Angel Inn (lunch) - Page 1, Post #10
5. Les Chefs de France (dinner) - Page 1, Post #14
6. Coral Reef (dinner) - Page 2, Post #23
7. Sci-Fi Dine-In (lunch) - Page 2, Post #26
8. Teppan Edo (dinner) - Page 2, Post #30
9. Le Cellier (lunch) - Page 3, Post #36
10. Cinderella's Royal Table (breakfast) - Page 4, Post #46
11. Garden View Lounge (afternoon tea) - Page 4, Post #48
12. Tutto Italia (dinner) - Page 4, Post #53
13. Raglan Road (dinner) - Page 4, Post #58

Counter service meals/snacks include:
1. Captain Cook's (lunch, breakfast) - Lunch Page 1, Post #2, Breakfast Page 1, Post #8
2. Main Street Bakery (breakfast snacks) - Page 1, Post #5
3. Boardwalk Bakery (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks) - Page 2, Post #17,#24 (snacks); Page 2, Post #24 and Page 3, Post #32 and #42 (dinners); Page 4, Post #49 (lunch); Page 4, Post #56 (breakfast, snacks)
4. Yak & Yeti Local Food Cafe (lunch, snacks) - Page 2, Post #19
5. Yorkshire County Fish House (dinner) - Page 3, Post #39
6. Tangierine Cafe (dinner) - Page 3, Post #40
7. Wolfgang Puck Express (lunch) - Page 4, Post #57
8. Earl of Sandwich (dinner) - Page 4, Post #59
9. Plaza Ice Cream Parlor (snacks) - Page 4, Post #47
10. Hey Howdy Hey Snack Cart - across from TSM at DHS (snacks) - Page 2, Post #27
11. Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe (snack) - Page 3, Post #37
12. Crepes de Chefs de France Kiosk (snack) - Page 1, Post #11
13. Sommerfest (snack) - Page 1, Post #11
14. Belle Vue Lounge at the BWI (coffee, muffins) - Page 3, Post #34
15. Snack counter in Fantasmic's Hollywood Hills Theater - Page 3, Post #41

Ok, I think that's about it. I'll start the reviews shortly.

jabead
04-03-2010, 11:11 AM
DAY 1
Our first dining experience was lunch at Captain Cook's at the Poly (our resort for the first 2 nights of our trip).

Highlights: Touch Screen ordering, Aloha Pork Sandwich, poly chips, BBQ chicken flat bread, Dole Whips (mixed pineapple and vanilla)

Disappointments: Pineapple Dole Whips

Would We Return?: Yes

The 6 of us shared 3 meals here and we had plenty of food. I was a little apprehensive about the touch screen ordering (this was our first experience with it) because my son had his heart set on getting the BBQ pork sandwich but he is very picky and didn't want all the stuff that normally comes on it, like cole slaw, cucumber, etc. I didn't think we would be able to place special orders like this using the touch screens. I was pleasantly surprised though that we were given the option to exclude the extra items from his sandwich so the ordering process went very smoothly. So anyway, we ordered 2 Aloha Pork sandwiches (1 plain, 1 regular) both with poly chips and a BBQ chicken flat bread (which was huge and plenty for at least two people, unless you are starving). All of this was very good. We really enjoyed the Polynesian chips, especially the sweet potato ones. Also, with the exception of my son, we preferred the regular pork sandwich with all the toppings (pineapple cole slaw, cheddar cheese, cucumbers and tomatoes) over the plain one. It was a delicious combination of flavors. As for dessert, we tried the famous dole whips, both pineapple and vanilla. At first we were not at all impressed, but then decided to mix the two together. Well, that did the trick! The two together were great :woohoo:

Total Cost covered under DeLuxe Dining Plan - Approx. $45 (this included all food plus 2 Fuze Peach Mango drinks and 1 large chocolate milk) or $15 per meal credit.

We also got our 6 Refillable mugs (Approx. cost $80) and immediately used them for 3 sodas.

So 3 meal credits used, 33 more to go!

Next up: Narcoossee's

vinotinto
04-03-2010, 12:48 PM
So here is the list of sit-down restaurants we will be reviewing:

1. Narcoossee's (dinner)
2. Liberty Tree Tavern (lunch)
3. Kona Cafe (dinner)
4. San Angel Inn (lunch)
5. Les Chefs de France (dinner)
6. Coral Reef (dinner)
7. Sci-Fi Dine-In (lunch)
8. Teppan Edo (dinner)
9. Le Cellier (lunch)
10. Cinderella's Royal Table (breakfast)
11. Garden View Lounge (afternoon tea)
12. Tutto Italia (dinner)
13. Raglan Road (dinner)

Counter service meals/snacks include:
1. Captain Cook's (lunch, breakfast)
2. Main Street Bakery (breakfast snacks)
3. Boardwalk Bakery (breakfast, dinner, snacks)
4. Yak & Yeti (lunch, snacks)
5. Yorkshire County Fish House (dinner)
6. Tangierine Cafe (dinner)
7. Wolfgang Puck Express (lunch)
8. Earl of Sandwich (dinner)
9. Main Street Ice Cream Parlor (snacks)
10. Hey Howdy Hey Snack Cart - across from TSM at DHS (snacks)
11. Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe (snack)
12. Crepes de Chefs de France Kiosk (snack)

Ok, I think that's about it. I'll start the reviews shortly.

Signing in! Very interested in the restaurants you'll be reviewing! :thumbsup2

We did a lot of meal sharing between the three girls and myself (two of the girls were concerned about still fitting into their prom dresses when they returned, lol) and had no problems doing it at any of the restaurants. In fact, some of the restaurants actually split the meal and served it on two plates.
Definitely interested in where you shared. My DH and I are planning on sharing a couple of non-buffet lunches and having the kids share as well on a couple of days where we're booked for a buffet breakfast, a sit-down lunch and a sit-down dinner.

jabead
04-03-2010, 01:15 PM
DAY 1
Our next meal was dinner at Narcoossee's at the Grand Floridian.

Highlights: Table location, Service, Non-alcoholic drinks covered under Dining Plan, Appetizers (especially the shrimp & crab chowder), Main Entrees (especially the filet mignon and whole Maine lobster), Desserts (both the chocolate cake and cheesecake)

Disappointments: Sourdough Bread, Side Dish (Potato Gratin)

Would We Return?: Definitely!

My DH and I took the resort monorail from the Poly to the Grand Floridian (next stop), then walked outside and down to the water where Narcoossee's is located. The 4 teens decided to walk on the beach from the Poly to the Grand Floridian and met us at the restaurant. These were two of the available options to get from the Polynesian to the Grand Floridian. We had thought about a third option, taking the small boat that goes between the two resorts and MK but decided against it.

Our dining experience began with a wonderful surprise... we were seated in the center of the restaurant, right next to a window with a fantastic view of the castle. We've eaten here a few times before, but had never been seated at a table by the window :woohoo:. Our reservation was at 7:55 and we were seated around 8:05 p.m. Our very funny and excellent waiter, Tom, then spaced out our meal perfectly so that we had just been served our desserts when the MK fireworks started at 10:00. One side of our table could see the fireworks perfectly, while the other side was slightly blocked by some people standing outside on the deck. This was fine though, as we could have also gone outside to the deck (like most of the people in the restaurant) but chose not to since it was kind of cool and very breezy.

So on to our meal ... we were told that drinks like frozen virgin strawberry daiquiris and pina coladas plus cappuccinos were all covered under the Dining Plan here. This really pleased the teenagers as two of them never drink soda. So for our drinks we got 2 daiquiris, 1 pina colada, 1 soda, 1 cappuccino, and 1 regular coffee. Coffees were served with dessert. Since we were on DeLuxe Dining Plan we were entitled to 6 appetizers but only ordered and shared 4... crab cakes, calamari, and the shrimp & crab chowder. All of these were very good, but our favorite was the chowder. It was delicious! For our 4th appetizer my son ordered the Kid's chicken noodle soup which he said was just okay. Also we were served sourdough bread at this time which looked really good but was pretty boring and flavorless. Next were our entrees... everyone ordered their own for this meal so we had 2 filet mignons (excellent), 2 surf & turfs (very good), 1 chicken breast (very good), and 1 whole maine lobster (excellent). Everyone enjoyed their entrees but nobody liked the potato gratin that came with all the entrees except the chicken. However, the "loaded" mashed potatoes that came with the chicken were really good. We were pretty full at this point but still managed to share 3 desserts ... 2 Valrhona chocolate cakes and an Almond-crusted cheesecake. Both of these desserts were very good.

Total Cost covered under DeLuxe Dining Plan - $399.32 or $33.28 per meal credit.
Tip (paid OOP) - $67.49 (Automatic 18% since there were 6 of us)

12 meal credits used (2 per person), 21 more to go!

NOTE: Cost of this meal had we used TIW (20% discount) instead of Dining Plan - $319.45

Next up: Main Street Bakery

jabead
04-03-2010, 02:04 PM
DAY 2
Main Street Bakery breakfast at Magic Kingdom

Highlights: Cinnamon rolls, frozen latte

Disappointments: None

Would we Return?: Yes

For our first park day, we went to MK so stopped off at Main Street Bakery for breakfast after riding rides for an hour or so. There was a parade going on on Main Street, so once we made our way through the crowds on the street, the bakery was pretty quiet. We only stood in line for a couple of minutes, which is really good for this popular breakfast place. Using snack credits we shared 2 cinnamon rolls (huge and delicious), a chocolate-chocolate chip muffin and chocolate croissant (both good), a frozen latte (very good), and a large milk.

Total Cost covered under DeLuxe Dining Plan - Approx. $20 or $3.33 per snack credit

6 snack credits used, 18 more to go!

Next up: Liberty Tree Tavern

jabead
04-03-2010, 02:58 PM
DAY 2
Liberty Tree Tavern Lunch at Magic Kingdom

Highlights: Tavern Fried Cheese, New England Pot Roast, Cheeseburgers and fries

Disappointments: Crab & Spinach Dip, Desserts, Service

Would We Return?: Maybe, but no dessert (unfortunately there is not very many non-character sit-down restaurants at MK)

Magic Kingdom was very busy this day (Sunday, March 21) so we were very happy that we had a dining reservation here for lunch, as we needed the break. Just a side note, we didn't return again to MK until Friday, March 26 and it was even more crowded on this day. it was probably the busiest we've ever seen it.

Since we had dinner plans tonight at Kona Cafe, we decided to order only 4 meals for the 6 of us to share. Since only the usual soda, coffee, milk etc. were offered, we got only 2 sodas for our drinks. For our 4 appetizers we got the Crab & Spinach Dip for Two (counted as 2 appetizers) and 2 orders of the Tavern Fried Cheese. Although the dip had a good taste, it was served just lukewarm and the pita bread that came with it was cold. If the dip and bread had been served warm this probably would have been very good. I didn't get to taste the fried cheese, but the kids seem to enjoy it a lot. For our entrees, 2 people shared a cheeseburger with bacon and cheddar cheese and fries, 2 people shared the New England Pot Roast, and then we had 2 more cheeseburgers with fries, one with bacon and cheddar cheese and the other with provolone cheese and mushrooms. The shared meals were split and served on two separate plates. Everyone enjoyed their entrees. We were way too full to have 4 desserts but decided we could maybe handle 2 desserts between the 6 of us, as we really wanted to try a couple of the LTT desserts that we had heard about. Well, unfortunately our waiter would not take no for answer and practically insisted that we order 4 desserts. This was the only time that we ran across this problem during our week of meals on the Dining Plan. So we ended up getting 2 of the Ooey Gooey Toffee Cakes and 2 of the Apple tarts. Neither of these were very good. The toffee cake would have been better if served warm, but served cold, as it was to us, it was a huge disappointment. Consequently 2 of these desserts (1 of each) were left nearly untouched.

Total Cost covered under DeLuxe Dining Plan - $114.25 or $28.56 per meal credit.
Tip (paid OOP) - $19.31 (Automatic 18% since there were 6 of us)

4 meal credits used, 17 more to go!

NOTE: Cost of this meal had we used TIW (20% discount) instead of Dining Plan - $91.39

Next up: Kona Cafe

jabead
04-03-2010, 04:21 PM
DAY 2
Kona Cafe dinner at the Polynesian

Highlights: Table Location, Non-alcoholic drinks, Kona bread, Appetizers, Entrees (except for Ribeye steak), Desserts

Disappointments: Ribeye steak, Service

Would We Return?: Probably

We have eaten here several times before, but this was probably our best table location. We were seated against the back wall (far from the noisy, crowded 2nd floor Poly area that this restaurant is open to) with a partition wall to our left making it seem somewhat private. First of all, we decided to order only 5 meals here for the 6 of us. This seemed to confuse our waiter somewhat, but eventually he figured it out. Since specialty drinks and smoothies were included here, we got 3 virgin pina coladas and 2 raspberry smoothies which were all good. We were then served an uncut (my one complaint regarding the bread) loaf of the Kona bread which was very good as usual. For our appetizers, we had sticky wings and sushi from the Kona Sushi Bar. We only asked for one order of the sticky wings but our waiter misunderstood and brought us two. Although they were delicious, the 6 of us were only able to eat one order (each had 2 or 3 wings), as it was very big. My oldest daughter had the sushi for her appetizer. I think it was the Kona combo plate, which was enough sushi to serve as her entree. She said it was very good (and she eats a lot of sushi). For our five entrees, we had 2 Beef Teriyaki sirloin strip steaks and substituted mashed potatoes for the rice, a Pomegranate BBQ Pork Chop, a Chicken entree (as listed on our receipt) which was probably the Coconut Almond Chicken (from looking at online menus) , and a ribeye steak (I think it was called Ginger crusted Ribeye, but it is not listed on online menus). All of these were good except the ribeye steak, which was fatty and had a lot of gristle. The sirloin strip was definitely the better steak here. Sadly, we were only able to eat 3 desserts here between the 6 of us ... we had 2 Banana-chocolate creme brulees and a Kilahuea Torte. Both were delicious!

Total Cost covered under DeLuxe Dining Plan - $211.76 or $42.35 per meal credit.
Tip (paid OOP) - $35.79 (Automatic 18% since there were 6 of us)

5 meal credits used, 12 more to go!

NOTE: Cost of this meal had we used TIW (20% discount) instead of Dining Plan - $169.41

Next up: Captain Cook's breakfast

jabead
04-03-2010, 05:30 PM
DAY 3
Captain Cook's breakfast at the Polynesian

Highlights: Tonga toast

Disappointments: Bacon

Would We Return?: Yes

This was our packing and moving day (as we were transferring to the Boardwalk Inn for the rest of our visit), so there was no time to go to Kona Cafe for a sit-down breakfast. Since I really wanted to have Tonga toast (hadn't had it for several years), I was happy that I was able to get it from Captain Cook's. It was as good as I remembered it! However, the bacon that came with it was not good. In addition to the Tonga toast and bacon we got two drinks for one meal credit. Since we had our refillable mugs for coffee, we chose a Fuze Peach Mango and a large milk for our drinks. In addition, we used 2 snack credits for a chocolate chip muffin and a banana.

Total Cost covered under DeLuxe Dining Plan - Approx. $20


1 meal credit used, 11 more to go!
2 snack credits used, 16 more to go!

Next up: San Angel Inn

goldielocksraj
04-03-2010, 05:45 PM
Thanks for the reviews so far, and the ones to come!

Really have enjoyed the ones so far. I love the details you give, especially the responses to your (very reasonable!) requests.

Several of your meals are the exact restaurant and meal we're going to in December (also on the DxDDP), so it's fun to live vicariously through others!!!!popcorn::

jabead
04-03-2010, 07:02 PM
DAY 3
San Angel Inn lunch at Epcot World Showcase (Mexico)

Highlights: Table location, service, Chips and salsa, Appetizers, Entrees, and Desserts

Disappointments: Non-alcoholic drinks like virgin strawberry margaritas were not included in the Dining Plan to the the kids disappointment

Would We Return?: Definitely

We lucked out again and were seated at a table right next to the water. It was so pretty that the kids actually let me take a few pics of them here, but since they aren't of the food I won't embarrass them by posting the pics. My brother-in-law joined us for the next few meals, so this made our checks very complicated but our waiter, Miguel, took it all in stride. We ended up with at least 4 checks I think... the one for everything covered under the dining plan, the one for the 18% tip for items covered under dining plan, our alcoholic drinks (not covered under Dining Plan but used Tables in Wonderland discount of 20%), and brother-in-law's check, and they all seem to be correct so kudos to our waiter.
So on to our meal ... for the 6 of us (not including DBIL) we ordered 5 meals here without any problems. The two girls that shared an entree received an extra plate and divided their meal themselves. For our 5 drinks, we had 2 sodas and 3 coffees with dessert. We were served two baskets of chips and salsa to start with for the 7 of us which were very good. Next came the appetizers... we got 2 orders of chicken tostadas, 2 orders of crab tostadas, and an order of guacamole & chips (which was technically not listed as an appetizer, but they allowed it anyway). These were all delicious! The chips that came with the guacamole were not nearly as good with the guacamole as the ones that came with the salsa though, so we asked for and got more of the nacho chips. For our 5 entrees we got ... 2 orders of the Enchiladas Verdes de Pollo (Chicken enchiladas), 2 orders of the Sirloin Relleno (sirloin steak), and a Pollo Las Rajas (Grilled chicken breast with a delicious white cream sauce). All of these were very good and the side dishes which accompanied them (rice and/or beans in most cases) were good as well. We were so full though that we were only able to eat 4 desserts between the 7 of us. We got 2 orders of ice cream with a delicious caramel topping and 2 orders of a dessert not listed on any of the online menus. It is listed on our check as Fruit Mix but although it did have fruit in it, it was so much more than that. I think our waiter described it as frozen white chocolate mousse with the previously mentioned caramel sauce and several berries. Whatever it was, it was wonderful and probably my favorite dessert of the trip.

Total Cost covered under DeLuxe Dining Plan - $193.24 or $38.65 per meal credit.
Tip (paid OOP) - $32.66 (Automatic 18% since there were 7 of us)
3 Alcoholic drinks (2 Dos Equis beers and a frozen strawberry margarita) - $24.52 (including 20% TIW discount and 18% tip)

Saved $5.06 on Alcoholic drinks with TIW

5 meal credits used, only 6 more to go!

NOTE: Cost of this meal had we used TIW (20% discount) instead of Dining Plan - $154.60

Next up: Sommerfest, Crepes de Chefs de France snacks

jabead
04-03-2010, 07:59 PM
DAY 3

We did a little afternoon snacking around Epcot World Showcase since we still had 16 snack credits left that had to be used by midnight.

First stop was at Sommerfest (Germany) where we got 4 of the salted soft pretzels to share. These were good but not quite as big or good as we had remembered them from previous trips.

Total cost covered under the Dining Plan - $18.28 or $4.57 per snack credit

Next stop was at the Crepes de Chefs de France kiosk (France) where we shared a strawberry crepe and cappuccino. These were just so-so, but we had always wanted to try the crepes here but never had before. So we are glad to have tried one, but probably won't again. There are just too many wonderful desserts at the bakery in France to have instead.

Total cost covered under the Dining Plan - Approx. $8.50 or $4.25 per snack credit

6 Snack credits used, 10 more to go!

Next up: Les Chefs de France

auntfrannie
04-04-2010, 08:07 AM
Thanks for taking the time to post your reviews. I like the easy to follow format. Keep 'em coming!

nutz2notz
04-04-2010, 04:30 PM
Great reviews so far. Looking forward to the rest.

jabead
04-05-2010, 10:03 AM
DAY 3

Chefs De France at Epcot World Showcase

Highlights: Table location, French bread, Cheese Plate, Beef Tenderloin, Salmon, Desserts (except for creme brulee)

Disappointments: Service, Appetizers (except for cheese plate), Rotisserie chicken entree, Macaroni & cheese, creme brulee

Would We Return?: Probably not (too many other great restaurants at Epcot), unless of course my BIL is with us because it's still his favorite Epcot restaurant

We went to Chefs de France for lunch during our last visit two years ago and were not impressed. However, this time my BIL was with us and we were celebrating his birthday. Chefs is his favorite Epcot restaurant so we decided to give it another try, this time going for dinner instead of lunch. I would have to say that we enjoyed the food we had for dinner more than that from our lunch, however it was quite a bit more expensive. IMHO though, it was probably not enough of a difference in the food to warrant the extra expense unless of course you are on the Dining Plan as we were. If that is the case, then I would definitely choose dinner here over lunch for marginally better food and to get more bang for your buck.

Ok, on to the review. Our luck with tables held out once more and we were seated at a table by the window in the front of the restaurant, with a slightly obstructed view of Illuminations. Our reservation was for 7:30 and we were seated after about a 10 - 15 min. wait. We were there until about 9:30 so got to watch Illuminations from our table. It was the first time seeing it for my daughter's friend, so she and my daughter went outside to view it while the rest of us remained inside. Now for the food. Only the usual drinks were available with the Dining Plan except that my oldest daughter was able to get a cappuccino with her dessert. My other daughter really wanted the French orange soda that was listed on the menu but was told it was not available as a drink on the Dining Plan. So for our 6 drinks we had ... 3 sodas, 2 coffees, and a cappuccino. We were then served 2 small loaves of french bread which were good. I seem to remember that last time we were served rolls here, but perhaps I am wrong??? Anyway, next were our appetizers (which we only ordered 5) .... 3 French onion soups, a lobster bisque, and a cheese plate. My daughter really enjoyed the cheeses and fruit which were included on the cheese plate. My DH said the lobster bisque was just okay, nothing special. The French onion soup (which is what I myself had) was not good at all. Once you got through the cheese and bread layers on top (which were good), the broth was pretty much flavorless and the onions were very tough and chewy. For our 6 entrees, 3 of us (including myself) got the grilled tenderloin of beef with black pepper sauce which came with potato gratin and green beans. I think everyone enjoyed this as I don't recall hearing any complaints. I really liked the flavor of the black pepper sauce and the green beans and potato gratin were good. I thought the potato gratin here was better than that served at Narcoossee's. My DH ordered the grilled salmon for his entree. I didn't get to taste it as he was sitting too far away from me, but he said it was very good. DD1 couldn't decided between the salmon or the Macaroni Gratin (macaroni & cheese). Since her dad ordered the salmon, she opted to try the macaroni. This turned out to be a mistake. She said the macaroni dish was just okay but she loved the salmon when she tasted her dad's. Lastly, was the dish which was disliked the most. DD2 who more often than not orders the chicken dish if one is available, did that here and ordered the rotisserie chicken. She did not like it at all. In fact, when I asked her for her opinions before starting these reviews she said all of her entrees were pretty good except for the nasty chicken she had in France, lol. Oh, and speaking of her chicken brought a service issue to my mind. Our main server (the woman who took our orders) was fine here, but the waiters who brought out the food seemed somewhat confused. One of them brought out my daughter's food and only hers. We didn't think too much about it at first, expecting the rest of our food to be brought out shortly. Well, it wasn't. Several minutes went by and still no food for the rest of us. We finely spotted our main server and waved her over to ask her about it. She apologized and a few minutes later the rest of our food arrived. Ok, now on to the desserts. For our 6 desserts we got 2 of the chocolate mousse cakes, a strawberry sorbet, a cinnamon apple crepe topped with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce, profiterolles (puffs with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce), and a creme brulee. These were all very good, however we were somewhat disappointed with the creme brulee. I think on this trip we tried at least 5 different creme brulees and this one ranked only about 3rd or 4th. Being from the French restaurant, I would have expected it to be the best (or at least one of the top two).

Total Cost covered under DeLuxe Dining Plan - $294.27 or $49.05 per meal credit (highest value per DeLuxe Dining credit)
Tip (paid OOP) - $49.74 (Automatic 18% since there were 7 of us)


6 meal credits used, none left for the DeLuxe Dining Plan

NOTE: Cost of this meal had we used TIW (20% discount) instead of Dining Plan - $235.41

Next up: Boardwalk Bakery (to use the rest of our snack credits) and final totals and thoughts for the DeLuxe Dining part of our trip

princessallegra
04-05-2010, 12:25 PM
Great reviews so far!! Can't wait to read more!!! Sounds like a really great trip!

jabead
04-05-2010, 02:02 PM
Several of your meals are the exact restaurant and meal we're going to in December (also on the DxDDP), so it's fun to live vicariously through others!!!!popcorn::

I hear you. I will be living vicariously through all of you on the disboards until our next trip, which unfortunately will probably not be for at least two years.:sad2:

jabead
04-05-2010, 02:28 PM
DAY 3
Snacks from Boardwalk Bakery

Highlights: Muffins, Fruit Tarts

Disappointments: None

Would we Return?: Yes

We had 10 snack credits to use (or lose) by midnight and we were now staying at the Boardwalk Inn. So of course we stopped at the Boardwalk Bakery on our walk back from Epcot to our room. We ended up doing this a few times this week as we found the bakery to be much less crowded in the evening than it was in the morning (always saw lines out the door in the morning). BTW, if you have never been there, the Boardwalk Bakery is very small and only has tables outside where you can eat. It is, however, very popular (especially in the morning) and in our opinion, for good reason. We frequented the bakery several times during our 5 night stay at the BWI and everything we got here was very good. So here is how we used our remaining 10 snack credits...2 blueberry muffins, 3 chocolate chip muffins, a croissant, an eclair, a fresh fruit tart, a chocolate milk, and a Fuze Peach Mango drink. Most of this was eaten by the 7 of us (DBIL stayed overnight with us this night) for breakfast the next day and it all still tasted fresh and delicious. We especially enjoyed the muffins and my daughter fell in love with the fresh fruit tarts (this was the first of several that she had this week).

Total cost covered under the Dining Plan - $30.29 or $3.03 per snack credit

10 Snack credits used, none left

jabead
04-05-2010, 02:48 PM
That completes the reviews for the first three days of our 8 day visit in which we had the DeLuxe Dining Plan. For the remaining 5 days of our trip we were on the regular Dining Plan. So crunching the numbers, here were our results...

Total value of food and drinks covered under the DeLuxe DP: $1434.91
Cost of DeLuxe DP for 6 adults for 2 nights: $864.00 or $48 pp per day (credits used over 3 days)
Value received exceeded cost by $570.91

My skeptical DH said I should also take into account what we paid in tips on the Dining Plan for a more accurate cost vs. value analysis.

Total tips paid OOP: $204.99
Value received exceeded cost (including tips) by $365.92

So either way, I strongly believe that the DeLuxe Dining Plan was a good value for our group.

TIW vs. DeLuxe Dining Plan Comparison
Had we used TIW (20% discount) instead of the DeLuxe Dining Plan we would have paid a total of $1192.33 (not including tips) for these three days worth of dining. The tip amount would have been the same since an 18% tip (calculated on your pre-discounted check total) is automatically assessed when you use the TIW discount. So I found it very interesting that we actually saved $328.33 (TIW Total cost of $1192.33 vs. DeLuxe Dining Plan cost of $864) by doing the Dining Plan.

Would we have eaten this extravagantly ($58 lobster, desserts at every meal, and my son ordering steak at almost every meal) had we not been on the Dining Plan?
Definitely not. But it was so much fun to do so for a few days at the reasonable cost of $48 pp per day (reasonable by Disney standards anyway). With a group of 6 we had the flexibility to share meals, appetizers, and desserts which definitely cut down on wasted food. Although we rarely ordered all the food that we were entitled to with the DeLuxe Dining Plan (therefore probably didn't maximize the value), we ate most of the food that we did order and enjoyed it.

Could we have eaten this way (DeLuxe Dining) for the entire week?
No, I don't think we could have kept up this pace for more than the first few days. Luckily, we had already decided that we wanted to split our week between two resorts so it worked out perfectly for us to divide up our Dining Plan with 2 nights on DeLuxe and 5 nights on regular.

Would we do the DeLuxe Dining Plan again?
We have no regrets and if the opportunity should arise for us to do a few days again on the DeLuxe Plan I think we would definitely do it.

Next up: Our 5 days on the regular Dining Plan beginning with Yak & Yeti Local Food Cafe

jabead
04-05-2010, 04:19 PM
NOTE: For the next 5 days (5 night stay at BWI) we switched to the regular Dining Plan. Also only 5 of us were on the plan since my DH was planning on not being with us for at least a couple of our remaining sit-down meals. This was easily done since we had two rooms at the BWI for the 6 of us. So we did one of the rooms as a room only reservation (no Dining Plan) with just DH on it.
Okay, now on to the reviews...

DAY 4
Lunch at Yak & Yeti Local Food Cafe at Animal Kingdom

Highlights: Shrimp Lo Mein

Disappointments: None

Would we Return?: Yes

We had originally planned on having lunch at Flametree BBQ, but we had just finished our 2nd ride on Expedition Everest and it was lunch time and we were hungry. As we were walking by Yak & Yeti the smell of good food and the short lines enticed us to change our plans. We had previously eaten at the sit-down Yak & Yeti restaurant but never at the counter service. We were pleasantly surprised at how good it was. We used 7 counter service credits here (my BIL was still with us for this meal) and got 3 orders of Shrimp Lo Mein, 3 orders of Sweet 'n Sour Pork, and an order of Honey Chicken for our entrees. For desserts we got 2 chocolate cakes, 2 chocolate chip cookies, 2 frozen lemonades, and a mango mini pie. For drinks we got 5 large (automatically given larges here) sodas, a large fruit punch and a bottle of Dasani water. Everything was really good here, as I heard no complaints whatsoever and all the food was eaten. I especially liked the shrimp lo mein.

Total cost covered under the Dining Plan - $121.73 or $17.39 per counter service credit

7 counter service credits used, 18 left

We also used 2 snack credits here for 2 orders of pork egg rolls (2 egg rolls per order). They were very good.

Total cost covered under the Dining Plan - $8.50 or $4.25 per snack credit

2 snack credits used, 23 left

Next up: Coral Reef

Belle5
04-05-2010, 04:34 PM
Really enjoying your reviews! I will keep my eye out for that dessert at San Angel.

DISaholic's
04-05-2010, 04:39 PM
I'm really enjoying your report and I actually like it better without the picts :rolleyes1 (that's just me). Keep it coming! Making me feel better about getting the DDP for our trip in June

pumba
04-05-2010, 08:14 PM
I love your reviews and thanks for making them so easy to read and understand...
I think we may try Yak and yeti cs in AK in a few weeks.......thanks for that review.

jabead
04-06-2010, 01:22 PM
DAY 4
Dinner at Coral Reef Restaurant at Epcot Future World (The Seas)

Highlights: Service, Lava Smoothies, New York Strip Steak, Chocolate Wave, and Butterscotch Creme Brulee

Disappointments: Just one very minor one...this was our longest wait for a table.

Would We Return?: Definitely!

Our reservation here was for 7:45 and we arrived more or less on time. We had to wait at least 20 minutes for a table (maybe a little longer), but it was no big deal as it gave us more time for our appetites to build. There was only 5 of us at this meal and we were seated on the second level in a booth facing the fish tank. So we weren't "up close and personal" with the fish but our view was fine, especially since we were mostly there for the food. First of all, I'd like to put in a good word for our excellent server, Blanca. Not only was she super-friendly but she had several years of experience as a server at Coral Reef and her experience showed. She definitely added to our overall satisfaction with our dining experience here. Ok, now on to the food. To start with, Blanca offered us several different drinks besides the usual soda, coffee, etc. We chose 2 Strawberry Freezes (like a non-alcoholic strawberry daquiri), a Coconut Freeze (like a non-alcoholic pina colada), and 2 Lava Smoothies (listed as P NA Lava Smoothie on our bill). The Lava Smoothie was like a non-alcoholic pina colada with raspberry flavor added and it was delicious. Next came the bread which was warm and very good. For our entrees, we were not very original in that 4 of us ordered the New York Strip steak which was served with small roasted potatoes. Everyone really enjoyed their steaks and the roasted potatoes were also very good. I was glad to see that these were served with the steak entree here instead of the potato gratin that is listed on some of the Coral Reef online menus I've seen. Our lone holdout (who had intended to order steak, but ordered last and decided to be different) ordered one of the specials for the day (therefore, not listed on menu), the grouper fish. It was also very good. For our desserts, we only ordered 4 of the 5 of which we were entitled. Again we were not very original as we ordered 3 of the Chocolate Waves and a Butterscotch Creme Brulee. I am the one who ordered the creme brulee and I was a bit hesitant about doing it because I'm not a big fan of butterscotch. But for the sake of ordering at least one different dessert I went ahead and risked it and I am very glad I did. It turned out to be my favorite creme brulee of the trip. It was delicious, with only a slight butterscotch taste. The 3 Chocolate Waves were eaten so quickly by the others that I didn't even get to taste one, so I think it's safe to assume that everyone liked them.

Just as a side note, we left the restaurant (which is at the front of Future World) at about 9:45 - 10:00 and walked through a nearly empty Epcot to the International Gateway (in World Showcase) to exit the park. This was a wonderful way to end our evening after an excellent meal. I highly recommend doing this sometime.:thumbsup2

Total Cost covered under Regular Dining Plan - $219.77 or $43.95 per meal credit (Excellent value)
Tip (paid OOP) - $38.00

5 meal credits used, 20 more to go!

NOTE: Cost of this meal had we used TIW (20% discount) instead of Dining Plan - $175.82

Next up: Boardwalk Bakery for breakfast snacks and dinner for one

jabead
04-06-2010, 02:22 PM
DAY 4
Snacks and Dinner from Boardwalk Bakery

Highlights: Muffins, Fruit Tarts, Wraps

Disappointments: None

Would we Return?: Yes

Snacks
During our walk from Epcot to our room at the BWI, we passed right by a quiet Boardwalk Bakery at about 10:15 p.m. so of course we had to stop in to use some of our snack credits. We got 2 blueberry muffins, a chocolate chip muffin, a fresh fruit tart, and a banana. All of this was eaten for breakfast the next day.

Total cost covered under the Dining Plan - $13.90 or $2.78 per snack credit

5 Snack credits used, 18 left


Dinner
I almost forgot that DD1 decided to stay back at the room this evening so she could watch Lost. She used a counter service credit to get a take-out dinner from Boardwalk Bakery. She got the Chicken Salad Wrap with chips, a fruit tart for dessert, and a Fuze Peach Mango drink. She said it was all good.

Total cost covered under the Dining Plan - Approx. $17

1 Counter service meal credit used, 17 left

Next up: Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater

Bellerella
04-06-2010, 02:48 PM
I am really enjoying all of your reviews. Haven't been to Disney since 12/06 and am currently beginning the planning for a trip Nov/Dec this year...so I'm super excited to read all about peoples trips. Thank you for your very detailed reports!

jabead
04-06-2010, 04:11 PM
DAY 5
Lunch at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater at Hollywood Studios

Highlights: Atmosphere, Burgers, Shakes, Vanilla cokes

Disappointments: None

Would we Return?: Yes

We had to wait about 15 min. for our table (oops, I mean car) because they were very busy. The restaurant was booked solid and turning away walk-ins. When we arrived they were trying to find a place for a small group without dining reservations for lunch. The closest restaurant available was Beirgarten at Epcot World Showcase :scared1: After hearing this, we didn't mind waiting at all.

So we decided that due to the relatively low food prices (our sandwiches were between $11.99 - $13.99) we would not use our Dining Plan credits here. We paid OOP and used my TIW 20% discount. Oh, and all 6 of us were at this meal. Okay, on to the food. Four of us got chocolate shakes which were good. DD1 got a vanilla coke, also good. As an appetizer, we shared an order of onion rings which were pretty good. The onions were a little tough but the outside batter was really good. Three of us got Angus Chuck Burgers with french fries. I had mine with mushrooms and swiss cheese and it was very good. DS had his with bacon and cheddar cheese. Not sure about the 3rd as she was sitting in the front of the car and I was in the back. DD1 had the Smoked Turkey Sandwich, DD2 had the Italian Grilled Chicken Sandwich (added cheese and bacon which was an extra $.79 per an addition), and DH had the Reuben. I didn't hear any complaints so I think everyone enjoyed their sandwiches and fries. We were too full for dessert.

OOP Cost of Meal (with 20% TIW discount): $92.42
Plus Tip (Mandatory 18% when using TIW): $19.52
Total OOP Cost: $111.94

Saved $23.10 with TIW

Next up: Hey Howdy Hey Snack Cart

jabead
04-06-2010, 04:47 PM
DAY 5
Snack at Hey Howdy Hey Snack Cart at Hollywood Studios

It was a couple of hours after our meal at Sci-Fi and we weren't really hungry yet but we were all thirsty. Someone had the idea of getting frozen cokes. We were still at Hollywood Studios and looking at their guide map we saw that the snack cart located across from the Toy Story ride had frozen cokes. When we got to the cart we saw frozen cokes listed on their menu with a Disney Dining Plan sign next to it.:woohoo: Well, when we asked for 6 frozen cokes they told us they were all out. :sad2: They did however have frozen raspberry lemonades. Ok, we were all game, so 6 frozen raspberry lemonades it was! They were great and I think we actually ended up liking them better than frozen cokes :thumbsup2. The 6 of us found a place to sit down just up the street from Toy Story and sat there people watching while we sipped on our frozen treats. At least 3 people stopped to ask us where we had gotten them.

Total cost covered under the Dining Plan - $23.58 or $3.93 per snack credit (Great use of a snack credit!)

6 Snack credits used, 12 left

Next up: Teppan Edo

pumba
04-06-2010, 05:43 PM
You are doing such a great job pointing out the savings on DDP and also TIW....thanks so much

cultureart
04-07-2010, 03:05 AM
What a great review! We are also planning to go there... very helpful...
:goodvibes :goodvibes :goodvibes

jabead
04-07-2010, 01:52 PM
DAY 5
Dinner at Teppan Edo at Epcot World Showcase (Japan)

Highlights: Service (Waitress), Iced Green Tea, All entrees, Green Tea Pudding, Chocolate Ginger Cake

Disappointments: Just a minor one...unequal portions given out by Chef

Would We Return?: Definitely!

We checked in on time for our 7:50 reservation at Teppan Edo. Being located on the same floor (upper level) of the Japanese pavilion as the other sit-down restaurant, Tokyo Dining, they share a check-in desk and waiting area. This made things a little congested, but we didn't wait long there before being shown to our table. There were 5 of us at this meal so we were joined at the table (which seats 8) by a group of 3. They immediately started a conversation with the server regarding a food allergy that one of them had. Shortly thereafter, the group was escorted away from our table. I'm assuming that whatever allergy he had made it risky for his food to be cooked on the common grill, so they probably moved the group to the other restaurant, Tokyo Dining. So we waited a few minutes before they brought us 3 more dining companions (a couple and a man dining by himself). Then they were able to start taking our orders, beginning with our drinks. We had 2 iced green teas, one regular iced tea, and one soda. DD2 didn't like any of choices available here so just got a glass of water. For our entrees, DD2 and her friend both got the Tori (chicken breast). DS of course got steak but changed it up a bit by getting the sirloin steak and chicken breast combination (called Nihon bashi). DD1, with my coaxing, ordered the ebi (large shrimp) while I had the filet mignon. My plan was for the two of us to share the shrimp and filet. We both prefer the filet over the sirloin steak that you get when you order the steak/shrimp combo here. We also both like shrimp. So my plan worked perfectly :woohoo: Our chef arrived at about this point and confirmed each of our orders and how we wanted our steak cooked. He entertained us with the usual knife tricks, onion volcano, etc. while cooking the udon noodles and vegetables that came with all of our entrees. He gave us our three dipping sauces...one for chicken, one for the steak, and one for the shrimp...which were all very good. In the meantime the waitress brought our drinks and a small bowl of white rice for each of us. Oh, and speaking of the drinks, our glasses would only reach the point of being half empty when another glass would magically appear. They just kept them coming...I think my son had at least 4 sodas! Btw, DD1 loved her green tea, I thought it was just okay. Now back to the food. The chef began doling out the noodles/veggies, starting at our side of the table by giving each of the 5 of us portions that were on the smaller side. I was the last of my group then came the single diner. He was given a huge portion, at least twice as big as mine! Then came the couple, who were each given good size portions (although not as big as single guy). Ok, I figured maybe he was trying to conserve in the beginning to make sure he had enough to go around. Well, that theory was quickly proven wrong when after serving everyone the chef still had some left. Guess who he gave it to? If you guessed single guy, you would be right :lmao: Oh well, I guess maybe he looked like a bigger tipper than us or maybe just hungrier? :confused3 Regardless of the unequal portions, no one in my group left hungry so in my daughter's words, "It's all good." Everyone enjoyed their food and cleaned their plates, except for a few unwanted mushrooms on my son's plate that is. DD1 is an experienced user of chopsticks, while the rest of us used either forks or the kids' version of chopsticks that the waitress tied together with a rubberband, making them easier to handle. The dessert menu here was limited to three items...green tea pudding, chocolate ginger cake, and soft serve ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, or vanilla/chocolate swirl) DD1 had the green tea pudding and the rest of us had the chocolate ginger cake. Although it didn't look very appetizing (not use to desserts being that color of green:laughing:), the green tea pudding ended up being DD1's favorite dessert of the trip. DD2 and her friend really liked their chocolate ginger cake, DS and I thought it was okay.

Our meal concluded and our bill settled shortly after 9:00 so we went out onto the open deck (same level as restaurants) and watched the rest of Illuminations from there. It was a pretty good view and there were only a few other people there. A great ending to another great dining experience!

Total Cost covered under Regular Dining Plan - $173.44 or $34.69 per meal credit
Tip (18% paid OOP) - $29.31

5 meal credits used, 15 more to go!

NOTE: TIW discount not available at this restaurant

Next up: Boardwalk Bakery dinner for one

Jacks2583
04-07-2010, 02:34 PM
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! your reviews are absolutely wonderful!

jabead
04-07-2010, 04:37 PM
DAY 5
Dinner from Boardwalk Bakery

Highlights: Muffins, Fruit Tarts, Wraps, Paninis, Carrot Cake

Disappointments: None

Would we Return?: Yes


DH stayed back in our room this evening to watch Illinois get beat in the NIT Tournament. :sad1: Although he didn't like the outcome of the basketball game, he enjoyed watching it while eating a take-out dinner from the Boardwalk Bakery. He got the Turkey & Bacon Panini with chips, a Fuze Peach Mango drink, and a delicious (he had some left so I got to taste it) and large piece of carrot cake. So at least his stomach was happy.:thumbsup2

Total cost covered under the Dining Plan - Approx. $18

1 Counter service meal credit used, 16 left

Next up: Belle Vue Room for breakfast snacks

NEMO93
04-08-2010, 08:20 AM
Thanks for the reviews. We are going in July to WDW and have pick some of the places to eat that you went to.

jabead
04-08-2010, 12:32 PM
DAY 6
Breakfast snacks and coffee from Belle Vue Room (at Boardwalk Resort)

Highlights: Coveniently located, Quick service, Muffins from the Boardwalk Bakery, Good coffee

Disappointments: None

Would we Return?: Yes (assuming we are staying at the Boardwalk, which we probably will :thumbsup2)

On the first morning of our stay at the Boardwalk Inn, I came across this place while on my way to the Boardwalk Bakery for our morning coffee. It is tucked away in the small area (next to staircase) between the Boardwalk lobby and the elevators on the Boardwalk Inn side. Seeing that there was hardly anyone there and the few that were there had coffee in the their hands :woohoo:, I quickly made a detour from my original plan. I continued to get our morning coffee here for the remainder of our stay and the four coffee drinkers in our group were quite satisfied with it. So, not only did this save me a few steps each morning, but it also saved me quite a bit of time because the bakery always has long lines in the morning. I was also happy to see that the Boardwalk Bakery muffins that we enjoy so much were also available here as well as a very limited selection (compared to bakery) of other breakfast items such as bagels, cinnamon rolls, etc. The one thing that we wanted that they didn't have was the fruit tarts from the bakery. This had become DD2's breakfast of choice so on previous two days I had gotten our breakfast food from the bakery the night before and got coffee only in the morning from the Belle Vue. Well, on Day 6 DD2 decided she would wait and have her fruit tart at the bakery in Norway(Epcot). She had enjoyed a fruit tart there on a previous trip and wanted to now compare it to the ones from the Boardwalk Bakery... stay tuned for her critique of the Kringla Bakeri og Cafe fruit tart ;). So on this day, in addition to our morning coffees, I used 2 snack credits to get two muffins, one blueberry and one chocolate chip.

So the moral of my story... If you are staying at the Boardwalk resort and just want a cup of coffee in the morning or don't mind the limited breakfast menu then give this place a try :thumbsup2 Oh, and for those who might be wondering, they do honor the refillable mugs here, although just like at the bakery they don't actually pour your coffee into the mugs. Instead you just show them your mugs and they give you an equal number of coffees in disposable cups, along with a cardboard carrier if you need to to carry multiple cups like I always did. ;)

Total cost covered under the Dining Plan - Approx. $5.50 (or $2.75 per snack credit)

2 Snack credits used, 10 left

Next up: Le Cellier

GettinReadyforDisney
04-09-2010, 10:42 AM
Your reviews are great and I truly appreciate your posting your "value calculations" for DXDP -- it is making me feel at ease about our own decision to upgrade to DxDP :cool1: We are going in June, using a free QSDP -- but upgrading. We are really excited to to try some Signature Restaurants that we've never tried before.. :banana:

jabead
04-09-2010, 02:41 PM
DAY 6
Lunch at Le Cellier at Epcot World Showcase (Canada)

Highlights: Breadsticks, Chocolate Raspberry Shakes and Red Maples, Cheddar Cheese Soup, Gnocchi, Filet Mignon

Disappointments: Service, Desserts (especially maple creme brulee)

Would We Return?: Probably, Maybe ???

First of all, I must admit that this is my most difficult review to do. I've read so many Le Cellier reviews (most glowing, but some not) here on the disboards that I kind of feel like another one is just not needed. Especially since our feelings regarding this restaurant are neither strongly for or against it. But what the heck, here's our two cents worth anyway...feel free to take it or leave it ;)

Just a little background information first though. We are not Le Cellier newbies. We have dined here at least 5 times previously, 3 times for lunch and twice for dinner. Of these experiences, only two were great (one lunch, one dinner) in terms of both food and service. The other three were just okay. Not terrible by any means, but just not really memorable. So in other words, our past experience has been "hit or miss". I guess it has been those two "hits" that have kept us coming back in hopes of scoring another one.

Now on to the review. Since the highlights I have listed above seem to far outnumber the dissappointments, you would think that this meal was a "hit". Sadly though, I'd have to say that it wasn't. But I'm getting ahead of myself, so let me back up and tell you about our experience from beginning to end. As usual here, we had to wait at least 15 minutes after our reservation time to be seated. During this time they turned away several people without reservations, saying they were completely booked. No big surprise there, especially to any disboard member ;). They even told one dissappointed couple that Le Cellier was not only the most popular restaurant at Epcot, but that it was also the smallest, which made it the most difficult reservation to get there. So I guess I believe the "most popular" part of the statement (although it sounded kind of liking bragging to me :rolleyes1), but is it really the smallest??? San Angel Inn comes to my mind as being the smallest, but perhaps I'm wrong. Now comes the weirdest part of this story... when we were seated at around 1:30 there were several empty tables (for 2 or 4 people) in the restaurant and most of them remained empty throughout our meal, which lasted until 2:45 - 3:00ish. So it seems that they don't actually fill all of the tables at the smallest and most popular restaurant at Epcot? Is this some kind of marketing strategy on their part? Limit supply to increase demand :confused3 Well, I'm not in the restaurant business so perhaps there is a logical reason for this oddity of turning paying customers away when you have many empty tables and servers standing around with nothing to do (will be explained later). But I digress :laughing:, so on to my review of the food. There were five of us at this meal (DH was not with us) and here is what we had...DD2 ordered the "Le Cellier Experience" where you choose an appetizer, entree, and dessert from a limited menu for a set price of $29.99 I believe. This was supposed to be available under the regular Dining Plan. So she ordered the Cheddar Cheese soup, Gnocchi, and Canadian Chocolate Moose for dessert. I don't see the gnocchi listed on the online menus (instead they have a mushroom ravioli listed that I don't recall being on the actual menu at the restaurant). I'm pretty sure this was a meatless dish (so might make a good vegetarian option) and that the gnocchi had a light pesto sauce or broth. Whatever it was though, she seemed to enjoy it very much. DD2's friend ate lightly at this meal and had only the Prime Rib sandwich (I think normally served with fries, but I think she substituted these for cream cheese mashed potatoes), no soup or dessert and as far as I know she liked it. The rest of us all got steaks. DS had the New York Strip Steak but substituted the cream cheese mashed potatoes for the roasted Yukon potatoes that came with it. DD1 had the Filet Mignon (she's ok with mushrooms, but prefers mashed potatoes over risotto) with the white truffle-herb butter sauce on it but substituted the cream cheese mashed potatoes for the risotto. I however went with the filet exactly as listed on the menu with both the mushroom sauce and the wild mushroom risotto. The three of us are pretty much in agreement regarding the steaks here. Yes, they were good. Were they the best steaks we have ever had (as some proclaim)? No, not even close. Heck, they weren't even the best steaks of this trip...nor the second best (but I'll leave DS's steak review for later ;)) Ok, there I've said it ... IMHO, Le Cellier is a steakhouse that has good steaks, good but not great. Oops, again I digress, so back to the review. The three steak eaters all had plenty of room for both the cheddar cheese soup and desserts since our filets were in fact "petite" (listed as Petit Filet on bill) and DS (age 14) pretty much has a bottomless pit for a stomach these days. We all enjoyed the soup (just as we have always during our previous visits) and shamelessly dipped our pretzel breadsticks in it. The breadsticks were of course enjoyed by one and all and a second batch of the pretzel ones was quickly brought for our group. As for the desserts, in addition to DD2's chocolate moose, we had two of the maple creme brulees and DD1 had the Smores. The moose and smores were okay. The maple creme brulee however was very dissappointing for me. I had always enjoyed this dessert on my 5 previous visits, but this time ...not so much. Instead of it having the custard texture that creme brulee usually has, this was like pudding. So to me, this dessert should have been called, "Maple pudding with a caramelized sugar topping". I'm a huge fan of creme brulee (tried at least 5 on this trip), but not a big pudding fan (well, except for chocolate pudding of course) so I wasn't really into this dessert. So maybe they have changed the recipe since my last visit in 2008 or maybe this was just a bad batch? Or maybe my memory is slipping and I've been eating (and enjoying) maple pudding for all these years? :lmao: Anyway, I almost forgot our drinks, which were great. Two of us had Red Maples (which were described as raspberry smoothies with a splash of Sprite) and the other three had the Chocolate Raspberry Shakes. Ok, that concludes the food portion of my review. Now for the service. We had two issues (both minor) with our server. The first one is that he was always there ...hanging around :laughing:. I know people are always complaining about their servers dissappearing for long periods of time or not being attentive. This guy was definitely not one of those servers. Rarely during our meal was this guy not standing nearby our table, definitely within earshot. My kids even thought that he was listening to our conversation. :scared1: I think DD2 used the word "creepy" or maybe it was "creeper" to describe him. In his defense though, he was a young man and my group did include three teenage girls so it could have been a case of :love: Or maybe he just didn't have anything else to do ... being that the restaurant was half empty and all.;) My second issue has to do with our check. As previously mentioned, DD2 ordered the Le Cellier Experience in which her soup should have been included and covered by the Dining Plan. I had told the "creeper", I mean waiter that I would be using my TIW for the three soups that were not covered under our dining plan. So I really didn't check close enough when he brought me the two bills, one for the food covered under the dining plan and one for the soups, which I saw had the 20% TIW discount applied. It wasn't until later when I was taking the day's receipts out of my purse that I noticed that we were charged for 4 soups (including DD2's) instead of 3. The mistake only cost me about $5 so not a big deal.

Total Cost covered under Regular Dining Plan - $178.24 or $35.65 per meal credit (should have been $182.51 if we had been charged correctly)
Tip (paid OOP) - $30.00

OOP cost for soups not covered by Plan (with 20% TIW discount and 18% tip) - $22.67 (should have been about $17 if we had been charged correctly for 3 instead of for 4).

Saved $4.68 with TIW (about the amount I was charged for soup that should have been covered under plan)


5 meal credits used, 10 more to go!

NOTE: Cost of this meal had we used TIW (20% discount) instead of Dining Plan - $142.59

Next up: Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe

jabead
04-09-2010, 08:21 PM
DAY 6
Snack from Norway's Kringla Bakery at Epcot

Highlights: Fruit tarts and rice cream (but didn't have rice cream this trip)

Disappointments: None

Would we Return?: Probably

As promised previously this was the day for DD2's Fruit Tart Challenge with the competitors being the one from the Boardwalk Bakery vs. the one here at Norway's bakery. BTW, I heard they have a Strawberry fruit tart at the French bakery, but sadly we didn't get there this trip to try it. Also I think they might have a fruit tart at Starring Rolls bakery at DHS, but I guess that one will have to wait for another trip as well. Now, back to the task at hand ... comparing these two fruit tarts. The results ... the Boardwalk Bakery has a slight edge over Norway according to DD2. Although they are very similar (and both delicious), the one from the Boardwalk includes kiwi as one of the fruits. Since DD2 loves kiwi, this tipped the scale in favor of the Boardwalk.

Total cost covered under the Dining Plan - Approx. $4.25

1 Snack credit used, 9 left

Next up: Yorkshire County Fish House

JerseyJanice
04-09-2010, 09:02 PM
Great reviews! I enjoy reading them. :)

jabead
04-11-2010, 12:09 PM
DAY 6
Dinner for one from Yorkshire County Fish Shop at Epcot's World Showcase (UK)

Highlights: Fish & Chips

Disappointments: None

Would we Return?: Yes


DS had been looking forward to this meal for quite awhile. Every trip we try to either eat at the Rose & Crown or the Fish Shop so he can have fish & chips. This trip's meal at the Fish Shop did not disappoint. He enjoyed and quickly devoured the two pieces of fish and a good-size portion of chips (thick cut french fries) plus a regular size (no larges given here) Sprite and shortbread cookies for dessert. I got a little taste of the fish and fries and they were indeed both very good.

Total cost covered under the Dining Plan - $12.97

1 Counter service meal credit used, 15 left

Next up: Tangierine Cafe

jabead
04-11-2010, 01:47 PM
DAY 6
One dinner (shared by 2) from Tangierine Cafe at Epcot's World Showcase (Morocco)

Highlights: Lamb and chicken, bread, baklava

Disappointments: Service, side dishes

Would we Return?: Probably

DD1 and I decided we wanted something different for dinner so tried this place for the first time ever (had only gotten desserts here previously). We shared the Chicken & Lamb Combo Shawarma Platter which was served with hummus, tabouleh, the Tangierine couscous salad and Moroccan bread.
We had a regular size Coke and baklava for dessert (only one offered with Dining Plan). We both really enjoyed the meats, the lamb was especially delicious. However we weren't really wild about the side dishes, except for the bread which was good. Surprisingly though I really liked the baklava. I'm not a big fan of baklava so would have definitely chosen something else if there had been any other desserts available here with the Dining Plan. In the end though, I was glad I was forced to try the baklava here because it was really good and I ate it all (I think DD1 only got one bite ;)). We will probably give this place another try sometime only get something else, like maybe one of the wraps.

I almost forgot to mention that we thought the service here was very "unDisney like". There were two guys working behind the counter here. One seemed to have no personality at all and the other was just plain grouchy. :mad:

Total cost covered under the Dining Plan - $20.27 (Great value with Dining Plan)

1 Counter service meal credit used, 14 left

Next up: Snack Counter at Fantasmic's Hollywood Hills Theater

jabead
04-11-2010, 02:03 PM
DAY 6
Snacks from Counter in Fantasmic's Hollywood Hills Theater

Highlights: Convenient location

Disappointments: Very limited menu

Would we return?: Maybe


This night DD2 and her friend went to see Fantasmic. They hadn't eaten dinner so they were hungry and decided to get a snack to have while watching the show. They got nacho chips with cheese sauce, a Sprite, and a bottle of water. This held them over until they got back to the hotel.

Total cost covered under the Dining Plan - Approx. $8.75 or $2.92 per snack credit

3 Snack credits used, 6 left

Next up: Boardwalk Bakery (again)

jabead
04-11-2010, 02:50 PM
DAY 6
One dinner (shared by 2) from Boardwalk Bakery

Highlights: Muffins, Fruit Tarts, Wraps, Paninis, Carrot Cake

Disappointments: None

Would we Return?: Yes

When DD2 and her friend got back from seeing Fantasmic they were hungry so shared a meal from the bakery. They chose the Ham & Cheese Panini with chips, a Fuze Peach Mango drink, and of course DD2's favorite fruit tart for dessert. Everything was great!

Total cost covered under the Dining Plan - Approx. $17

1 Counter service meal credit used, 13 left

Next up: Cinderella's Royal Table

luvmarypoppins
04-11-2010, 04:28 PM
Thanks for your great reviews. We are staying at the Poly and going to Narcooses too for our anniv.

This is not a food question, but how far of a walk is it from the monorail to the restraunt? Also do you know if they have a place to "park" a wheelchair. I am recovering from cancer and 7 surgeries last year, so my strength is not too great yet. I am debating if we should lug the chair or just to get a taxi from the Poly.

Also how mushroomy is the filet? Overpowring, in every bite etc? I am thinking of that at Le Cellier.

jabead
04-11-2010, 10:23 PM
Thanks for your great reviews. We are staying at the Poly and going to Narcooses too for our anniv.

This is not a food question, but how far of a walk is it from the monorail to the restraunt? Also do you know if they have a place to "park" a wheelchair. I am recovering from cancer and 7 surgeries last year, so my strength is not too great yet. I am debating if we should lug the chair or just to get a taxi from the Poly.

Also how mushroomy is the filet? Overpowring, in every bite etc? I am thinking of that at Le Cellier.

The Poly is one of our favorite Disney resorts and Narcoossee's was one of our favorite meals of this trip. I hope you enjoy both of them as much as we did.

As far as the walk from the monorail, it's not terribly far. The monorail platform is located on the second floor of the main building so you would take the elevator down to the main floor (lobby) and exit the back of the building. You go past the quiet pool and down the path to the beach/dock area, which is where the restaurant is located. I'm pretty sure that you would not be able to take a taxi directly to this restaurant. I'm thinking that the taxi would let you off at the front of the hotel so your only gain would be that you would be left off on the first floor (lobby) of the main building instead of the second. You would still have to go across the lobby to the other side to exit and then proceed down the path to Narcoossee's. Another possibility would be to take the boat from the Poly. I think you would first stop at the Magic Kingdom, then at the Grand Floridian boat dock, which is right next to the restaurant. Then I believe on the return trip you would go directly to the Poly. We did not take the boat this time but have on a previous visit to Narcoossee's. I'm not sure though if these small boats are handicapped accessible.

I'm also not sure about the wheelchair storage question. I would think that they could accommodate you, but perhaps someone else here on the boards could better answer that question.

Regarding the mushroom filet, I wouldn't say the mushroom flavor in the sauce is too strong (otherwise, DD1 would not have liked it as she is not too crazy about mushrooms... just recently started eating them in very small amounts). The risotto however is definitely mushroom flavored so if you are like her then I would do as she did and substitute the mashed potatoes for the risotto.

I hope you have a great trip and Happy Anniversary!

erinlaw
04-11-2010, 10:52 PM
Thank you so much for the reviews. We have some of the same places reserved, so this inside info helps a lot!

jabead
04-14-2010, 02:07 PM
DAY 7
Snacks at Plaza Ice Cream Parlor at Magic Kingdom

Highlights: Ice cream cones, floats

Disappointments: None

Would we Return?: Yes

Just a couple of hours after our breakfast at the castle, the kids were hungry again and wanted ice cream. :confused3 So we made our way through the crowds watching a parade on Main Street (it seems like there is always a parade of some sort going on now at MK) to the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor. DS had a root beer float, 2 of the girls both got single scoop mint chocolate chip cones, and DD2 had a double scoop cone with one scoop of chocolate and the other strawberry ice cream. All of these were quickly devoured!

Total cost covered under the Dining Plan - Approx. $14.00 or $3.50 per snack credit

4 Snack credits used, just 2 left

Next up: Garden View Lounge

jabead
04-14-2010, 04:42 PM
DAY 7
Afternoon Tea at Garden View Lounge at Grand Floridian

Highlights: Atmosphere, Food, Tea

Disappointments: None

Would We Return?: Definitely

Inspired by Brenda's (oybolshoi) Nov. 2006 review, DD1 and I first had tea at the Garden View during our 2007 trip. Since then, it has become one of our Disney World traditions. For this trip, DD2 and her friend joined us so it was a special treat for the girls only of our group. We took the resort monorail from Magic Kingdom to the Grand Floridian and arrived at the check-in podium a few minutes early for our 3:20 reservation (BTW, this reservation cannot be made or cancelled online for some reason, so you must do it over the phone. Also, since tea is only offered from 2:00 - 5:00 each day and the restaurant is small, this has somewhat limited availability). They didn't yet have a table available for us so we chose four comfortable chairs in the beautiful Grand Floridian lobby to wait for our name to be called. It was so quiet (except for the live piano music) and peaceful that DD2 actually fell asleep. :rotfl: We were then seated at a table by the window, overlooking the resort's lovely landscaping. Even though this restaurant is open to the hotel lobby, it is very quiet (unlike most Disney restaurants) and relaxing. DD2 decided to order a la carte and chose the fruit and cheese plate (which she loved) and strawberries and cream. She doesn't like tea so ordered milk and the server brought it in a tea cup.:laughing: DD2's friend and DD1 both had the Buckingham Palace. Along with your choice of tea, this included five different tea sandwiches and an onion tartlet (1st course), a jam tart and a freshly baked scone with Devonshire Cream and strawberry preserves (2nd course), and finally a choice of either English trifle, strawberries and cream, or two freshly baked pastries (3rd course) for $19.50 pp. I chose the Grand Tea, which was the same as the Buckingham Palace except that for an additional $6 I also got a glass of sparkling wine and a small portion of pate with my 1st course. Two of us did sandwich substitutions without any problem. All three of us selected the Princess Breakfast Tea (described as a sweet custom blend of South African organic rooibos flavored with vanilla bean and a hint of strawberries). This is the same tea that DD1 and I have ordered on our previous visits, but we like it so much that we just can't bring ourselves to try something else :laughing: We also all three chose the fresh strawberries topped with a big dollop of whipped cream. These were super-sweet and absolutely delicious! Another thing that I enjoy about this place is that you are allowed to relax and enjoy each course...they do not try and rush you through the courses. In fact, we were there for 1 1/2 hours and enjoyed every minute of it.

We again loved our afternoon tea at the Garden View Lounge and it will continue to be on our must-do list. If it wasn't for the disboards we would have never known about this gem. So thank you Brenda and other reviewers here who helped to spread the word.

Regular Price for this meal (including 18% tip): $107.09
Our OOP Cost for Meal (with 20% TIW discount): $88.78

Saved $18.31 with TIW


Note: DDP credits can not be used at this restaurant

Next up: Boardwalk Bakery

jabead
04-14-2010, 05:03 PM
DAY 7
One late lunch (shared by 2) from Boardwalk Bakery

Highlights: Muffins, Fruit Tarts, Wraps, Paninis, Carrot Cake

Disappointments: None

Would we Return?: Yes

While the girls were having tea, DH and DS went back to the hotel to get something to eat from the bakery and then take a nap. They ended up sharing the identical meal as what DD2 and friend had last night...a Ham & Cheese Panini with chips, a Fuze Peach Mango drink, and a fruit tart for dessert. I assume they liked it because there wasn't anything left when we returned to the hotel.

Total cost covered under the Dining Plan - Approx. $17

1 Counter service meal credit used, 12 left

Next up: Tutto Italia

pumba
04-15-2010, 11:51 AM
thanks again for your reviews and the way you did them...excellent

vinotinto
04-17-2010, 01:50 PM
DAY 7
While standing there I saw and overheard two young guys (probably college age) approach the podium and ask the lady there if they had any openings for two for breakfast. To my shock :scared1: she replied, "Yes, we do. I can seat you immediately." She then proceeded to inform them of the price and that they would be dining with the princesses. They couldn't get away from there fast enough! :lmao:

:rotfl: That is funny! :rotfl2:

Anyways, thanks for all the reviews. I've loved all the detail in them and the cost analyses! :thumbsup2

Since you are bakery experts, did you notice any bakeries having whole-grain goodies on the ddp/dxdp?

jabead
04-18-2010, 01:08 PM
Since you are bakery experts, did you notice any bakeries having whole-grain goodies on the ddp/dxdp?

The only bakery we visited more than once was the Boardwalk Bakery and I don't recall seeing anything there that was whole-grain. Of course we were pretty focused there on things like muffins, fruit tarts, etc. (not healthy stuff, but we sure loved them ;)), so may have missed them.

A slight correction... After talking to DD1 I found out that her wrap was made with a whole wheat tortilla (she's fairly certain, anyway) and perhaps multi-grain bread is used in some of the paninis here (ham & cheese one I think is on sourdough bread though). So I guess it depends on what you mean by whole-grain goodies???

jabead
04-18-2010, 04:34 PM
DAY 7
Dinner at Tutto Italia at Epcot World Showcase (Italy)

Highlights: Penne Caprese

Disappointments: Pretty much everything else, especially the service

Would We Return?: No, but might give the new Italy restaurant (pizzeria) a try

Background info first...I should first confess that this restaurant was probably not a wise choice for our group and I take full responsibility for my mistake. I really should have known better. Just like many of you I'm sure, I am half Italian. In fact, I was raised for a few years by my Italian grandmother who was an excellent cook. After her death, my love for pretty much all Italian food continued, although I had to settle for a much lesser quality. Heck, I have found that I can even enjoy a meal at Olive Garden now and then :laughing:, so I would have to say that I'm not overly picky when it comes to Italian food. So in summation, I have enjoyed a wide-range of Italian food, from the authentic food that my grandmother made and the delicious food I enjoyed on the Food & Wine tour that I did last summer in Italy to the Olive Garden type Italian restaurant food here in the U.S.
In addition, our family visited Tutto Italia on our last visit to WDW two years ago and only two of the five of us enjoyed our meal (the two that had the lasagna). I vividly remember DS's reaction to his meal ..."This is the worst pizza I've had in my life." (and my family eats a lot of pizza, including frozen :lmao:) So now you probably understand why eating here again was a bad idea on my part. In my defense though, we were on the Dining Plan and I let that influence my decision to give this place another try. The food is highly overpriced here making it a good value on the Dining Plan.

Now on to the review... All 6 of us were present at this meal. After being seated our server brought us a basket of bread and breadsticks along with some dipping sauce that we didn't really like (prefer the similar but much better one that is served at our local Italian restaurant). Unlike the restaurants in Italy though, at least they didn't charge us for this bread :laughing: We were also brought a plate of pickled vegetables which a few of us picked at. Our server took our drink orders and only 2 of us ordered sodas, the rest just had water (which BTW you also get charged for at real Italian restaurants). For our food, two of us had the Penne Caprese (penne pasta with crushed tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil) and both enjoyed it. DD1 commented that this dish was very simple, but good. Two of us (including myself) again had the baked lasagna (same two people that enjoyed it last time, so figured this was a safe bet). Bad assumption. This time we both thought the lasagna was just okay... definitely not as good as we had remembered. DS is not a big fan of Italian food (is he really my child? :scared1:) except for pizza, but surprisingly didn't order the steak here even though they had one listed on the menu. Instead he ordered the grilled pork chop and described it as just okay, nothing special. DH (not on DDP) just ordered the minestrone soup (said it was okay) and ended up eating most of DD2's lasagna since she didn't want it. Okay, so overall our entrees were less than stellar, but I still had high hopes for our desserts. Tutto Italia has some of the highest priced desserts of the Disney restaurants we have been to (dessert prices range from $8 to $14), so I figured that their desserts must be pretty good, right? Wrong, another bad assumption. For our 5 desserts we had two Chocolate Tortas ($11 each), one Chocolate Gelati and one Raspberry Sorbetto (each $8 for a small portion), and I ordered the most expensive dessert, Copetta Sotto Bosco. The description of this dessert (Zabaglione cream gelato, berries, and chocolate sauce) sounded delicious and for $14 I figured it must be like heaven in a dessert dish :cloud9:. Needless to say, I was sadly disappointed. It was not nearly as good as the somewhat similar dessert that I had at San Angel Inn that was just $8. Anyway, that completed our meal except for the coffees that DH and DD1 had with dessert. Now on to our service issues. At the beginning of our meal I explained to our waiter that only 5 of us were on the DDP and would be using credits for our meals. Whatever DH ordered we would instead pay OOP for, but would be using my TIW card for the discount on these items. I showed him my KTTW card (for Dining Plan) and TIW (for OOP expenses) and he nodded to indicate that he understood (or so I thought anyway). After our desserts and coffee (for 2) were served, the server brought one bill to our table which included everything we ordered (including DH's) plus two extra drinks that we didn't have (our bill showed 6 soft drinks when we had actually had only 2 plus 2 coffees). I pointed this out to our server and his reply was, "Oh, don't worry about it because everything on your bill is covered by your Dining Plan." Ummm ... no, not true Mr. Italian Waiter. So I again explained to him what I was doing, and again I thought he understood. He takes the bill and both of my cards (TIW and KTTW) and disappears for a while. When he finally returns he has a manager with him. This guy then tries to tell me that I can not use both my Dining Plan credits and TIW discount on the same meal. And since (according to him) the TIW discount would only be 10% (wrong, should be 20%), it would be better for us to use our Dining Plan credits for the meal. Okay (deep breath taken), I explained for the third time what I wanted to do and added that I had done this at several other restaurants this week. :mad: Manager and waiter then excuse themselves from our table and disappear with our bill and my two cards in hand. :rolleyes1 It's 10:00 by now and I'm really tired. The rest of the group is growing impatient because they want to hit the rides because Epcot had EMH this night. Finally our server returns, by himself this time though, with two bills which were pretty much correct, but no explanation or apology for the confusion. The bill which included the 5 meals covered under the Dining Plan still had 5 soft drinks listed (when we only had 2 plus a coffee) but I was willing to forego the 18% tip on the additional $6 just so we could get this over with. Oh, and in case you were wondering, DH's bill included his minestrone soup and a soft drink (he actually had coffee) and had the 20% TIW discount ;). So we paid our bills and got the heck out of there!

Total Cost covered under Regular Dining Plan - $205.55 or $41.11 per meal credit (Excellent value, if the meal had been good)
18% Tip (paid OOP) - $34.74

OOP cost for DH's soup and coffee not covered by Plan (with 20% TIW discount and 18% tip) - $11.36


Saved $2.34 with TIW

5 meal credits used, 5 more to go!

NOTE: Cost of this meal had we used TIW (20% discount) instead of Dining Plan - $164.44

Next up: Boardwalk Bakery

murphy t
04-18-2010, 05:06 PM
Great dining reviews! We will be at the Boardwalk in less than 2 weeks. I realize your kids are older, but did you happen to notice if the Boardwalk Bakery had kid's meals or do they order off the regular sandwich menu?
Thanks in advance, Murphy

jabead
04-18-2010, 05:28 PM
I realize your kids are older, but did you happen to notice if the Boardwalk Bakery had kid's meals or do they order off the regular sandwich menu?

I can't say with 100% certainty but I don't recall seeing a Kids' menu at Boardwalk Bakery. So I think that if you are using the Dining Plan, you would get a regular meal for a child's dining plan CS credit here. If you are worried about nothing being appealing to kids, I would recommend the Ham & Cheese Panini. This was pretty basic (I think sourdough bread was used) and DS (the pickiest eater of our group) enjoyed it.

jabead
04-18-2010, 05:55 PM
DAY 8
Breakfast from Boardwalk Bakery

Highlights: Muffins, Fruit Tarts, Wraps, Paninis, Carrot Cake, Croissant Breakfast Sandwiches

Disappointments: None

Would we Return?: Yes

Sadly this was the last day of our trip so this was our last visit to the Boardwalk Bakery. :sad1: Using two of our CS meal credits we got two of the Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Croissant sandwiches plus four drinks...2 chocolate milks and 2 Fuze Peach Mango drinks. These sandwiches were good, just like all the food that we had gotten from the Boardwalk Bakery during our 5 night stay at the BWI.

Total cost covered under the Dining Plan - Approx. $24 (or $12 per CS meal credit)

2 Counter service meal credits used, 10 left

We also used our last two snack credits to get two of our favorite muffins... both chocolate chip this time.

Total cost covered under the Dining Plan - Approx. $5.50 (or $2.75 per snack credit)

2 Snack credits used, none left :sad1:

Next up: Wolfgang Puck Express

jabead
04-21-2010, 09:42 AM
DAY 8
Lunch from Wolfgang Puck Express at Downtown Disney (Marketplace)

Highlights: Pizzas, Desserts

Disappointments: None

Would we Return?: Probably, if using Dining Plan

The first thing that I noticed here is that although there were plenty of choices (far more than the other counter service restaurants), the menu was not nearly as extensive as those that I have seen online for Wolfgang Puck Express. For example, missing was the BBQ chicken quesadilla that 3 of us had wanted to order. We could have possibly overlooked it, since the line to order here was out the door when we went at around noon so we didn't feel like we could take a long time perusing the menu when there were many hungry people standing behind us. Regardless, I am fairly certain that there were several items listed on the online menus that did not appear on the actual menu. Okay, on to the actual review now. The three who had wanted to order the BBQ chicken quesadilla ended up each ordering the BBQ chicken pizza. This is actually not listed on the online menu on this site so here is a description: Flatbread pizza with chicken, mozzarella cheese, red onions, tomatoes, cilantro and BBQ sauce. The other two also ordered pizza, but got the meatball pizza. Besides the meatballs and cheese, I remember there being roasted red peppers on these pizzas (which is not included in the online menu description). Anyway, both of these pizzas were large enough to each feed two people. Only DS came close to finishing his...I think he only left one slice. So had we not been on the Dining Plan we could have easily gotten by with ordering only 3 pizzas for the 5 of us, and at $13 - $14 per pizza could have saved quite a bit of money. Back to the food now...we all really liked our pizzas, as well as our desserts. For our 5 desserts we ordered 3 brownies, 1 frozen yogurt, and I got the creme brulee (which I thought was better than the creme brulee at some of the sit-down restaurants). For our drinks, we got 4 fountain drinks and 1 milk. Although the inside of the restaurant was very crowded we were able to find a table outside and our food was brought to us in a reasonable amount of time by a very friendly server (whom we tipped $1 or $2 pp, can't remember which).

Total cost covered under the Dining Plan - $102.88 or $20.58 per CS meal credit (Excellent value with Dining Plan)

5 Counter service meal credits used, 5 left


Next up: Raglan Road

jabead
04-21-2010, 10:18 PM
DAY 8
Dinner at Raglan Road at Downtown Disney (Pleasure Island)

Highlights: Soda bread & dipping sauce, Desserts

Disappointments: Shepherd's Pie

Would We Return?: Maybe (mostly because of the desserts)

This was our third visit to Raglan Road (last was in 2008) and we got to enjoy the Irish band and dancer on both of our previous visits. Sadly this time we had to have an early dinner (5:00) as we had to begin our 18 hour drive home :sad2:. So even though we were seated at a prime table close to the stage where the band performs, we did not get to see them this time as they were not scheduled to begin performing until 8:00 I believe. Our meal began with the server bringing us a basket of Irish Soda bread and dipping sauce that I believe he said was made from honey and Guinness beer. Now I had read many Raglan Road reviews here on the disboards which described this bread as dry and flavorless. In the pictures the soda bread appeared to be small balls like a fritter or some looked like mini-muffins. The soda bread that we were served were thick slices of flavorful bread which were delicious when dipped in the sweet sauce. I was very pleasantly surprised! So perhaps they listened to all the negative things that were said about the soda bread and changed it? :confused3 Okay, now on to our meal. We only had 5 DDP credits remaining so ordered 5 meals. For our 5 drinks we had 3 sodas and 2 coffees with dessert. For our 5 entrees we had 2 of the Shepherd's Pie (shared by 3 people), 2 Fish & Chips, and a Sirloin Steak with an Irish whiskey glaze (served with mashed potatoes). Of the 3 who shared the Shepherd's Pie, only one liked it (she had gotten this on our previous 2 visits to Raglan Road). The other two thought it was flavorless and could only eat it after adding ketchup :laughing: The Fish & Chips were good, however I'd have to say that the fish & chips from the UK counter service place at Epcot were slightly better. The steak was good, but mostly because of the Irish whiskey glaze ;) But now for the best part of our meal...the desserts! We only got 4 desserts here but we had a good variety. We had the always delicious Bread & Butter Pudding, the equally delicious and very choclately Dunbrody Kiss, and two desserts that are not listed on the online menus here. The first was a warm Strawberry and Apple Crumble topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This was especially enjoyed by DH and DD1 (the rest of us barely got a taste;)) DD2 had fresh fruit for her dessert. But of course it wasn't just plain old fruit, it was drizzled with a yogurt and honey sauce that she said was great. So all 4 desserts were a hit with our group!

Total Cost covered under Regular Dining Plan - $155.45 or $31.09 per meal credit
18% Tip (paid OOP) - $26.27


5 meal credits used, none left

NOTE: Cost of this meal had we used TIW (20% discount) instead of Dining Plan - $124.36

Next up: Earl of Sandwich

jabead
04-22-2010, 11:21 PM
DAY 8
Food for the drive home from Earl of Sandwich at Downtown Disney (Marketplace)

Highlights: Sandwiches, desserts

Disappointments: Chaotic Place

Would we Return?: Maybe, if we are not on Dining Plan

So I had greatly over estimated the number of counter service meals that our group would eat these last 5 days. Several times a counter service meal was shared. This resulted in us still having 5 counter service meal credits remaining and it was time for us to head home. So while the rest of the group did a little bit more shopping, DS and I waited in the long line at Earl of Sandwich (at 6:45) in order to use up our remaining meal credits. This place was chaotic...no one seemed to know what they were doing, including the employees. When it was finally our turn to order we got 2 of the Original 1762 sandwiches (roast beef, cheddar cheese, and horseradish sauce), an Earl's Club (roast turkey, smoked bacon, Swiss cheese, lettuce and tomato), a Full Montagu (roast beef and turkey with cheddar and Swiss cheese, romaine lettuce, tomato and Earl's mustard) and a Ham & Swiss cheese sandwich. We picked out 5 desserts ... I believe we got 2 regular rice crispy treats, 2 brownies, and one rice crispy treat that had half of it dipped in chocolate. We told the cashier we would be using Dining Plan credits and he automatically handed us 5 plastic cups (we ended up only using two as that was all the two of us could carry). Since we had just had dinner at Raglan Road, we put the sandwiches in our insulated bag for later. It was only a couple of hours before DH and DS were hungry again and each had one of the Original sandwiches. Both said this sandwich was very good. A little while later DD and I shared the Earl's Club and thought it was pretty good. It would definitely had been better fresh, but even after 3 or 4 hours it was still good. The remaining 2 sandwiches were not eaten by anyone during our 18 hour drive home. I had intended to throw them away when we got home, but got busy with unpacking other things and forgot about the sandwiches. Well, DH did not forget about them...he put them in the fridge at home and then ate them the next day, as he absolutely hates to waste food :eek:. YIKES! Believe it or not he actually didn't even get sick and told me the sandwiches were pretty good, even though they were two days old and been through an 18 hour car ride! Definitely not a wise move on his part, but he lived to tell about it. Anyway, as for the desserts...these were all really good. I especially enjoyed the rice crispy treat. It was nice and soft and marshmallowy and much better than I was expecting for a store bought rice crispy treat, maybe even better than the ones I make at home. I also got to taste one of the brownies and it was very good too.
The prices here are very reasonable (sandwiches were all $5.95 each) which makes Earl of Sandwich a great place to eat OOP but not so great on the Dining Plan (low value per meal credit). For us though it was better to use our credits here then to not use them at all.


Total cost covered under the Dining Plan - $54.05 or $10.81 per CS meal credit (Lowest value with Dining Plan of all our CS meals)

5 Counter service meal credits used, none left


Next up: Cost vs. value analysis for our 5 days on regular Dining Plan

vitamingirl
04-23-2010, 08:41 AM
Loved your reviews. Really enjoy pros/cons stuff too. Your adr's are similar to places we ate last November and places I am planning on this November. I am planning adr's for our bouncebacktrip this nov. and am debating between a few restaurants.
What do you think? Traveling with 11y/o and 3 y/o also, No fish, peanut or nut eaters. want to try a few new places
Coral reef, raglan road, chefs de france, le cellier (have not been), narcosses (not sure if it is worth it doing a signature? is it 2 credits).

what 2 would you recommend out of those?
we are staying at beach club/
Thanks so much!!

MousekaMaddi
04-23-2010, 09:23 AM
awesome job! great read! Thanx 4 your time! (didnt even miss the pix):thumbsup2

jabead
04-23-2010, 09:43 AM
What do you think? Traveling with 11y/o and 3 y/o also, No fish, peanut or nut eaters. want to try a few new places
Coral reef, raglan road, chefs de france, le cellier (have not been), narcosses (not sure if it is worth it doing a signature? is it 2 credits).

what 2 would you recommend out of those?
we are staying at beach club

1) Coral Reef - All 5 of us really enjoyed our meal here, but 4 of the 5 got the same entree (steak). So if you like steak, I would definitely recommend it here :thumbsup2. We also really enjoyed the non-alchoholic drinks that were offered here under the Dining Plan. Oh, and the desserts were very good as well. Also the aquarium would be entertaining for your kids. One more plus is that it's an excellent value if using the Dining Plan, especially if most of you order steak like we did ;).

2) Raglan Road - This is pretty much a bar-type atmosphere. It was quiet during our last visit because we were there at 5:00, but on previous visits it was pretty noisy with the band playing, the dancer doing her thing, and many people drinking and having a good time. Most of us enjoyed this, however DS who was only 10 on our first visit fell asleep :laughing:. So on the plus side, the noise level did not keep him from falling asleep, but on the other hand I would say he was pretty bored with it all. Therefore I would have to say that this place is more enjoyable for adults ;).

3) Chefs de France - We enjoyed some of the food here, like the steak and salmon entrees and dinner (more so than lunch) is a very good value if using the Dining Plan. Also if you have an early dinner then maybe your kids might get to see Remy. As of now, I think he performs here everyday except Sunday but his last performance is around 5:20 I believe. Hopefully he will still be there in November.

4) Le Cellier - Just like Chefs de France, our feelings are mixed about this one. The atmosphere (cellar) is nothing special (think dark and cool, as in temperature) so nothing which would appeal to the kids. As I'm sure you already know, the food is good here and again it's a good value if using the Dining Plan. Oh, and it is the self-proclaimed most popular restaurant at Epcot ;).

5) Narcoossee's - We all really enjoyed our meal here but it is much farther out of your way from the Beach Club than the Epcot restaurants. We went here during our 2 night stay at the Poly and while we were on the DeLuxe Plan so had extra credits to burn. If you are on the regular plan, then I'm not sure that this would be worth the 2 credits each.

So I guess the two I would recommend for you would be Coral Reef and Chefs de France (especially if your kids are Remy fans). We found that the Epcot restaurants were very convenient when staying at one of the Epcot resorts. We had park hopper passes so went to different parks during the day and then to Epcot in the evening to have dinner.

Belle5
04-23-2010, 10:18 AM
I just have to tell you, IMO, your reviews are the best I've read in a long time! I love your style--even without pics.

I also wanted to say that agree with you completely about Tutto. It was such a horrid dining experience for our family of eight a few years back--what was I thinking to reserve it for our party of eleven the next year when half of our family met with a few other families at WDW? (Folks on this board convinced me that we ordered the wrong thing and just had a bad server--give it another try)

I appreciate the way you let us know when there was enough food to share as only some of the people we are going with will be on the dining plan this time.

vitamingirl
04-23-2010, 11:22 AM
Thank you so much. You just helped me make my decisions! A friend of mine just came home last week and also loved coral reef and everytime we passed chefs, I just wanted to go inside, I thought it looked so..... French and I loved Paris years ago.

so I am crossing Raglan Road off the list and narcosse.
I might still try to do le cellier b/c DH just wants to try it. But they are steak eaters so that is good.

Thanks again!

I am also going try for CRT, for bf for 3.5 y/o DD, teppan edo, which everyone loves, england for illuminations, and maybe capns grill at resort before a EMH night somewhere.

Thanks!

jabead
04-23-2010, 12:34 PM
I might still try to do le cellier b/c DH just wants to try it. But they are steak eaters so that is good.

I am also going try for CRT, for bf for 3.5 y/o DD, teppan edo, which everyone loves, england for illuminations, and maybe capns grill at resort before a EMH night somewhere.


I think you should definitely try Le Cellier if you have the time to fit it in and are able to get a reservation, just so you can decide for yourself if this place is worth all the hype it gets. If you aren't able to eat here though, I would not give it a second thought. IMO, this place is not a must do.

However CRT is a must do, at least once anyway. We went 5 or 6 times when the kids were younger :laughing:. Now that they are teenagers though they no longer enjoy character dining (in fact they think it's downright annoying :lmao:)

I also think both Teppan Edo and Rose & Crown are good choices. I debated on whether to dine at Rose & Crown or Tutto Italia and sadly let the almighty $ sway my decision. The food at Tutto is so much more expensive than that at R & C that it made Tutto seem to be the better choice with the Dining Plan. However, as you can tell from my review, this turned out to be a bad decision. We have been to Rose & Crown many times and have always enjoyed it. On the other hand, Tutto is now 0 for 2 and we'll probably not give it a third try.

As for the Captain's Grill, even though we have stayed at the Yacht Club a couple of times, we have never tried it so if you do, I'd be very interested in your review :).

jabead
04-25-2010, 07:39 PM
That completes our reviews, so crunching the numbers here were our results for the 5 days which we had the regular Dining Plan...

Total value of food and drinks covered under Regular DP: $1421.33
Cost of DP for 5 adults for 5 nights: $1175.00 or $47 pp per day
Value received exceeded cost by $246.33

or taking into account what we paid in tips...

Total tips paid OOP: $158.32
Value received exceeded cost (including tips) by $88.01

Regular Dining Plan vs. DeLuxe
So not a whole lot of savings for our group with the regular plan, especially compared to the 3 days in which we had the DeLuxe Dining Plan ($570.91 or $365.92 if you include tips). I guess for our group the flexibility of the DeLuxe Plan made it a better deal. With the addition of appetizers we were easily able to share meals and stretch out 2 days worth of credits over 3 full days. However, I still don't think we could have eaten "DeLuxe" for 8 days without exploding from food overload. :lmao: Someday though I'd like to try the DeLuxe plan for a few more days (maybe 4 or 5) and dine at more of the Signature restaurants (2 credits), as we haven't yet tried Artist Point, Citricos, Yachtman's Steakhouse, and Flying Fish. Maybe when our group is smaller, because $72 pp x 5 or 6 people x 7 days makes the cost of the DeLuxe Plan surpass my Disney food budget for a family trip.

TIW vs. Dining Plan Comparison
Had we used TIW (20% discount) instead of the regular Dining Plan we would have paid a total of $1269.53 (not including tips) for these five days worth of dining. The tip amount would have been the same since an 18% tip (calculated on your pre-discounted check total) is automatically assessed when you use the TIW discount. So again I found it interesting that we saved $94.53 (TIW Total cost of $1269.53 vs. Dining Plan cost of $1175) by doing the Dining Plan.

One more thing regarding TIW...even though we didn't use it nearly as much as I thought we would (we only had alchohol at one meal, for one thing ;)) we still came out ahead, largely due to using it for the discount on our CRT breakfast. Our total savings with the TIW card was $96.15 less the $75 membership fee means we came out ahead by $21.15. Nothing to get too excited about :cool1: but better to save $20 than lose it :laughing:

Next up: A Quick Review of our Reviews (aka the Best and the Worst)

jabead
04-27-2010, 04:09 PM
Now for our "Review of our Reviews" (aka the Best and the Worst)...

Our group of 6 dined at 13 sit-down restaurants during our 8 day Disney trip. Here is the short version of our reviews.

SERVICE
Our Best Server Award goes to...Blanca at Coral Reef
Blanca was our friendliest server and really added to our enjoyment of our meal at Coral Reef. I did a search for "Blanca Coral Reef" here on the disboards and her name came up several times, all glowing reviews of her service. I feel lucky that we got to experience her exceptional service first hand.

Honorable Mention Award goes to ... Tom at Narcoossee's
Tom was very funny, he even got the teenagers in our group to laugh out loud a few times :laughing:. This was our first sit-down restaurant after driving 18 hours straight to get to WDW. He did a great job of keeping us all awake, which was not an easy task ;).

Our Worst Server Award goes to... Our server at Tutto Italia
It's a long story, so if you want to know why Mr. Italian Waiter received this dishonor you will have to read our review.

Dishonorable Mention Award goes to ... Our server at Liberty Tree Tavern
Two words come to mind, unfriendly and pushy!


NON-ALCOHOLIC DRINKS(covered under Dining Plan)
Our Best Non-Alcoholic Drink Award goes to...Lava Smoothie at Coral Reef


Honorable Mention Award goes to...Chocolate Raspberry Milkshake and Red Maple, both from Le Cellier. DD1 also insists I mention here the iced green tea at Teppan Edo.

Also would like to mention the frozen latte from the Main St. Bakery at Magic Kingdom and the frozen raspberry lemonade from the cart across from the Toy Story Mania ride at DHS. Although they were not from a sit-down restaurants, they were both very good.

As for our Worst Award, happily none of our drinks deserve that dishonor.


APPETIZERS
Our Best Appetizer Award goes to...Tostadas at San Angel Inn
Both the chicken and crab tostadas were delicious!

Honorable Mention Award goes to...Sticky Wings at Kona Cafe and Shrimp & Crab Chowder at Narcoossee's
Both of these appetizers are deserving of this award. The Sticky Wings were excellent (just had way too many as the server mistakenly brought us two orders) and plentiful. The order is supposed to be for two but could easily be shared by four. The Shrimp & Crab Chowder was "lick the bowl clean" good. It was one of the best seafood chowders I've ever had.

The Worst Appetizer Award goes to...Crab & Spinach dip at Liberty Tree Tavern
This was served lukewarm along with stone cold (straight out of the refrigerator) pita bread. This had potential, but served at this temperature it was just YUCK!

Dishonorable Mention Award goes to...French Onion Soup at Les Chefs de France
This was such a disappointment! If you can't get a good cup of French Onion Soup at a French restaurant then where can you get one??? Actually, I'd really love to know this because I love French Onion Soup.


STEAKS (According to DS)
His Best Steak Award goes to...New York Strip Steak at Coral Reef
This was his favorite steak on our last trip to Disney in 2008. I was afraid it might have been a fluke and that he might be disappointed this time. Well, happily Coral Reef did not disappoint him or the other three of us who followed his lead and ordered the steak here.

Honorable Mention Award goes to...Filet Mignon at Narcoossee's
DS said that although this was very good (better than any of the others), it wasn't quite as good as the steak at Coral Reef.

According to DS, the steaks at the other six restaurants (Kona Cafe, San Angel Inn, Chefs de France, Teppan Edo, Le Cellier, and Raglan Road) were equally good. Since none of his steaks were bad, he left that award to be given by me.

My Worst Steak Award goes to...Ribeye Steak at Kona Cafe
This steak was full of fat and gristle. I definitely chose the wrong steak here, as those that ordered the Sirloin Strip Steak thought it was good.


ENTREES
Our Best Entree Award goes to...New York Strip Steak at Coral Reef
This was voted the best entree by 3 out of the 6 in our group.

Honorable Mention Award goes to...Whole Maine Lobster, Surf & Turf, and Filet Mignon all at Narcoossee's
The other 3 of our group each voted for a different entree as their favorite, but all three of these were at Narcoossee's.

Our Worst Entree Award goes to...Rotisserie Chicken at Les Chefs de France and Ribeye Steak at Kona Cafe (tie)
Just as DS loves steak, DD2 loves chicken but not this one. I think she will always remember it as "that yucky chicken from France".

Dishonorable Mention Award goes to...Shepherd's Pie at Raglan Road
Two out of the three that had this did not care for it, however DD2 did like it. Therefore, it only receives a dishonorable mention.


DESSERT
We had so many delicious desserts that each of us ended up having a different favorite dessert.

My Best Dessert Award goes to...the White Chocolate Mousse Dessert at San Angel Inn

DH's Best Dessert Award goes to...Strawberry and Apple Crumble at Raglan Road

DD1's Best Dessert Award goes to...Green Tea Pudding at Teppan Edo

DD2's Best Dessert Award goes to...Fruit Tart at Boardwalk Bakery

DD2's Friend's Best Dessert Award goes to... Chocolate Ginger Cake at Teppan Edo

DS's Best Dessert Award goes to...Valrhona Chocolate Cake at Narcoossee's

Although none of our desserts were bad, there were a few which were very disappointing.

Our Most Disappointing Dessert Award goes to...Copetta Sotto Bosco at Tutto Italia
The description of this dessert (Zabaglione cream gelato, berries, and chocolate sauce) sounded delicious and for $14 I figured it must be like heaven in a dessert dish . Needless to say, I was sadly disappointed. The top half of the dish was all whipped cream. Buried underneath this was a very small amount of gelato and a few berries on the bottom. Definitely not worth anywhere close to $14!

Dishonorable Mention Award goes to...Both the Apple Tart and the Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake at Liberty Tree Tavern
These desserts both had the potential to be good but they were served to us stone cold (straight out of the refrigerator cold) and as such they were not good at all!


ATMOSPHERE
Our Best Atmosphere Award goes to...San Angel Inn
Our family loves the atmosphere here! It's especially nice if you are lucky enough to snag a table by the water. It also seemed more quiet here than most of the other Disney restaurants.

Honorable Mention Award goes to...Sci-Fi Dine In
It seems our family enjoys dining in the dark :laughing: Again we enjoyed the quiet here.

Our Worst Atmosphere Award goes to...Tutto Italia
Although this restaurant is pretty inside, it looks nothing like an authentic Italian restaurant. It feels more like you are eating in an art museum. Also, this was the noisiest of all the Disney restaurants.


More to come soon...

jabead
05-17-2010, 11:30 AM
That just leaves our overall favorite/worst dining experiences of this trip.

Our favorite dining experience award goes to...Coral Reef
Coral Reef received four of our best awards...Best Server, Best Non-Alcoholic drink (covered by Dining Plan), Best Steak, and Best Entree (again for the steak).

Honorable Mention award goes to...Narcoossee's
Narcoossee's received one of our best awards (Dessert) in addition to several of our Honorable Mention awards...Server, Appetizer, Steak, and 3 Entrees (Filet, Surf & Turf, and Whole Maine Lobster).

Our group would like to give a second Honorable Mention award to...San Angel Inn
San Angel Inn received three of our best awards...Best Appetizer, Best Dessert, and Best Atmosphere. This restaurant has always been a family favorite and we have eaten here many times. However, previously we liked San Angel Inn more for its atmosphere than its food. The food was always just okay, nothing special. But this visit to San Angel Inn was a very different story. Gone from the menu were the usual items of nachos, tacos, combo platters, etc. that can be seen on most Mexican restaurant menus here in the U.S. I suspect these items will appear on the menu of the new Mexican restaurant that will be opening at Epcot in the fall. These items have been replaced by much more interesting and authentic items. As a result of these changes, we enjoyed the food at San Angel Inn just as much as we enjoyed the atmosphere. :thumbsup2


Our worst dining experience award goes to...Tutto Italia
Tutto Italia received three of our worst awards...Worst Server, Worst Dessert (and most expensive), and Worst Atmosphere (least authentic and loudest). This was our second visit to Tutto Italia and for the second time it fell flat. I doubt that we give it a third chance, but we might try the new pizza restaurant.

Our Dishonorable Mention award goes to...Liberty Tree Tavern
Liberty Tree Tavern received one of our worst awards (Appetizer) and three Dishonorable Mention awards...Server and both of the Desserts. This was our first time having lunch here (have had dinner many times) so might give it another chance since there are few non-character sit-down dining options available at MK.

Ok, I guess that completes our reviews. Thank you for joining us on our trip down Disney Dining memory lane!

Mom2Elliot
05-17-2010, 08:45 PM
Loved, loved, loved your reviews! Your format was great!!