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View Full Version : Miss Piggy Goes Over to the Dark Side (They Have Cookies ;) )


catne
05-31-2010, 01:26 PM
May 2010 DxDP Star Wars Weekend trip UPDATE! FINISHED 6/14/2010, $$$ SUMMARY ON POST 52 (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=37003892#post37003892)

Well, we went back (surprise, surprise;)) Since we bought annual passes in January, we have to justify that purchase by going several times this year, right? So off we went for a weekend getaway. The Cast of Charactersfor this trip was:

Myself, otherwise known as Miss Piggy, she of the“never eat more than you can lift” fame
DH, Kermie…loves steak, biscuits & gravy, all things blueberry, biscuits & gravy, anything resembling apple pie, and biscuits & gravy.
Yoda, our guest for the weekend…loves seafood, steak & interesting adult beverages

The Force was not strong enough for us to fight the pull to the Dark Side: we once again succumbed to the lure of the DxDP. Honestly, one of these times we are going to not only skip the deluxe plan, but we're going to NOT do the dining plan at all (any dining plan). And we’ll leave Disney in the same general shape we arrived at (instead of rounder.) Really.

The dining plans are just so darn seductive…

Since Yoda went to Disney with us for a week last September, we really did not have a long must-see-park-touring list to do this trip…just wanted to hit our favorites as time allowed, with easy no-park-hop touring and a long break in the afternoon on Saturday, and do a few favorites while getting a glimpse of a bit of the Star Wars stuff at DHS on Sunday. Which worked out very well, since it was 91 F at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, and 95 F. when we left MK on Saturday afternoon around 2:30 or so. WAY too hot to be dashing to & fro, and really not standing-in-line weather, either, lol.

Anyway, our schedule for the weekend was:

Friday,May 21 : arrival early evening, no parks, just visit DTD.

Dinner at Turf Club Bar and Grill, Saratoga Springs Resort :thumbsup2(new to us)
Drinks review, Post 2 (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=36827038&posted=1#post36827038)
Starters, Post 10 (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=36832625&posted=1#post36832625)
Entrees & Dessert, post 15 (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=36845729#post36845729)

Saturday, May 22: Magic Kingdom day.

Breakfast: before park opens, Crystal Palace Breakfast Buffet :thumbsup2, Posts 22 and 23 (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=36858192&posted=1#post36858192)@ 8:05 (breakfast new to us)

Lu nch: Tony’s Town Square :thumbsup2, Magic Kingdom Main Street, @ 1:30, Post 28 Apps & drinks & Post 29, entrees and dessert (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=36914914#post36914914)(new to us)

Dinner: Kona Café :thumbsup2, Polynesian Resort, drinks Post 34,Apps Post 35, Entrees Post 36, Desserts Post 38 (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=36943360#post36943360)@ 7:35 (repeat for Kermie & I, new for Yoda)

Sunday, May 23: Hollywood Studios/Star Wars

Breakfast before park opens, Hollywood & Vine Breakfast Buffet :sad2:@ 8:00, Post 45 (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=36965253#post36965253) (breakfast new to us)

Lunch: Wolfgang Puck Café, DTD Westside @ 2:00, Apps Post 48, Entrees & Dessert, post 49 (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=36991202#post36991202) (Café new to us)

We got to try several more restaurants off our list...:thumbsup2 and we got to try the early-park-entry for breakfast before parks open. More on that later. :)

catne
05-31-2010, 01:45 PM
Long ago, in a magical kingdom far, far away.…where we experience the Nightmare that is Disney Transportation.:scared1:

We arrived Friday night around 5:30 and checked into Port Orleans French Quarter…we were pleasantly surprised when they wished us a Happy Anniversary (celebrating our 35th) and gave us a water view, with connecting rooms on the third floor of building 6, just a few doors down from the elevator and a nice view of the Sassagoula River. Not too far to walk to food court & pools, either. Very nice - and a free upgrade. We dumped our stuff in our rooms,and did a little unpacking, then headed for the boat dock to go to Saratoga Springs Turf Club Bar & Grill for dinner.

When I originally booked this dinner, I had two goals: one, to check-off another restaurant from our Bucket List (or more appropriately, our “Feed” Bucket List:laughing:) And my second goal with this ADR was a very relaxed evening: I envisioned this peaceful little boat ride from POFQ to DTD & SSR for dinner so Kermie could sit back & enjoy the evening instead of being in charge of driving at breakneck speeds, dodging Disney busses and negotiating the parking lots, etc. When he heard the plan, he approved, then he jokingly said “What! You’re expecting us to use the nightmare that is Disney transportation!” Whoa, the Force was strong with this one: he totally predicted the transportation snafus, lol.

First of all, we learned that the boats from POFQ either go to Riverside, or DTD. So don’t get on a Riverside boat thinking you can just stay on it and continue on to DTD. The captain made a big point of telling us that "you’ll have to get off at Riverside & then go to the end of the line waiting for the DTD boat." Apparently boat-line-cheaters have been a big issue at Port Orleans, hence the need to lecture would-be interlopers. Once we arrived at DTD Marketplace, we found out that with the magic that is Disney, Saratoga Springs is on an entirely different boat route. Even though all of these locations are on the same very small body of water. And to complicate the transportation even more: the boat to SSR docks only at DTD Pleasure Island. In other words, if you want to go from POFQ to SSR, well, sorry, you can’t get there from here!

So we had to take a boat from POFQ to Marketplace, then get in a different line to catch the DTD Water Taxi. Which then stopped at DTD Westside before finally docking at Pleasure Island.

Where of course we had to get off the water taxi, and then catch the Saratoga Springs boat. So, 3 different boats, 4 stops…over an hour travel time. To go less than a mile “as the crow flies.” If we’d driven, it would have been less than 10 minutes, including walking to our car from the hotel room & parking time at SSR. Oh well: lesson learned…stick with our car when we have a schedule to meet. We gave up on Disney busses several trips ago…now we’re giving up on the boats, too. Alright, will ‘fess up: it actually would have been relaxing if we didn’t have to change boats 3 times & stand in crowded lines for nearly 40 minutes of the trip. The actual boat time was nice, because they will not over-load the boats the way they do the busses, so everyone has a seat, and no crowding…with a very nice breeze coming off the water on a typically Florida hot and humid day.. But 65 minutes to get from POFQ to SSR? Kermit was right - it was a nightmare.

Well, we arrived at Turf Club finally, and checked in about 10 minutes late for our ADR. Fortunately, we were still seated within a few minutes, which was nice because we were pretty frazzled by then (or I was, anyway.) We were not overly impressed with looks of Turf Club…it was decorated in the generic Disney resort restaurant style…which consists of fake inlay on the tables to match the theme of the restaurant…and themed carpets & themed “art” prints on the walls. Reminded us of Olivia's, and Captain's Grill, and I don't remember which-all other resort restaurants. Same sort of look, but switching up the theme in the details. Which in the case of the Turf Club was supposed to be reminiscent of a Jockey Club, or maybe a horse track bar? Anyway, I guess it actually must have worked on us because we all decided to try some horse-racing-themed adult beverages:
http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/dxddp%20may%202010/turfclubdrinks-1.jpg

On the left is Yoda’s choice: the “Side Bet“, which is "Myers’s Original Dark Rum, Patrón Citrónge Liqueur, Orange Juice, and a splash of Lime $8.25"
The greenish-blue beverage in the middle, is mine: “Three Minutes to Post Time“: Bacardi Razz Rum, Blue Curaçao, Beefeater Gin, Skyy Vodka, Sprite, and a splash of Orange Juice $8.25"
And of course, what horse-racing theme would be complete without the classic “Mint Julep: Woodford Reserve Bourbon muddled with fresh Mint and Simple Syrup $10.25" which Kermie had to try.

We all really enjoyed these drinks…after the transportation fiasco, we were seriously ready for cold sedatives. And I’ve said it before: the drinks at the resorts are much stronger than the drinks in the parks…no exception here...we were soon feelin' the magic. The overwhelming flavor in both Yoda’s and my drink was citrus - very orangey. Nice and refreshing after a hot Florida day. Kermie was pretty sure the Mint Julep had just a tiny bit of Mint & a whole LOT of Julep, lol. I did have a sip and bourbon was the main flavor, for sure…not much “simple syrup” in there either, unless the syrup was made with bourbon, too. Was quite enjoyable to over-pay for Disney drinks & actually get a buzz from them:woohoo:

Symans3honeybees
05-31-2010, 02:14 PM
:cool1: I am in....:love:

catne
05-31-2010, 02:19 PM
:cool1: I am in....:love:

Hi ya, welcome to the food fest :dance3:

kayrosek
05-31-2010, 06:08 PM
Looks great! I'm subbing too!

danalee
05-31-2010, 06:30 PM
count me in :goodvibes

Smiling Cheshire Cat
05-31-2010, 07:10 PM
I so much enjoy your dining reviews.

Yoda's drink looks almost worth all the trouble you guys had in getting to the Turf Club.

Can't wait to hear about the meals.

JerseyJanice
05-31-2010, 07:46 PM
I'm so excited! :banana: I'd seen you post while you were in WDW and have been checking this board hoping to see your reviews. Here they are! :hyper:

Happy anniversary too, Cat! :flower3:

catne
05-31-2010, 09:36 PM
Looks great! I'm subbing too!
Hope you enjoy it as much as we did, lol
count me in :goodvibes
Counted!
I so much enjoy your dining reviews.
Thank you muchly...I enjoyed eating/drinking & love passing on the scoop. Good way to make the trip last just a little longer
Yoda's drink looks almost worth all the trouble you guys had in getting to the Turf Club.

Can't wait to hear about the meals.
The drinks were awesome...all three of them nice & strong.

I'm so excited! :banana: I'd seen you post while you were in WDW and have been checking this board hoping to see your reviews. Here they are! :hyper:

Happy anniversary too, Cat! :flower3:

Thank you! Will try to post quickly...still doing laundry, though...we were in Florida an additional week after the Disney weekend, so we just got home late last night, actually. Real life smacked me in the laundry room today; still have to fold & put away... I hate real life. :sad2:

catne
05-31-2010, 10:07 PM
We started with Turf Club’s bread. This looks very much like your regular pull-apart dinner rolls, but actually has the flavor & consistency of small whole-grain yeast bread. It was served warm, with a dish of sea-salt-topped butter. Don‘t know what it is about that chunky salt on the butter, but it really does improve the flavor. Maybe it‘s just the blatant combo of two things ranking so high on the “bad for you" list..the forbidden fruit appeal: honking big chunks of SALT on top of BUTTER. MMMMMM Good! However, we just nibbled because we knew we were getting appetizers.
http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/dxddp%20may%202010/turfclubhotbread.jpg

Yoda chose the "Crab Cake with Sweet Mango Salsa and Chipotle Mayonnaise $10.49" He really enjoyed both of these, even the mayo sauce (Yoda's not normally a fan of mayo, but this was tangy-zesty...in the picture, you can see it's been artistically squirted around on the plate in little swirls.) The mango salsa (the stuff on top of the greens in the middle of the crab cakes) contained quite a bit of fruit, and had a strong resemblance to the taste of sweet & sour sauces.
http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/dxddp%20may%202010/turfclufcrabcakes.jpg

Miss Piggy had to have the "Onion Rings with Dips $5.99" One of the dips (the pinkish color) was that same zesty mayo that came with Yoda's crab cakes...way too spicy for Miss Piggy. The other was key lime mayonaisse . I really thought I'd be skipping dips entirely & just eat the onion rings plain...knowing zesty salsa-mayo would probably be too spicy and I seriously thought the key lime mayo sounded like a horrible combination. Wrong! That key lime mayo was one of the best dips I've ever had with onion rings.:thumbsup2:thumbsup2:thumbsup2

Kermie opted for the Fried Calamari:with Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise and spicy Marinara Sauces $9.99 The calamari breading was light & crispy but a bit heavy on the pepper. Kermie liked it, but Miss Piggy thought it a bit over the top. The marinara sauce with the calamari was way too hot-spicy for Miss Piggy, but again Kermie thought it was pretty tasty. Even though there were little bits of something in the garlic-mayo dip, we both wondered where exactly they hid the actual roasted garlic in the mayo dip: was very bland tasting, so more like plain warm mayo. Not very good. We both preferred dipping the onion rings & the calamari in the key-lime-mayo…now THAT was super yummy for both the onion rings & the calamari. Would love to get the recipe for that key-lime mayo dip-that good.
http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/dxddp%20may%202010/turfclubcalamariandonionrings.jpg

emmysmommy
06-01-2010, 12:10 AM
Those onion rings look delicious!!! And the lime dipping sauce, I think I would try that!

Can't wait for more. :dance3:

JerseyJanice
06-01-2010, 06:13 AM
I loved the salt-topped butter at 1900 Park Fare. I think it's the texture that adds something special.

Take your time posting, Cat. I know well the evils of post-vacation laundry.

bluejasmine
06-01-2010, 02:39 PM
Im in!

catne
06-01-2010, 05:05 PM
Those onion rings look delicious!!! And the lime dipping sauce, I think I would try that!

Can't wait for more. :dance3:
getting ready to make dinner right now, and wishing for onion rings...gotta find the recipe for that key lime sauce:worship:

I loved the salt-topped butter at 1900 Park Fare. I think it's the texture that adds something special.

Take your time posting, Cat. I know well the evils of post-vacation laundry.
Agree it's got to be partly the texture...have had many different colors of sea-salt butter at Disney (even BLACK!) but my non-gourmet palate can't really tell any difference in the flavors, lol.
:scared1:And I'm firmly convinced laundry is the curse of the devil.:scared1:
:laundy::laundy::laundy:
Im in!

Alright! Hopefully will get the rest of Turf Club dinner posted tonight.:woohoo:

catne
06-01-2010, 09:30 PM
For entrees, Kermie had the Grilled New York Strip: topped with Blue Cheese, Portobello Mushrooms, and Balsamic-Port Glaze served with Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes $27.99

http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/dxddp%20may%202010/turfclubnystripwithbleucheestopping.jpg

Yoda & I both went for the steak also, except we had ours topped with crab instead of bleu cheese. This option is not on the menu, but when Kermie was ordering his steak, our waitress mentioned that crab topping could be substituted. No Portobello mushrooms with ours, but we did have the glaze & mashed potatoes. Also $27.99 each.

http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/dxddp%20may%202010/turfclubnystripwithcrabtopping.jpg

Extreme carnivores that we are, we all ordered our steaks rare, and they were cooked just right. The Yukon potatoes were wonderful (don’t know how much butter they put in these things - I understand the natural “buttery flavor“ helps define Yukon “gold“ potatoes…I can vouch that they go down very smoothly, yum.) The balsamic port glaze made for a rich, wine-y gravy. Yoda & Kermie’s steaks were well trimmed, with little fat & no gristle. Mine had a strip of fat/gristle down one side but by the time I got to that side of my steak, I was getting very full: I could not have eaten more anyway, so I did not send it back.

All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed these steaks…the toppings were not really necessary but did add to the enjoyment.

For desserts, Kermie of course had to choose the apple dessert: The “Individual Apple Pie à la Mode $6.49“ which is also drizzled with caramel sauce. He liked the apple filling & the ice cream, but thought the crust was very doughy (not your classic flaky pie crust at all - this was kind of flopped over on top, way too much dough for the size of the dessert, and the way it lumped over in the middle meant it didn’t have a chance of baking all the way through without burning the top.) We wonder why they even bother with making the silly individual pies..especially when you end up with this lumpy non-pastry concoction. Why don’t they just make classic 2-crust apple pie…with the usual flaky crust…your average guy love him some pie. Reg’lar pie’s just fine, ya know.

http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/dxddp%20may%202010/turfclubindividualapplepiealamode.jpg

Yoda & I both ordered the Chocolate Espresso Torte with Raspberry Sauce and Vanilla-Port Wine Ice Cream $6..99

http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/dxddp%20may%202010/turfclubespressotorte-1.jpg



OMG! OMG! OMG! Best.Chocolate.Dessert.Ever. Could not believe how good this was. They call it a “torte” but I would call it scrumptious: mousse/fudge/cake with a very, very smooth melt-in-your-mouth texture. They use some sort of really rich dark chocolate in this, or maybe it's the espresso, but the result is that it tastes like an extremely expensive piece of fine chocolate candy. There's just enough raspberry sauce to give a little tart-zing to offset the sweetness of the chocolate. The port-wine ice cream is wonderful, and tasted awesome with a bite of the chocolate torte…well Yoda & I really thought we were only going to have a bite or two of dessert because we both thought we were too full. We ended up stuffing ourselves to lap up every single bite of this dessert. OVER THE TOP good. Faboo. What else can I say…we’d go back just for this dessert.

Sorry, don’t have complete receipts on the Turf Club…can tell you Yoda’s dinner would have cost $52.04 (all covered by the Deluxe plan) Kermie & I had slightly less expensive apps but the same entrée & dessert costs so ours was similar cost, maybe a couple bucks less, so ours would have been around $100.. Our adult beverages came to $33.80. Would we return to Turf Club…yes, for sure. But we’d definitely drive,lol. Give it a 9.5 out of 10 (minus a bit for the one less-perfect steak.)

Symans3honeybees
06-02-2010, 09:16 AM
WOW, the steak with that crap topping...WOW!!!

sandym718
06-02-2010, 09:47 AM
WOW, the steak with that crap topping...WOW!!!

LOL!!! Crap!

Symans3honeybees
06-02-2010, 09:56 AM
LOL!!! Crap!

:lmao::lmao: my BAD!! No way that steak looks like "crap". It looks too yummolicous.

catne
06-02-2010, 03:11 PM
LOL!!! Crap!

:lmao::lmao: my BAD!! No way that steak looks like "crap". It looks too yummolicous.

:lmao::rotfl2::lmao::rotfl2:

This reminds me of conversations with one of my kids years ago...he was always saying "it was craptastic"...being a dense mother, I was never quite sure if he meant good or bad :confused3, lol. Seriously, that steak & topping was very tasty: craBtastic!

JerseyJanice
06-02-2010, 03:18 PM
Crabtastic! :lmao:

Symans3honeybees
06-02-2010, 03:51 PM
I think we have just made a nice addition to the "Wikipedia" :woohoo:

catne
06-02-2010, 07:06 PM
Saturday, May 22 was going to be a Magic Kingdom day, so we booked early breakfast at Crystal Palace. We've eaten dinner with Pooh & Friends several times, but never breakfast. We arrived at Magic Kingdom about 7:40 and joined a long line of people waiting to get in (all were in the dining reservations line - since park did not open until 9:00 a.m. that morning, there was no one else waiting to get in.) At about 7:45 they started letting us in (and yes, if you're wondering: they did check our name off a list before letting us in.) It was really nice to walk into the near-empty park. Now have to say- it was not completely empty: in fact, there was enough people that I was a little concerned with how many were in the line ahead of us at the check-in outside the park entrance. I thought for sure that we'd have a long wait to check in at the restaurant, and then a wait to be seated. However, I guess most of them must have headed to the castle for breakfast with Cindy, or maybe they all stopped to get "empty park" photos, because we had no wait to check in at Crystal Palace, and we were seated just a couple of minutes after 8:00. (Actual ADR was for 8:05.)

Character interaction was superb…the Pooh characters are all just so NICE, ya know! And they don’t ignore adults. Since we were there so early, the characters had plenty of time to stop at every table & pose for pictures:

http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/1cpyodapoohandmisspiggy.jpg
Yoda, Pooh & Miss Piggy…notice how empty Crystal Palace is: made for a very relaxing breakfast!

http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/1cptiggerandkermie.jpg
Tigger & Kermie

The place was remarkably empty...but that made it all the more enjoyable for breakfast because that meant great service, no lines at the buffet, and noise levels were very low - way lower than normal for a Disney restaurant. Nice for adults who hadn 't yet had the morning quota of caffeine, lol.

catne
06-02-2010, 07:44 PM
After getting our beverage orders in (we all went for coffee & orange juice) we headed for the buffet lines...and my, oh my, was there some good-looking food on there:

http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/1CPpeachcobblerchocchipcroissantand.jpg
Crystal Palace Pastries: Peach Cobbler, Chocolate Croissant and Puffed French Toast. The Peach Cobbler was good: classic peach cobbler...but very hot (would have been vastly improved with a dollop of ice cream ;) - but then it would have just been a dessert instead of breakfast, right?) Love, love, love the Disney chocolate croissants - it's the light colored, roundish item dusted with powdered sugar in the pic…yummy flaky-layers pastry with a thick slab of chocolate-fudge-like filling - all the Disney restaurants seem to use the same recipe on these. So far, I haven‘t met a Disney chocolate croissant that I didn‘t like. Beware: these don’t look all that impressive, but they are addictive. Then I had to try the vaunted Crystal Palace Puffed French Toast - which is the darker, triangular wedge covered with sugar at the bottom of the plate. I have heard so much about this stuff…and wow, wow wowzer: what a let-down. “French Toast” seems to be a gross misnomer…this really does not resemble French toast at all. It just tasted like an old-fashioned deep-fried donut, rolled in sugar…reminded me of the fried donuts of our youth (many moons ago.) Didn’t help much that I let it sit on the plate while I ate the croissant & cobbler first, so by the time I took a bite, the grease had kind of settled in and spread (just like the fried donuts used to do, lol: you had to eat them right away, or the grease just kind of congealed and soaked into the cake part...not a breakfast of champions, fer sure.) Must admit, I love classic French toast - bread dipped in egg, fried on a griddle…this stuff, not so much. Maybe if they called it something besides “French toast” I’d have liked it more (like if the label said "tastes like the fried donuts of your youth" I could have waxed nostalgic & enjoyed it.) But seriously, if I’m going to have a pastry that‘s not good for me, then I’d choose the chocolate croissant over the puffed French toast any day, IMHO.

http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/1CPhoneyandstrawberryyogurt.jpg
Crystal Palace Yogurts: Vanilla-honey yogurt, strawberry yogurt and a strawberry. The yogurt was in huge bowls, near the fresh fruit. Very tasty stuff, especially the strawberry yogurt (much stronger strawberry flavor than the little individual pre-packaged Yoplait cups, we thought-could be they add fruit to jazz up the flavor?) Anyway, all 3 of us like yogurt and this was a hit.

http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/1CPyogurtandfreshberries.jpg
Kermie’s strawberry yogurt and fresh berries…he loves berries of all kinds, so this was a treat!

http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/1cpchocmickeywaffleeggsfruithash.jpg
Crystal Palace Chocolate Mickey waffle, cheesy-egg frittata, fresh melon & berries, corned beef hash over breakfast taters, and bacon. Not terribly impressed with the chocolate Mickey waffle…tasted very much like a plain ol’ regular waffle (the “chocolate” was definitely more of a color in this waffle than an actual flavor, lol.) Now there was the option of having made-to-order omelets, but we thought the prepared egg dish looked good so decided to try that before getting chef-made omelets. As it turns out, we never did make it to the omelet chef, because the fritatta was hot & delicious - moist, very cheesy eggs, with just the right amount of veggies to spice it up, but not overwhelming the flavor of the eggs & cheese. There was also an option of getting made-to-order pancakes, including chocolate chip pancakes. We never made it that far, either...although the kiddo at the next table had the mickey-shaped choc chip pancakes on his plate: they looked good. Kermie & I both loved the corned beef hash -- tasted freshly made with chopped corned beef, onions, etc. Again, had a taste of our childhood, here…but a good one! The breakfast potatoes were also a classic preparation - just cut up taters, tasted skillet fried with a very light seasoning: not too salty or over spiced. All three of us were very impressed with the fresh fruit at Crystal Palace…maybe because we were in the first seating, but this stuff was FRESH! And tasted as good as it looked-no mushy melon and the berries were all luscious sweet. Didn't have to flip the spoon around the bowl to find a "good" scoop of fruit, it was all good. The bacon was well cooked this time…so often it seems like Disney bacon is either grossly under-, or grossly over-cooked. Rarely is it the right amount of “done”. This bacon was :thumbsup2: not totally limp/under done, but also not so crispy it’s ready to become bacon bits. We all liked the bacon at Crystal Palace, and had more than one serving. The sausage was a bit bland...standard Disney breakfast sausage, not going to offend anyone with spicy sausage, lol.

http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/1CPBiscuitsandgravycornedbeefhashta.jpg
Kermie’s plate: The requisite biscuits and gravy, along with corned beef hash over breakfast taters; also bacon and sausage. Kermie's ideal heaven will be "biscuits & gravy, every day." Crystal Palace had biscuits and gravy: Kermie was in breakfast heaven. ‘Nuff said.

It was really nice to be among the first into a Disney buffet…everything was so steaming hot/fresh/yummy looking. And no lines anywhere on the buffet - that was awesome! Anyway, the service was exceptionally attentive…none of our beverages was allowed to get empty before a refill appeared. Frankly, I was surprised how light the crowd was in there - even by the time we left, the restaurant still wasn’t even ½ full. I thought more people took advantage of the opportunity to be in the park before it opens…maybe the general public just doesn’t know this is an option? It was wonderful to walk up Main Street at a leisurely pace, with no crowding. And then have a nice relaxing breakfast with so many delicious choices. Followed by a leisurely walk up to & through the castle to wait just a few minutes for Fantasyland rope drop at 9:00. Was a great morning for us -- starting Fantasyland rested and refreshed with a good breakfast. Can’t say enough about how nice it was to not have done a Power-Walk all the way from the turnstyles with hundreds of others at rope drop…no “race” for us at all. That long walk was broken up by a breakfast break, lol. When the rope dropped at Fantasyland, we just walked around the corner & walked on Peter Pan...think we were the 2nd group on the ride. Can't beat that: almost worth the price of breakfast, IMHO.

Would we do this again? In a heartbeat...good food, good service. We thought the Crystal Palace food was better & had more choices,than Chef Mickey's. Not quite as good a variety as can be found at Boma breakfast (which is the best on property), but then Boma's not a character meal in a park, either. Give it a 9 out of 10...only place it fell down a little was on the variety. But I guess since they advertise it as American breakfast, maybe it should be a 10 since they cover American breakfast well, lol.

So, the actual cost of breakfast at Crystal Palace rang up at $22.36 per adult (including tax) but the DxDDP covered it, of course. We left a $13 tip.

JerseyJanice
06-03-2010, 02:09 AM
I've been wondering whether Crystal Palace served eggs made to order, and now I know. I think I'm going to try to convince my family that we don't need Chef Mickey's and book the CP for breakfast instead.

catne
06-03-2010, 10:51 AM
I've been wondering whether Crystal Palace served eggs made to order, and now I know. I think I'm going to try to convince my family that we don't need Chef Mickey's and book the CP for breakfast instead.

If you don't "need" the Mickey characters, I'd definitely go for Crystal Palace breakfast over Chef Mickey's...the advantage of already being in the park when it opens is great. But really, we liked the food at CM's breakfast, and the characters are nice. but we thought the selection at Crystal Palace was way better. And the Pooh characters are fun (they do the napkin-twirling parade through CP too, if your kiddos like that interaction at breakfast.)

Smiling Cheshire Cat
06-03-2010, 02:31 PM
Thanks for the pictures of your CP breakfast. It brings back good memories of meals past for us. We tried lunch there last trip, and while we enjoyed it I definitely prefer the breakfast.

Turf Club looks wonderful. We don't see a whole lot of reviews for it so I really appreciate the information. I would definitely try it if we ever have a car while at Disney.

catne
06-03-2010, 04:42 PM
Thanks for the pictures of your CP breakfast. It brings back good memories of meals past for us. We tried lunch there last trip, and while we enjoyed it I definitely prefer the breakfast.

Turf Club looks wonderful. We don't see a whole lot of reviews for it so I really appreciate the information. I would definitely try it if we ever have a car while at Disney.


I would definitely recommend having a car to get to Turf Club, although you could take the bus to DTD, and then the boat to SSR...but as you can see from my transportation story, plan at least an hour to get there!

catne
06-07-2010, 02:10 PM
After a great morning at Magic Kingdom, we were hot, tired and looking forward to a nice relaxing sit-down lunch inside air conditioning, lol. Sorry I didn’t remember to take pictures, but we did stop mid-morning at the snack counter near Aladdin in Adventureland…don’t know what the name of the place is (just a snack counter, don’t think there was any lunch type items on the menu) It’s not Aloha Isle, though you can get vanilla ice cream soft-serve float made with pineapple juice if you’re craving a dole-whip type snack. That’s what Kermie picked...he regretted it a little: close, but no ceegar...not a dole whip! At least the ice cream was cold, lol. And, unlike Aloha Isle, there was no line here. I chose iced coffee - was desperately needing a caffeine fix at this point, but wanted something really cold, too (temp was in the high 80s at that point- around 10:30 a.m…heading for the mid 90s that day.) Yoda chose a strawberry slushy type beverage. We used 3 snack credits on the treats.

At 1:00, we met up with a childhood friend of DD’s…he’s a Disney cast member since October, so was great fun to visit with him for a little while on his new “home turf.” Wish the visit could have been a little longer, but he had to go clock-in & get into costume, so we headed over to Tony’s around 1:15 for our 1:35 ADR.

We were seated immediately. Although all of the restaurants verbally acknowledged our anniversary with a "happy anniversary" or "congratulations" when we checked in, Tony’s was the only place that actually did anything extra: the table was strewn with Mickey glitter & a paper curly-ribbon streamer, so bonus points to Tony‘s. They also left the little zip-lock baggy on the table so I was able to collect the sprinkles. I took them with me for the scrapbook I might eventually get around to making. Yoda & I discovered we could “decorate” the drink glasses (rootbeer and raspberry lemonade):
http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/tonysmickeyglitteroncokerasplemonad.jpg

Tony’s was busy…I think there were a few empty tables, but most were full when we arrived. (it did clear out considerably by the time we left.) Of course, being a Disney restaurant you expect it to be busy and noisy, but it was exceptionally LOUD (I wonder if they deliberately avoid any noise control measures in the MK restaurants just to keep the tables turning over faster…the atmosphere so loud it’s too uncomfortable to linger? Anyway, this place seems to be over-the-top loud.) Once again, tTony's was pretty much just generic Disney restaurant decor, with the little bit of “theme” being a slight homage to “Lady & the Tramp” rendered with prints on the walls of scenes from the movie. But mostly the décor is just dark wood paneling on the booths and walls. Nothing to make you go “Oh, awesome décor”, lol. Guess I'm getting jaded on the Disney restaurant decor...just seems like so many of them are interchangeable. Maybe it will make me appreciate the different ones all the more, eh?

We sat for several minutes waiting for our waitress, so we perused the menus. After a while, our waitress came to take our drink and appetizer orders. Being in the MK, no alcohol of course, so we had to resort to coke, rootbeer and raspberry lemonade. We actually were ready to order our entrees, too, but she scurried off before we could add those. Wish we would have gotten them in then, because she was scarce for most of the time we were in there. Our drinks were delivered fairly quickly, but it was a good 15 minutes before our apps showed up, and we did not see our waitress again until we were almost done with the apps.

Yoda chose the “Tomato and Mozzarella Salad" which was described as "Tomatoes, fresh Mozzarella, Basil,and a Balsamic Dressing, $8.69” Thick slabs of tomato, topped with just barely-gooey mozzarella, over a very small amount of greens (mostly spinach); the balsamic dressing was tangy. The croustini (bread) was very crustiny-indeed...more like a garlic cracker than any kind of bread. Yoda enjoyed this salad, the bread, not so much.
http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/Tonystomatoandmozarellasalad.jpg

I chose the “Zucchini Fries: Breaded seasoned Zucchini with Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Dressing for dipping $7.99” This was interesting…zucchini is basically a tasteless veggie, so all the flavor in this item was in the breading. The overwhelming flavors were garlic & oregano. The dip, a ranch-style dressing seasoned with tomato, was light & creamy (little zing to it, though.) This appetizer was one of the smallest we‘ve seen at Disney. Usually the servings are so large you wonder if you should get an entrée. This was actually just the right size for an app for one.
http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/tonysfriedzucchini.jpg

Kermie chose the minestrone (his favorite kind of veggie soup) which shows up on the menu as “Minestrone with Orzo Pasta $5.49” Again, this was a fairly small serving, maybe a cup: but it was delicious, so full of veggies & pasta it was more like a thick stew than a soup. As an appetizer for one, it was the right size.

http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/tonysminestronewithorzopasta.jpg

catne
06-07-2010, 02:52 PM
Our waitress did come back just after our apps were delivered to the table when we were able to ask for drink refills, as well as glasses of ice water, because our drinks were dry at that point. She apologized for the empties, said she'd get our refills immediately...and again she scurried off without taking our entree order. We thought she was going to hurry back with our refills, but no. We did get our drinks after about 10 more minutes, but delivered by a food-runner…which was good, because we were seriously thirsty after the hot morning...but bad because by now we really wanted to get our entree orders in...really did not want to spend the whole afternoon in the restaurant. While the crowd had thinned, it was still very loud in there. Waitress did come back a minute or so after the drink refills were delivered, and she took our entree orders at that point...which then took quite a long time to get out to us - almost 1/2 an hour. Who knew Tony's on Main Street was supposed to be a "fine dining-signature experience"? At least the timing on food ordering & delivery qualified it that way, lol.

Yoda chose the “Shrimp Scampi Linguini with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Asparagus tossed in a Garlic Sauce $16.99” Huge bowl, way too much for lunch, for sure, especially after appetizers. Yoda mostly just picked out the shrimp (was about a dozen good-sized shrimps in that bowl.) Pasta was good, cooked al dente, but much too much on a hot, hot day. The garlic bread on this dish was still in the "bread" stage...crusty on the outside, drenched with garlic butter inside. Tasty, but perhaps too heavy for a hot-day lunch.
http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/tonysshrimpscampi.jpg

Kermie chose the “Panini of the Day," described as pastrami that day. It was served on warm Italian roll…crisp crust with soft bread inside, piled high with roast-beef-like pastrami. It was served with a dill pickle and dish of cole slaw, for $12.99. The sandwich was very large, delicious, but the cole slaw was hot - yuck! Now we weren't sure if it was supposed to be that way...some places serve hot potato salad so maybe Italians like hot cole slaw? By the time the waitress came back to our table to ask how was the food, Kermie had finished the sandwich ...and we were informed the cole slaw is supposed to be cold. But Kermie was getting full, and didn’t care for more cole slaw so we declined the offer of fresh cole slaw (besides, would probably have taken 15 minutes to get it!) The pickle that came with the sandwich was not hot, so apparently the cole slaw sat under the heat lamp but the pickle did not?
http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/tonyspaninioftheday-pastrami.jpg

I chose the “Chicken Florentine Calzone: calzone pastry stuffed with Chicken, Spinach, Caramelized Onions, and Mozzarella $13.99" Sorry, I didn’t think to take a picture of the insides, lol. It was full of gooey-mozzarella goodness…lots of chicken & cheese with just enough spinach and onion to lend a bit of flavor. Must say, the outside of the pastry was sprinkled with mozzarella…and salt. As in: way too much salt…I ended up scraping off the toasted mozzarella and that took most of the salt with it, so the rest was very edible.
The marinara sauce was a tad sweet for my tastes.
http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/tonyschickencalzone.jpg

Again, it was probably 10 minutes after we finished eating before we saw our waitress again -- by which time we’d stacked our plates in the corner of the table and someone else walking by had cleared them off for us. She did apologize for the delay again, and took our orders. We were surprised that the desserts were actually out quickly…no more than 5 minutes later, which was nice because we were getting tired and fussy...time for our naps, lol.

Yoda chose this awesome pistachio crème brulee for $5.99…delicate pistachio flavor in a good creamy custard with a nicely-carmelized top. One of his favorite crème brulees. That little bit on the side of the plate was like a carmelized-sugar wafer cup, with a couple of bites of strawberry & some sugared pistachios. The strawberry & nuts were good but the little cup thingy just tasted like over-burnt sugar...pretty to look at, but not really for eating.
http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/tonyspistachiocremebrulee.jpg

Kermie went for the "Spumoni: Layers of Ice Cream with Pistachio Nuts and Cherries $4.99” This actually was quite a large slab of ice cream, and served with a couple of cookies. The cookies were nothing to write home about, straight out of a package, probably. But the ice cream was wonderful: the flavors were lemon, pistachio and chocolate. This creamy-smooth ice cream was LOADED with maraschino cherries (you can see one in the chocolate portion) The cherries were throughout all three flavors of ice cream, as well as a sprinkling of nuts. Kermie loved this dessert.
http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/tonysspumoni.jpg

My choice was the "Tiramisu': Espresso-soaked Lady Fingers, Whipped Mascarpone,and Dark Chocolate Shavings $6.49." Don’t know if they always serve it with the “celebrate” and sprinkles or if this was served this way because of our anniversary but it was a pretty touch. The tiramisu was absolutely scrumptious…rich, creamy and totally decadent! Only thing I didn’t like was the “chocolate shavings” on top…I swear that stuff was the fakey pretzel-dip candy (I.e., not really chocolate) I left that on the plate…but cleaned up the tirimisu!
http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/tonystirimisu.jpg

Overall, we enjoyed most of our food at Tony’s, though there were certainly issues. This place gets a bad rap quite often…I guess I can see where that comes from. There were several things wrong in our experience: Tony’s seems to have an extra loud atmosphere, very slow service (nearly an hour & a half for a lunch...when we arrived after the main lunch rush?), and then the little oddities with the food like the hot cole slaw, excess salt on the calzone, and using the fake-chocolate shavings on an otherwise elegant dessert ? Not bad enough to ruin our meal, but I can see how a few more errors would have tipped the balance for us…at Disney prices, you tend to expect at least well-prepared/well-served foods. I do know the guy at the next table was also not happy with his meal -- had been arguing quietly with his waitress, and as we were leaving a manager-type was headed towards that table…so I’m thinking the service/food issues were not unique to us. We're pretty easy-going people, and don't stress enough to complain very often. This experience just wasn't bad enough for us to make a snit, but not a place I'd brag about, either.

Would we return? Maybe…though we'd probably try it for dinner one night instead of lunch again. Just pretty sure the lunch was not worth those $$$ though, especially when you‘re looking for a relaxed table service meal. With the noise level in there, you‘re not getting much of a break from the crowded-park atmosphere...and well I guess if you could nap between courses it could be relaxing, lol. I’d give Tony’s a 6.5 out of 10, better than average, but no danger of being great. The cash total for the 3 meals would have been $101.92...but of course that was covered by the DxDP.

Pooh&OurHunny
06-08-2010, 04:14 PM
Joining and enjoying your food reviews...thank you for sharing.
We always go to CP for lunch and have been reading good reviews for breakfast so we will try it for our December trip. I actually have CP for breakfast, lunch and dinner but I have to cancel lunch to try something new...maybe go to The Wave and ate here for lunch.
can't wait for more

KatMark
06-08-2010, 04:18 PM
I just saw this, but am dashing for the train. So I'm subscribing and will read when I get home from work.

KatMark
06-08-2010, 08:07 PM
Okay...I'm all caught up. I'm sorry about all your transportation problems your first night. This is why we DRIVE everywhere...don't want to deal with that.

I love the way you tell your story with your review...very nice. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy the puffed french toast at CP -- it is one of my all time favorite foods at Disney.

catne
06-08-2010, 11:16 PM
Okay...I'm all caught up. I'm sorry about all your transportation problems your first night. This is why we DRIVE everywhere...don't want to deal with that.

I love the way you tell your story with your review...very nice. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy the puffed french toast at CP -- it is one of my all time favorite foods at Disney.

Well, thanks! And you know, we always drive everywhere else, but figured we'd just enjoy the boat that night...well, we did enjoy the boat going back.

Well, there was plenty of other great food at CP that we enjoyed. And probably would have liked the french toast if I had a better idea of what it was, lol.

catne
06-09-2010, 03:53 PM
After a break in the air conditioning back at POFQ, refreshed from our nap, we headed over to the Polynesian Resort for dinner at the Kona Café. We were in for a treat: who knew Kona has a “floor show”? Turns out some dramatic divas were going to demonstrate the value of reservations on Saturday night at 7:30 in Disney World.

Our ADR time was 7:35, and we got into the check-in line at 7:15. Twenty minutes :scared1:later, we were finally checked in…and there was only like 4 or 5 parties ahead of us in that line! You wouldn’t think it would take long to get your little buzzer thingy, but all these people ahead of us did not have reservations and were trying to talk their way into a fully-booked restaurant...and boy, what a show hungry people put on! Kona was actually willing to seat them all, but at a 75-90 minute wait for a table. One group "just wanted dessert, so of course you can find us a table now...we're Disney guests, after all", complete with snotty tone & hissy-fit approach. The 2nd group wanted a to-go order when they found out it would be 90 minutes to get a table...and they tried the "We're Being Very Reasonable, So You Should Grant Our Request" performance. Neither group was very happy when they couldn't get what they wanted - no immediate table & no to-go orders at Kona. Both groups told the maitre'd they realized that reservations were recommended, but felt sure that an exception could be made for them. Hellooo! What about the 100 people who are already on the waiting list for non-reserved tables...don't think exceptions had been made for them.

So obviously, even though the 3rd weekend in May is not “high” season, Kona was very busy that night, with the bar & waiting area packed with people. Crazy-busy, so when it was finally our turn to check-in, I was very surprised to be told it would be just a short wait for our table…I was so pleased, the maitre’d had to comment “yes, mam, that’s how it works when you have reservations - you get the next available table…that‘ll be in about 10 minutes.” Course, we’d already waited 20 minutes in line just to check in, but that was due to the Stupid Guest Trick contestants in front of us. Our buzzer went off right about 7:45, so we were seated just 10 minutes after our actual ADR time.

OK, enough drama…on to the feast! Kona is open to the lobby so can be very loud…luckily, we were seated at a banquette table against the back wall so probably had the quietest location in the place.. After watching all the drama in line, we were quite parched, so we ordered beverages right away:
http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/konacafemagicstarcocktailchocmartin.jpg
Left to right, that’s mine on the left: A Magical Star Cocktail - described in the menus as “Light up your celebration with X-Fusion Organic Mango and Passion Fruit Liqueur, Parrot Bay Coconut Rum, Pineapple Juice, and a souvenir Multicolored Glow Cube $10.99” This is one of my favorite Disney cocktails - exceptionally yummy on a hot day, and I enjoy adding to my glow-cube collection:cloud9: Yoda ordered the martini in the middle: for $9.25, it was Godiva Chocolate Martini, a mixture of “Stoli Vanil Vodka, Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, and Frangelico”…it was strong, but delicious. Kermie’s choice was the least expensive, at $7.25, he had the “Island Sunset, which was “A delicious blend of spiced rum, coconut rum, melon, and peach combined with our guava passion fruit juice.” He loves his pirate-juice (rum) so this was a perfect fit for him.
Here’s my glow cube in action:
http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/konacafemagicalcocktail.jpg

Kona’s fabulous Hawaiian bread arrived at the table shortly after the drinks: this scrumptious bread…warm, puffy, sweet and just a little bit of heaven…and it‘s served with macadamia nut butter: what a taste treat! Just love this stuff - times like these, I kind of wish we weren‘t getting appetizers, because I could just about make a meal of this bread & butter!
http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/konacafehawaiianbreadandmacadamianu.jpg

catne
06-09-2010, 04:21 PM
So far, service-wise, our experience at Kona was much better than Tony’s…our waitress was friendly & very efficient - no long waits for anything. Our appetizers were delivered very shortly after our beverages, and she took our entrée order right then. Yoda chose the Pot Stickers, described on the menu as “Wok-seared Duck Dumplings with creamy Ginger-Soy Sauce $7.49” He enjoyed these, but did think the sauce could have been improved with a little bit more of a “bite” to it. The greens were tasty.
http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/konacafepotstickers.jpg

After seeing Yoda’s crab cakes the night before at Turf Club, I saw these on the Kona’s menu and had to try them: “Lump Crab Cakes: with Asian Tartar Sauce and Pineapple Relish $10.49”, served on a bed of greens. Though small (each crab cake was about the size of a large olive) I really enjoyed these. The pineapple relish was just the right piquant addition to this dish. Can‘t tell you anything about the “asian tartar sauce“ because truth be told, I believe they forgot to put it on the plate, lol. The crab cakes didn‘t actually need a sauce, as they were crispy on the outside but moist & flaky inside, and they were served on a bed of greens so it kind of made for a little salad, too.
http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/konacafelumbcrabcakes.jpg

Kermie wanted something light to start his meal, so he chose the “Kona Salad: Mixed Greens, Blue Cheese, fresh Fruit, Red Onions, and Smoked Almonds with Citrus Vinaigrette 7.99” The salad was good, but mostly greens, and very light on the cheese/fruit/almonds. The citrus vinaigrette did make for a light-tasting salad, Kermie liked it.
http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/konacafekonasalad.jpg

catne
06-09-2010, 07:30 PM
On to the main course: Yoda loves fish & loves Asian, so quickly chose the “Miso-glazed Mahi Mahi; served with Asian Noodles and Baby Bok Choy $21.99“ This did not disappoint. He finished all the fish, and most of the noodles & veggies. http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/konacafemisoglazedmahimahi.jpg

Last time we ate at Kona, Kermie was recovering from a round of tummy-upsets, so he had ordered plain prime rib, and barely ate. This time he wanted the same kind of steak I had ordered then: the “Teriyaki-style New York Strip: Sirloin Strip grilled with Pineapple Teriyaki Glaze served with Sticky Rice and Stir-fried Broccolini $27.99” He loved, loved, loved this steak. The rice and broccolini, not so much. He did have a few bites of the rice, nothing wrong with it…just didn’t want to waste stomach-space on what basically was just plain rice. And the broccolini: well, that’s just wasted plate space, lol.
http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/konacafeteriyakisteak.jpg

Since we’ve been in Tampa area for a couple of weeks before Disney, I’d had my fill of wonderful fresh seafood, so here I really wanted some BEEF! I‘ve had the teriyaki steak before, and enjoyed it, but this time I chose the “Ginger-crusted Rib Eye: with Tamarind Jus, Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes, and Stir-fried Broccolini $25.99 “ Now I will admit, I was just a tad leery of the “ginger-crusted” description, because I really don’t care for ginger all that much…but figured I could scrape off the “crust” if it was totally blech. Surprise, surprise…don’t know how much actual ginger was in that seasoning but it sure tasted like any plain ol’ steak rub to me. In other words, this was a well seasoned large steak. Had to be 12 ounces, at least, and grilled perfectly rare. Loved it…along with the Yukon gold potatoes (these seem to be a very popular Disney side-dish for many of the steaks at Disney restaurants…but fine by me, ‘cuz I love ‘em.) The broccolini…not so much. They could just lose that stuff. I try a bite every time just to see if I'll suddenly like it...nope, it's yuck. What’s wrong with regular broccoli…or asparagus…heck, even green beans taste better than this silly veg. Oh well, truth was I couldn’t finish the taters anyway, so wouldn’t have even tried to finish the greens.
http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/konacafegingercrustedribeye.jpg

KatMark
06-09-2010, 07:35 PM
Great review of Kona. We're doing breakfast in September (we've never done either meal). It's funny--you didn't like the puffed french toast at CP, and I don't like those yukon mashed potatos. I had them at Fulton's last September and thought they were awful. :rotfl2::rotfl2:

catne
06-09-2010, 07:52 PM
I had the crème brulee last time we were here, and had raved about how delicious it was, so Kermie had to try it this time. It’s on the menu as “Banana-Chocolate Creme Brulee - crème brulee over a layer of creamy chocolate fudge, topped with a carmelized banana slice & a chocolate spiral $5.99“ Now as you can see, they went just a little overboard with the brulee part of this…apparently a real pyro-fiend was doing the torching here, because both the custard & the banana were more than just a bit too crispy. (the white spots are just flash-glare from the camera) I was disappointed for him, but Kermie said it wasn’t worth waiting for another one, because he was too full to finish it, anyway. He just scraped most of the carmelized/burnt sugar to the side and ate the custard & fudge base…which he declared was wonderful.
http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/konacafechocbananacremebrulee.jpg

Yoda started the Kona experience with chocolate (a martini) and decided to close with chocolate too: the "Chocolate Fondue $6.99." The chocolate fondue was served with strawberry, pineapple, kiwi fruit, orange, a macaroon and a sugar wafer. The chocolate fondue tasted more like a creamy milk chocolate rather than dark chocolate and it was melted to the right consistency for dipping with minimal dripping. Yoda liked it all (except the pineapple…not a pina fan)
http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/konacafechocolatefondue.jpg

After seeing one delivered to the next table, I had to go for the Kona Kone…it just looks so fun! It‘s $5.99 for two over-sized scoops of ice cream, one chocolate, one vanilla in a giant waffle cone. The whole thing is served upright in a conical stand, and drizzled with chocolate sauce and Mickey sprinkles. Then it’s topped with a dark-chocolate mickey candy wafer, and the stand is surrounded by a "cloud" of blue cotton candy. The plate is scattered with candy-coated chocolate candies (not M & Ms…the phony kind! Yoda tried one, and said it tasted like those cheapie Halloween candies - “sixlets“ He’s right.) The ice cream is very good (think it’s all Edy’s) I didn’t eat much of the waffle cone, but did have a bite -- nothing special there. The cotton candy is the packaged kind, so the sticky-goodness not quite as good as fresh-made. Truth be told, I was pretty stuffed already, so only ate about ¼ of this dessert. The “special” is all about the presentation…not the actual dessert itself. Bottom line, it is just a fancy ice cream cone...fun if you're craving ice cream for dessert.
http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/konacafekonacone.jpg

We did enjoy our meals at Kona, especially the entrees. There were things here & there that made it less than perfect (some ingredients seemed to be "missing" from foods, like the nuts & fruits in a salad, the sauce from my app; burnt brulee, and cheaper ingredients here & there.) Service was excellent, though. All in all, would give Kona Cafe an 7 out of 10 (actual steaks & fish would have got a 10, though) and we would return. Yoda’s meal was $38.85; Kermie & mine were $89.94, for a total of $128.99 covered by DxDP. Drinks & tip came to an a additional $60.48 (which we paid for with Disney rewards $$$ :thumbsup2)

catne
06-09-2010, 08:00 PM
Great review of Kona. We're doing breakfast in September (we've never done either meal). It's funny--you didn't like the puffed french toast at CP, and I don't like those yukon mashed potatos. I had them at Fulton's last September and thought they were awful. :rotfl2::rotfl2:

That is funny...but I'm Irish through & through so really have never met a 'tater I didn't like, :lmao:

We loved breakfast at Kona...that Big Kahuna breakfast is my favorite. Love the macadamia nut pancakes with the pineapple sauce. And if you or Mark are coffee lovers, get the pressed pot Kona coffee...awesome! It's expensive-like $7.50 or so-but definitely worth it if you appreciate really good coffee. Each pot is two large cups, so if you have any leftover, they'll give you a to-go cup to take with you

KatMark
06-09-2010, 08:05 PM
That is funny...but I'm Irish through & through so really have never met a 'tater I didn't like, :lmao:

We loved breakfast at Kona...that Big Kahuna breakfast is my favorite. Love the macadamia nut pancakes with the pineapple sauce. And if you or Mark are coffee lovers, get the pressed pot Kona coffee...awesome! It's expensive-like $7.50 or so-but definitely worth it if you appreciate really good coffee. Each pot is two large cups, so if you have any leftover, they'll give you a to-go cup to take with you

I LOVE coffee and definitely plan on getting it (is it covered on the dining plan?). Mark already has his eyes on the Big Kahuna (I think I even posted a picture of it in my PTR (someone let me use their picture). I'm going with the omelet and will taste some of his stuff (I don't like bananas so won't eat Tonga Toast and I don't like nuts so the pancakes are out).

I love potatos. It may have just been an "off" night for them.

NorweJenNY
06-09-2010, 09:17 PM
I SAW YOU IN TONY'S THAT DAY!

We were just a couple tables over! I saw someone standing up to take pictures directly above their food, and I thought to myself #1 - That's different, I usually just take the picture on the angle from which I see it sitting... never would've thought of that. #2 - I wonder if she's a DIS-er, I have to take a mental note of what she looks like in case I see a picture of her when I get back to these boards.

Well, I saw the picture of you earlier in the review and thought, hey, she looks familiar and she was there the same time as us! Is that the one we saw taking pictures in Tony's? Next thing I know, I see a Tony's review... it WAS you! :lmao:

We were putting the little Mickeys on our glasses as well... fun times!

And I also ordered the calzone! I liked it! I usually salt my food, but this one didn't need any additional salt - you're right about that! Sorry if it was too much for you - that's too bad!

Anyway... had to post...

It's a small world after all... :rolleyes1

catne
06-09-2010, 11:36 PM
I LOVE coffee and definitely plan on getting it (is it covered on the dining plan?). Mark already has his eyes on the Big Kahuna (I think I even posted a picture of it in my PTR (someone let me use their picture). I'm going with the omelet and will taste some of his stuff (I don't like bananas so won't eat Tonga Toast and I don't like nuts so the pancakes are out).

I love potatos. It may have just been an "off" night for them.

we were on the dining plan and were told we could get the pressed pot as our drink because you ordinarily get two drinks with breakfast (in place of dessert) so each of us could get our own pot. It did take up "two" drinks, so no juice (which was fine, we're not that big on juice.) There's a steak & eggs breakfast, too if you're not liking the nut pancakes. I do like bananas, but about 3 bites of tonga toast was 2 bites too many for me...just too sickeningly sweet.:sad2:

catne
06-09-2010, 11:47 PM
I SAW YOU IN TONY'S THAT DAY!

We were just a couple tables over! I saw someone standing up to take pictures directly above their food, and I thought to myself #1 - That's different, I usually just take the picture on the angle from which I see it sitting... never would've thought of that. #2 - I wonder if she's a DIS-er, I have to take a mental note of what she looks like in case I see a picture of her when I get back to these boards.

Well, I saw the picture of you earlier in the review and thought, hey, she looks familiar and she was there the same time as us! Is that the one we saw taking pictures in Tony's? Next thing I know, I see a Tony's review... it WAS you! :lmao:

We were putting the little Mickeys on our glasses as well... fun times!

And I also ordered the calzone! I liked it! I usually salt my food, but this one didn't need any additional salt - you're right about that! Sorry if it was too much for you - that's too bad!

Anyway... had to post...

It's a small world after all... :rolleyes1

I was having a heck of time in Tony's to get the photos to come out...tried flash on, flash off, this angle/that angle...think the big problem was the dark paneling around us made it kind of dim in our immediate area, but all the light coming from that glassed-in part towards the front confused my camera. Don't have a real expensive camera, so the poor thing often has a heck of a time getting the correct light levels. I had to stand up to get far enough away & avoid the flash-glare on the plate, lol.

But that is sooo cool you saw me there...wish you would have said something (after all, you have to figure it's probably another crazy dis'er taking pictures of food, crazies that we are.) Would have loved to meet a fellow fanatic in person!

As for my food, well it could be my calzone just got hit with an extra shake of salt...I usually like salty food so "too much salt" doesn't happen very often for me. The insides were good, anyway.

You're doing a review, right? :woohoo: Love to read you review of Tony's...always good to see the different experiences people can have at the same time at Disney!

NorweJenNY
06-10-2010, 05:13 PM
I was having a heck of time in Tony's to get the photos to come out...tried flash on, flash off, this angle/that angle...think the big problem was the dark paneling around us made it kind of dim in our immediate area, but all the light coming from that glassed-in part towards the front confused my camera. Don't have a real expensive camera, so the poor thing often has a heck of a time getting the correct light levels. I had to stand up to get far enough away & avoid the flash-glare on the plate, lol.

But that is sooo cool you saw me there...wish you would have said something (after all, you have to figure it's probably another crazy dis'er taking pictures of food, crazies that we are.) Would have loved to meet a fellow fanatic in person!

As for my food, well it could be my calzone just got hit with an extra shake of salt...I usually like salty food so "too much salt" doesn't happen very often for me. The insides were good, anyway.

You're doing a review, right? :woohoo: Love to read you review of Tony's...always good to see the different experiences people can have at the same time at Disney!

I've got my beginner "cool" camera... a Cannon Rebel - my first dSLR. I have to say, it's fun playing with it. I like being able to focus on subjects better, while blurring the background - stuff like that. Except that because I'm playing around with it so much, if I'm trying to snap a picture in a hurry (like before someone takes a bite of that __), my camera won't be on automatic, and I may not have a chance to get it as focused as it should be. But when I do have a chance to focus, it can take some really neat shots.

I started learning about photography using just my point and shoot. After you've done all you can with a point and shoot though, if you really like photography, it's time to upgrade. Hubby actually took on a special job one December, just with the purpose of getting me a digital SLR! So sweet! I was shocked he pulled that off! (I didn't know he was working extra hours elsewhere because his main job at the time had some funky hours anyway.) I really didn't think I'd be getting a camera like that for years! I've got a really special hubby. :goodvibes

Only problem is that there are so many features, it's hard to get used to a digital SLR at first! And in Disney restaurants, the atmospheres differ so much! Lighting and glares do pose a problem at times... I understand the frustration! You've either got too many options with a dSLR, or not enough options with a point and shoot!

Yup, I'm doin' a review, except it's a bit of a triple-header (three trips we took this year), so I've got a while to go before I do my take on Tony's... There's a link in my signature...

catne
06-11-2010, 11:07 AM
Well, last year we attended a Star Wars weekend and joined really long lines when we arrived 30 minutes before park opening. They started letting people in about 20 minutes before opening, but held everyone in a big crowd at the ropes there at the first intersection, just like usual openings. So this year, we thought it would be great to get into Hollywood Studios for breakfast before the park opened, figuring that would give us good position at the ropes before 9:00 a.m.

Well, best laid plans, and all that. Hmm…although we checked in right around 7:50, and there was only like 5 families standing there waiting to be seated...they didn't actually start seating people until well after 8:00 due to some computer glitch. Our waitress took our drink order (coffee for all, and cranberry juice for me), we headed to the buffet.

The buffet area devoted to breakfast at Hollywood & Vine was smaller than the Crystal Palace buffet, for starters. OK, I actually only took two pictures because the food was just not worth taking more, sad to say. Not only was the selection more limited, but what was available seemed to rely on a lot of food that was of the canned/frozen/prepackaged variety…and quality control was lacking. Here’s Kermie’s plate:
http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/HVbiscuitsgravypotatoeseggshash.jpg
As always, he had the Biscuits & gravy (good) but the rest was not so good: bacon (really chewy - like jerky), corned beef hash (this had the consistency of canned hash--blech-- with veggies added) and chunky breakfast potatoes (undercooked)
This was my plate (Yoda’s was similar)
http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/HVfruitchoccroissantbaconcheesyhash.jpg.
Upper right, fresh fruit (very good). On the plate, chocolate croissant (also very good) but unfortunately, that was about it for “good”…the rest of the plate: bacon (jerky) & sausage (bland), cheesy hash browns (undercooked frozen hash browns with velveeta-like cheese-eww), ham (too salty), egg casserole (rubbery scrambled eggs, with tiny bits of pepper added.) Meh breakfast, for sure. We also had Yoplait yogurt (individual packages) and regular croissants (stale, with the usual rock-hard butter packets.) There was a fairly large selection of small danish pastries, but nothing special there.

So to sum it up, the biscuits & gravy were good, as were the chocolate croissants and the fresh fruit. Other than that, not so much. When we returned to our table, the waitress brought our drinks, including my juice. Which was warm! Our waitress says "it’s never cold until about an hour after we open…would you like ice in it?” Are you kidding me…if you know it’s warm, why not ice it before serving? I mean, really, how many people actually want to drink it warm? I said yes to ice..and that was the last we saw of her (or any other servers) until we tracked her down to get our check.

This is a character meal, but we really didn’t know these characters from the Disney channel. We just said "Hi" when they came around, but the kids around us did seem to enjoy the little get-up-and-dance gig the characters did, along with a singing castmember. Looked cute & fun.

By 8:30, we were pretty much done eating…there just wasn’t a whole lot to linger over. We had to track down our waitress (don’t know what she was so busy with, because at 8:30 I don’t think 20 tables total were being used in there, and there were at least 10 servers/bussers around.) Anyway, when she came to the table, we told her we were ready for our checks - and pointed out that we needed two checks, because we were not all in the same room. It took her more than 15 minutes to get the checks straight (and when she returned with them, she also delivered us a lecture on how difficult we made it by having two cards, and it was a lot of work to split the bill.) Really…you have 3 adult buffet meals, all the same price. No variation at all - no drinks or apps or side dishes that have to go on a specific check. Just how difficult is that to put two meals on one check and one meal on another check? Almost every time we’ve done the dining plan , we’ve had parties with 2 different rooms at the table and this was the first time ever that any server said this was “difficult.” I guess she just needs some practice ringing up dining plan tickets. When she was done with her little spiel about how much work it was, we did tell her this was the first time ever in 20 or 30 Disney restaurants that splitting checks was an issue…

Anyway, we finally got out of there at about 8:50...to find that they had already let the waiting hordes in, and there were now multiple ropes set up through out the park…all of which were about 20 people deep already. So not only was it a mediocre breakfast, but we didn’t even get any rope-drop advantage by getting there so early. (We still managed to have a nice morning at DHS…though the crowds were insane by about 10:30 a.m.)

So, final thought: this breakfast ran $26.62 each (with tax) making this place about $5 more per person than Crystal Palace…WTH? They were both character meals, in parks…and H & V had far less variety (not to mention worse quality.) I just don’t get why the price was higher? Anyway, it was covered by the DxDP. But start to finish, this just did not work...slow to seat people, mediocre food & service. I‘d give it one point for the cute characters, and one point for the biscuits & gravy, chocolate croissants, fruit - so a rating of 2 out of 10. Would we return: no way. :sad2:

tink,too
06-11-2010, 02:28 PM
Great TR & Photos. I was particularly pleased to read your review on the Turf Club because we wanted to give it a try when we stay at SSR in October. :goodvibes

Sorry that your H&V breakfast was so unpleasant.

catne
06-11-2010, 03:17 PM
Great TR & Photos. I was particularly pleased to read your review on the Turf Club because we wanted to give it a try when we stay at SSR in October. :goodvibes

Sorry that your H&V breakfast was so unpleasant.

Thanks...and have fun at SSR - it's a beautiful resort, lovely grounds.

H & V, oh well. It gets bad reviews so often, but I always took them with a grain of salt, because we actually have eaten dinner there before. The dinner buffet food was good (service was a little slow.) So we really expected breakfast to be at least OK.

We've had so many good meals at Disney, guess there has to be an occasional loser there.

catne
06-13-2010, 05:11 PM
Our original plan was to hang out at DHS until about 1:30. It was Star Wars Weekend, and we expected crowds but lordy, these crowds were crazy! The lines were everywhere…even One Man’s Dream was jam-packed with people (have never seen a line at One Man’s Dream!) And the heat/humidity: at noon, it was already 92 F. Before the lines got too bad, we’d done TSM twice (once with fast pass); also One Man’s Dream, Great Movie Ride, and the Muppets. We did a little shopping in the SWW shop (was not yet mobbed for the day…I’ve read that at times they had a snake line set up to get into the shop! Wasn’t that bad when we were there.) We also had a nice break mid-morning in Writer’s Stop. Sorry, no pictures, but we had mocha slushies…I had a carrot-cake cookie, and Yoda had a muffin. We sat at the corner windows…had a great view of SW characters walking by. Some were park guests in their own costumes: brave, brave souls in full-face make-up/fur/leather, etc. Had to be soooo hot! By the time we finished Muppets, the lines everywhere were crazy-long. Felt so sorry for people hurrying over to get fast passes at TSM…even though closing time had been extended from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., the fast pass machines were giving out FP with return time of 8:45 p.m. at 10:00 a.m., so all of the fastpasses for that day were long gone by noon! The stand-by for TSM at noon was 120 minutes…and people were still getting in line. Mermaid Fastpasses were also gone at noon. So after walking back to the Magic of Disney Animation and seeing the line backing out the door into the sun (have NEVER seen that, either) we decided to call it a day and head over to DTD, even though it was only a little after noon.

We arrived at WPC shortly before 1:00 and told them we did have an ADR for 2:00. Was no trouble being seated early: there was only about ½ dozen tables occupied at 1:00. It was so nice to be out of the sun, sitting in air conditioning with a lovely view of the lake from our table. I’ve seen complaints that WPC is very loud…I can see that it would be, when full of people, since all the décor is “hard” surface…tile/metal/glass. But since it was mostly empty when we were there it was actually very quiet. Our server, Tyler, appeared immediately to tell us the specials and take our drink orders…have to say this guy had to be on the top-ten list of best-servers we‘ve had anywhere. He was always there, ready with re-fills, clearing plates, serving the next course, etc. There‘s a fine line between obnoxious hovering and good service: this guy walked that line perfectly. There when we wanted/needed anything, but not intrusive at all. It was a wonderfully relaxing, enjoyable meal.

We opted for no alcohol…after the heat of the morning we were all thirsty & decided to stick with beverages we could chug (without adverse affects, lol.) I chose coke, Yoda went for strawberry lemonade and Kermie picked iced tea. Tyler kept those glasses full the entire time we were there.

The Wolfgang Puck Café is really pretty extensive for lunch…or maybe they use the dinner menu on the weekends? Anyway, we were used to menus with about 5 or 6 appetizer choices…at WPC, there’s more like 20 choices for apps. Decisions, decisions! In addition to all the usual appetizers like salads, soups, cheese dips & onion rings they have several sushi choices which are allowed as appetizers on the DxDDP. Yippee!

Yoda chose these beauties, loaded with fish: “Rainbow Roll: California inside out roll with tuna, whitefish, salmon, shrimp and avocado.$14.95” …and he ate every bit (well, he offered me a bite.) Big serving: this could have been a full meal if he’d added a salad!
http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/WPCRAINBOWROLL.jpg

I wanted something a bit lighter so went for the California Rolls, which appear on the menu as “Deluxe California Roll: Cucumber, avocado and kanikama, inside out.$12.95” …sorry, I forgot to take the picture until I’d eaten ½, so this photo is missing a few, lol. This were delicious, but too filling to finish…had to leave some room for my entrée!
http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/WPCCALIFORNIAROLL.jpg

Kermie has a hard time passing up calamari on any menu, and WPC was no exception:
“Crispy Calamari: Monterey Bay calamari, marinated English cucumbers with sweet curry aioli.$12.95” This also was a huge serving…like many Disney World restaurant appetizers, it surely could serve 2-3 people. I wonder why they don’t make the servings smaller, or list these as “for 2.”
http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/WPCCRISPYCALAMARI.jpg

catne
06-13-2010, 06:38 PM
Soon it was time for our entrees…Kermie chose from the sandwich menu: “Beef & Gorgonzola Pocket Sandwich: Sliced beef with gorgonzola blue cheese, diced tomatoes, sliced red onion and romaine lettuce with horseradish caesar dressing, served with chips, $12.95” As you can see from the picture, this pocket bread was over-stuffed.. Sorry, I didn’t try it (NOT a fan of gorgonzola, or horseradish) but Kermie loved it, and finished most of the sandwich.
http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/WPCBEEFANDGORGONZOLAPOCKET.jpg

One of my favorite restaurant entrees is Macadamia Nut chicken at the Kona Grill (the national chain, not the place at the Polynesian Resort) so the WPC version sounded very good to me.: “Macadamia Nut Crusted Breast of Chicken: Panko and macadamia nut-crusted boneless breast of chicken, sho-yu cream sauce and garlic mashed potatoes. $25.95.“ This chicken did not disappoint - crispy, crunchy breading on the outside, moist tender chicken inside. Perfect. The garlic mash was very good, but I could take or leave the “sho-you cream sauce”…which basically tasted very much like a plain old cream based white sauce. I would have stirred in some chicken broth & made chicken gravy out of it, lol.
http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/WPCCHILEANSALMON.jpg
 
Yoda loves seafood, so he went for the "Oven Roasted Salmon: Center cut filet with marinated fennel, roasted fingerling potato frisee and arugula $26.95" This did not disappoint. He ate all the salmon, though he was so full, he skipped most of the veggies.

http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/WPCCALIMARI.jpg
 
Though we did get desserts, we were actually too full to eat them, so we did get these boxed up to take home…they traveled fine and were a pleasant snack later that day.

Yoda, our resident crème brulee fan, chose the crème brulee cheesecake. He was a bit disappointed by this…he was expecting the cheesecake to taste like crème brulee…but actually, it is just very thin layer of crème brulee on top, which had a very burnt taste to it. He ended up scraping the crème brulee layer off and just eating the cheesecake. The cheesecake was good, but just plain ol’ cheesecake. Here it is:
“Crème Brulee Cheesecake: classic cheesecake topped with Crème Brulee $7.95”
http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/WPCMACADAMIANUTENCRUSTEDCHICKEN.jpg

Kermie & I both chose the “Classic Carrot Cake $7.95” This cake was delicious…loaded with nuts, topped with nuts. The icing was lighter & fluffier than the usual heavy cream cheese frosting, although it was cream cheese flavor it was definitely a whipped variety. We both loved this carrot cake.
http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab4/husker_bucket/WPCCARROTCAKE.jpg
 
Total bill for our food at WPC, including tax, was $144.25 Though that does include apps & desserts, it’s still a bit pricey for lunch for 3 people! Of course, it was covered on the DxDDP. The food was all very well prepared & beautifully presented…and delicious. Service was excellent; décor was just OK (theme was kind of industrial-café fusion) but the view was wonderful (the lake.) All in all, I’d give WPC a 9 out of 10...though the dishes were very tasty, I have to take away a point due to that over-priced menu - just don't think those prices are justified. If I don't consider the cost, then on the taste/preparation/presentation of the food & the service, it would be a 10. Would we eat here again...well, yes: if we were on the DxDDP, but have to say we probably would not eat here if paying cash…those prices are just silly for lunch.

KatMark
06-13-2010, 07:16 PM
Sorry H&V was a disappointment. We've done it for dinner twice; we should have stopped after the first time. The food was medicore at best and that is only when there was food and what was there was lukewarm. The service was terrible and the restaurant filthy. It is one of two Disney restaurants we will not return to.

We've not done WPC since it originally opened on the West End...we keep debating it. What do you think?

catne
06-13-2010, 07:35 PM
Sorry H&V was a disappointment. We've done it for dinner twice; we should have stopped after the first time. The food was medicore at best and that is only when there was food and what was there was lukewarm. The service was terrible and the restaurant filthy. It is one of two Disney restaurants we will not return to.

We've not done WPC since it originally opened on the West End...we keep debating it. What do you think?

we really liked the food, just thought it was over-priced...if you can tolerate those prices, I say go for it. Especially during an off time when it's not busy and you can get a table with a view of the lake.

catne
06-14-2010, 04:26 PM
To sum up our May 2010 DxDDP experience...we got to try some new restaurants, as well as a couple we've been to before but for a different meal this time, and one old favorite. The only place we'd give a real NO to was Hollywood & Vine breakfast.:sad2:

Otherwise, we had good food most everywhere. We did spend 11 out of 12 snacks (left one on the card), but didn't take pics & I didn't keep snack receipts. I can say we got some cheapie snacks as well as expensive pastries, so will just figure them as an average cost of $2.65 (including tax) for a total on 11 snacks of $29.15. I did have the actual receipts on the restaurants, so that was $674.10 on the table service (includes tax, but not alcohol or tips.) Also add in the value of the 3 refillable mugs ($41.50)

The totals for the weekend (cash price, including tax but no tips or alcohol) would have been $744.75 for the 3 of us for Friday-Sunday, 18 meals and 11 snacks used by the 3 of us, as well as 3 refillable mugs (which we each used a couple of times a day.) The cost of the DxDDP was $431.94...so we saved $312.81 over the cost of OOP. :thumbsup2 Not too shabby!

Would we have ordered the same food paying cash? Probably...we may have shared two appetizers instead of getting all 3 now & then; or one of us may have skipped a dessert now & then. But with a savings of more than a $100 each, I think we would still come out ahead. We tend to order the more expensive menu items anyway because that's how our tastes run. Our preference of steaks helps us kind of naturally maximize the value of dining plans. If you're eating mostly buffets & counter service, you might not get your $$$ worth on the deluxe plan, but when you do it with no counter service & few buffets, the discount really adds up.

Would we do it again...you bet. I used to be "against" the deluxe plan as being way too much food, but if you space the meals out well it's quite enjoyable. And keeping in mind that you don't have to order everything, or "clean the plate", lol. Especially with. as hot as it was, we really enjoyed all the A/C time in the restaurants. Think next time we do a long weekend with the DxDDP, I'll probably book several 2 TS meals...hopefully in mid November (yay, get to see the Christmas decor:woohoo:)

vettegirl
06-14-2010, 05:50 PM
The sushi at Wolfgang's looks so good. Thank you for the review of H&V as I will make sure to never eat there:lmao:

catne
06-14-2010, 06:08 PM
The sushi at Wolfgang's looks so good. Thank you for the review of H&V as I will make sure to never eat there:lmao:

it was very good...we were really glad it was covered as an appetizer on the dining plan. Seems like some places it's not allowed...I think Cali Grill? might be only available as an entree, not an appetizer?

tink,too
06-14-2010, 06:38 PM
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts and seeing your pics. Thanks for taking the time to post. :hippie:

We have never tried any of the dining plans, but after seeing your breakdown, I think we may give it a try in the future.

catne
06-14-2010, 06:53 PM
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts and seeing your pics. Thanks for taking the time to post. :hippie:

We have never tried any of the dining plans, but after seeing your breakdown, I think we may give it a try in the future.


Thanks. So far, the dining plans have worked out very well for us, well over the 20% savings mentioned now on the Disney website. But if you do try a dining plan, check out those menus online, and do your math in advance...see if the plan will match up with how & when you want to eat. If you'd be going for salad entrees, no desserts and few table service if'd

And all these rumors about major changes to the dining plans next year...well we might be trying out Tables in Wonderland if they really mess with the plans and make it less of a good deal.

vinotinto
06-14-2010, 08:59 PM
Fabulous report! I love all the detail you took the time to write. Thanks for answering my question about H&V, it help me find your report. We have also succombed to the "dark side" and are doing the DxDP in September. I will be cancelling our H&V ADR. My kids are 2 and 5 and like the characters at H&V, but I need to cancel one of my ADRs and H&V is not standing out among my other ADRs right now.

I've also been debating where to have lunch on our departure day (immediately before driving back to Atlanta). I made an ADR for Kona Cafe, because we are staying at the Poly. But after seeing your pics of Wofgang Puck, I'm wondering if we should drive to DTD and eat there. We love sushi, and your sushi looks so fresh. Did you drive there? Was it hard to find the restaurant and a parking spot? We would be having Sunday lunch (at around 1 pm).

catne
06-14-2010, 09:37 PM
Fabulous report! I love all the detail you took the time to write. Thanks for answering my question about H&V, it help me find your report. We have also succombed to the "dark side" and are doing the DxDP in September. I will be cancelling our H&V ADR. My kids are 2 and 5 and like the characters at H&V, but I need to cancel one of my ADRs and H&V is not standing out among my other ADRs right now.

I've also been debating where to have lunch on our departure day (immediately before driving back to Atlanta). I made an ADR for Kona Cafe, because we are staying at the Poly. But after seeing your pics of Wofgang Puck, I'm wondering if we should drive to DTD and eat there. We love sushi, and your sushi looks so fresh. Did you drive there? Was it hard to find the restaurant and a parking spot? We would be having Sunday lunch (at around 1 pm).

Thanks! Hope you have a great time in September...we were scheduled for bounceback free dining (we went in 9/08 & 9/09) but then son announced wedding on Labor Day weekend so will have to put our Florida trip off until later in the Fall...we're hoping for good AP rates in November.

That's a tough one on your departure day lunch...we really like Kona, but also thoroughly enjoyed WPC...and if you're on the DxDP, WPC is a great deal. The sushi was great. For convenience, Kona would be good...but since you're driving anyway, DTD is just not that far. Parking for WP Cafe was excellent on a Sunday afternoon (that's when we were there) since it's down on the west side - long ways from the stores, which is where most of the traffic/parked cars were in the afternoon. We were there at 1:00 --empty restaurant & fairly empty parking lot at that end. If you want sushi, I'd go for WPC

Joshua_me
06-15-2010, 06:15 PM
These are *wonderful* and very detailed reviews !

Thank you SO much for taking the time to post them. :goodvibes

catne
06-15-2010, 07:38 PM
These are *wonderful* and very detailed reviews !

Thank you SO much for taking the time to post them. :goodvibes

I enjoyed sharing the info & pics...Disboards has given us so much good info & tips, just have to give back! Glad you enjoyed my input.

tr-ray
07-20-2010, 12:38 PM
Linked over to your report from another that I'm lurking on!

Just wanted to say thanks! You made me feel better about not wanting to take my 2 year old to Play & Dine at H&V. I've always read pretty bad reviews about it, and just couldn't commit that type of cash to a breakfast buffet.

We are going to take her to CP instead, where I know we will get our moneys worth - if only for getting in the park early!

I also really liked your review of Kona Cafe -- we have dinner ADRs there, and I can't wait! The teriyaki steak is calling my name! :lovestruc