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View Full Version : Best Restaurant to start off the Vacation?


mrlinck7421
04-08-2012, 06:50 AM
Im arriving Aug 14th. In your opinion what is the best place in all of WDW to eat dinner to start off the vacation???

GAN
04-08-2012, 06:58 AM
I think it depends on if you have children, or are you looking for a more romantic spot, etc....

Heva2015
04-08-2012, 07:23 AM
I'm watching this - I have the same question!

Mine is two adults.

mrlinck7421
04-08-2012, 07:35 AM
I think it depends on if you have children, or are you looking for a more romantic spot, etc....

2 Adults- ages 24 and 22. Romantic, and quiet. good food and great atmosphere.

jimmytammy
04-08-2012, 09:13 AM
Ohana gets us in the spirit of being in the world. Via Napoli, Artists Point couple other choices.

LucyBC80
04-08-2012, 09:26 AM
If you are not going to any of the parks, I'd try to go one of the resorts where you could see Wishes. Narcoossee's, 'Ohana or California Grill. My top picks would be Narcoossee's or California Grill for ambience and food.

Auntie Liz
04-08-2012, 09:42 AM
Im arriving Aug 14th. In your opinion what is the best place in all of WDW to eat dinner to start off the vacation???

Great question! We are trying to plan for our ADR and where to go for dining at our first trip to DW. We arrive around 8 PM on a Tuesday night, so thinking DD for the first meal. Any input would be greatly appreciated!! I heard T-Rex is great??

Kae
04-08-2012, 09:49 AM
What resort are you staying at & how much travel time did you have before you arrived. In or out of the parks? Kona at poly, is a nice choice then you can hop a ride on the monorail & then head to the beach to catch the Electric Water parade & see wishes. CF Cafe or the Wave would be good too. We like to relax are first night & hit rope drop at MK in the morning.

Kae

wide receiver
04-08-2012, 09:52 AM
Cali Grill, Sanaa (fun to watch the animals come eat dinner while you are)....Or Jiko. YUM! Enjoy!!!! Sounds fun! Sanaa can be romantic and they have a pretty Lounge there (don't they?) We have eaten at Sanaa with the kiddos. But a friend of mine just stayed at AKV with her four children and she and her hubby snuck down to Sanaa a couple of times for dinner (its OK their children are teens). My friend is also Gluten Free and like all Disney restaurants Sanaa was very helpful.

wezee
04-08-2012, 09:58 AM
We always try to do Fulton's the first night then wander DTD.

goofierthangoofy
04-08-2012, 10:16 AM
Seems to be a theme here guys!! I agree that the best place to start and end your dining experience in Disney World is the Polynesian Ohana Restaurant! My family looks forward to this every time we go to Disney World!!

If you arrive about 8:00 PM and get the seat over in the corner facing the Magic Kingdom you will have the best seat in the house for fireworks about 9:00 PM :cheer2:

Uncleromulus
04-08-2012, 10:44 AM
Where we always start our Disney trips--California Grill. Good food and a great view.
However--it really isn't terribly romantic, or quiet.

wide receiver
04-08-2012, 11:15 AM
This is a great post...please let us know what you decide....

My hubby LOVES Ohana (in fact I make the salad and bread pudding from the recipe I found online) and while I feel Ohana is a great place for anyone, especially families I don't find it romantic.....waiters coming to your table over and over (with yummy food). For a couple in there mid 20's I say live it up and go somewhere cozy....you are going to have enough of everyones kiddos during the rest of your trip.

comicguy
04-08-2012, 01:29 PM
I would go with the Grand Floridian Cafe or Kona

Both tend to be more quiet that Ohana's

tinkerbesh
04-08-2012, 01:30 PM
Some of my faves that I think will give you what you want--

Le Cellier (at Epcot): romantic, quiet, GREAT food, "nice restaurant" atmosphere

'Ohana: GREAT food, fun atmosphere, not quiet, not textbook romantic

San Angel Inn (at Epcot): romantic, quiet, good food & unique atmosphere (low lighting, scenery makes you feel like you are in Mexico)

Tutto Italia (at Epcot): romantic, quiet, good food, "nice restaurant" atmosphere

Tony's Town Square (at MK): romantic, good food, great atmosphere if you can get a table with a window view around the time of the parade, quiet depends on how crowded it is


I've never been to any of the following, but based on reviews I've read, they may work well for what you want--
California Grill, Yachtsman Steakhouse, Bistro de Paris, Cinderella's Royal Table, Coral Reef

For prices and menus, check http://allears.net/menu/menus.htm#epc

mrlinck7421
04-08-2012, 02:45 PM
This is a great post...please let us know what you decide....

My hubby LOVES Ohana (in fact I make the salad and bread pudding from the recipe I found online) and while I feel Ohana is a great place for anyone, especially families I don't find it romantic.....waiters coming to your table over and over (with yummy food). For a couple in there mid 20's I say live it up and go somewhere cozy....you are going to have enough of everyones kiddos during the rest of your trip.

I'm getting alot of good feedback! Seems like Ohana currently has the #1 spot. What does anyone think about The Coral Reef at Epcot since the park will be open that night until 12am?

RDP
04-08-2012, 02:59 PM
If your not the DDP, try Bluezoo at the Dolphin, it has an uber cool bar and the food is amazing. Afterwards you can walk it all off around Boardwalk.

Sweet Melissa
04-08-2012, 03:18 PM
In my opinion, the best way to start a Walt Disney World vacation is at the Magic Kingdom. Nothing makes me as giddy as taking the bus to the Magic Kingdom and hearing that Mickey Mouse fanfare as we near the entrance.

We fly in and try to arrive as early as possible. We spend a few hours in the Magic Kingdom and then have dinner somewhere on the Monorail loop. That used to mean California Grill or Citricos, but now that the signature restaurants require a credit card hold and will penalize no-shows, we don't plan on signature dining for our arrival day. If our flight is delayed or canceled last-minute, we could be out $20. It's just not something we want to risk when travel delays are often out of our hands.

Because of that, the lounge at the Wave or the Grand Floridian Café are our current picks. I would also add the Kona Café, but the atmosphere there is terrible. If you want quiet and romantic, it is not the place.

Another great option is Todd English's Bluezoo at the Dolphin. They have outstanding food, service and atmosphere, and because the restaurant doesn't participate in the dining plan, they don't require a credit card hold for a reservation either. It's a great first-night option if you plan to be near Epcot on the first day. You can head over to Jellyrolls on the Boardwalk for drinks and entertainment afterward.

mrlinck7421
04-08-2012, 03:23 PM
I'm getting alot of good feedback! Seems like Ohana currently has the #1 spot. What does anyone think about The Coral Reef at Epcot since the park will be open that night until 12am?

Sweet Melissa
04-08-2012, 03:30 PM
I'm getting alot of good feedback! Seems like Ohana currently has the #1 spot. What does anyone think about The Coral Reef at Epcot since the park will be open that night until 12am?
I really like the food at Coral Reef. Service is a slower pace than most in-park restaurants. The fish tank is cool, but because of the acoustics of the room, it is NOT quiet. Also, I wouldn't expect the restaurant to be open late even though the park is open until midnight. They'll probably close at nine.

Simba's Mom
04-08-2012, 03:43 PM
Our first resturaunt is always the CS at whatever resort where we're staying. We travel by airplane, and airplanes are notoriously unreliable time-wise so we don't dare count on making reservations. But they don't feed you on airplanes, so we 're always hungry when we arrive at the resort. Often, we've been known to hit the food court even before our room.

alex9179
04-08-2012, 04:07 PM
2 Adults- ages 24 and 22. Romantic, and quiet. good food and great atmosphere.

I would look at Bistro De Paris if you think EPCOT is where you want to be. Read some reviews, look at the menu and pictures. I have never been but this review really piques my interest.
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2860671&highlight=ehagerty+bistro+de+paris

'Ohana is NOT romantic or quiet. Sorry, kiddie coconut races pretty much extinguish romance for me not to mention the constant food service. The place sounds fun, and we want to dine there on our vacation but our romantic dinner is taking place elsewhere!

Kona is exposed to the GCH traffic, not intimate at all.

Mousemommy1
04-08-2012, 04:22 PM
Sooooo cheesy, but we always start off at Cosmic Rays Starlight Cafe. :rotfl2: No ressies needed, so no stress about not making it due to travel hiccups, and just being right in the middle of MK (just outside Cindy's castle)....you can't go wrong.

sweeperyz21
04-08-2012, 04:25 PM
hello there

Uncleromulus
04-09-2012, 06:08 AM
Listen carefully to what Alex9179 says about Ohana and Kona-----

Hopefully
04-09-2012, 08:31 AM
A couple of things for folks looking for first night restaurants to consider.
What is your mode of travel? Do you have control over your travel time? What time will your day start? For example I am up at 4:15 AM to make a 7 AM flight. Travel day is exciting and long and I am tired that night.
If you are flying you are at the whim of the airline gods :cool1: Travel delays are out of your control and not infrequent.
I would not plan for any meal that required a Credit Card quarantee and had a no show charge. You may not make your ADR for reasons beyond your control. Lots of the suggested restaurants here do fall in this category, so be careful.
We usually plan something near our resort that is relatively low key. We aim for an early night so that we are full of energy and raring to go at Rope Drop in the morning and for the rest of the week.
Enjoy whatever you choose, it is all magical when you are in Disney!!!

vevolis
04-09-2012, 09:22 AM
My wife & I are going on September 15th, it really depends where you are staying - there are many fantastic restaurants to choose from!

We’re staying at Jambo House at the Animal Kingdom Lodge so we’re going to Jiko for our first night; we’ve been there before as a “first restaurant” of our trip. On our last vacation to Disney World our first restaurant was The Californian Grill. The food is great, the view is wonderful but it is incredibly loud and the ambience is lacking – and I'm 28. ‘Loud’ is still rarely a problem, so it MUST have been really loud :)

Jiko is a beautiful restaurant with incredible food and romantic dim lighting and views of the water & plant life outside.

Scott,

Dziactor
04-10-2012, 08:37 AM
Jiko, California Grill, and Artist's Point would be my short list.

BLTLDZ
04-10-2012, 11:13 AM
I know you said quiet , BUT California Grill is always our first night meal, and it is just DH & myself. We love the atmosphere, and being immersed in the magic :goodvibes

jakeybake
04-10-2012, 11:50 AM
Yachtsman Steakhouse. Ask for a table in the back section next to the window. You have a beautiful view of the pool and the spinning, lit up windmill. It really is beautiful and the food is IMHO the best on property.

If you finish early enough you can stroll around the beautiful BC/YC grounds and the Boardwalk and cut through the International Gateway and watch Illuminations.

J

shell8558
04-10-2012, 11:56 AM
Our absolute favorite is Ohanas! Great food and great atmosphere!! Always a must for the first night at /disney. We have eaten at Coral Reef a few times. My only complaint is that the seafood is not that great. But being from the south, there is alot to live up to , when you are talking seafood!

mrlinck7421
04-10-2012, 03:16 PM
I know you said quiet , BUT California Grill is always our first night meal, and it is just DH & myself. We love the atmosphere, and being immersed in the magic :goodvibes

What is the best time to eat there? I would like to eat & see the fireworks etc.

cwt580
04-10-2012, 05:25 PM
Artist Point At Wilderness is pretty nice also(window seat at sunset)........accessible by bus OR BOAT from either MK or CR or FtW.

Citrico's and Narcoosee's are nice.....Narc's can be romantic with the deck views of lake and MK and CR in distance with mono rolling through it(my most fav WDW view)......

Cali Grilll isnt romantic but an awesome first nighter!!!!!!!! watching the fireworks over the castle first night = AWESOME. Not sure the time to get but i think they are always running late. I like being at my table by about 7:30-8PM

Crystal Palace is ok(buffet) but location is kinda fun......

Chef Mickeys is terrible for dinner(food poor) (decent breakfast).....

DTD......Wolfgang Puck(not the walk up).....we have fun at Raglan's.

Didnt think Coral Reef was all that great on our last trip....

book_junkie
04-10-2012, 06:02 PM
Hubby and I always do California Grill and try to time it so we can see the fireworks. What we've found is that if we make ADR's 1.5-2 hours before the fireworks, and request when we make them a table with a fireworks view, it works pretty well. We repeat the request when we check in, and we check in early for our ADR and tell them we'll wait. 4 romantic trips, and one mother/daughter trip and so far, window/table seats. :lovestruc

The nice thing is also if you want to see the fireworks but don't want to be inside you can go onto the observation desk after you've eaten, as long have you have your receipt for that day. It can get windy, but it's a beautiful view, and they pipe the music in on the deck as well.

Artist Point is very romantic, but we usually save it for the end of our trips- a way to wind down and relax and reflect.

KYfriedPanda
04-10-2012, 06:31 PM
When I'm planning out my restaurants, I try to put the one I'm "least" excited about first since I'm already high on adrenaline and don't need any additional push. The third/fourth (or "middle", whenever that is) days of the trip I try to put the "long" meals on, since generally that's when we start to feel the feet starting to cry out and we don't mind the extra long sit-down meals. We also like to end the trip with a breakfast buffet to fill up before the long ride out.

I know, I didn't say any actual restaurants - but I feel like that's personal preference :)

mrlinck7421
04-10-2012, 11:30 PM
Hubby and I always do California Grill and try to time it so we can see the fireworks. What we've found is that if we make ADR's 1.5-2 hours before the fireworks, and request when we make them a table with a fireworks view, it works pretty well. We repeat the request when we check in, and we check in early for our ADR and tell them we'll wait. 4 romantic trips, and one mother/daughter trip and so far, window/table seats. :lovestruc

The nice thing is also if you want to see the fireworks but don't want to be inside you can go onto the observation desk after you've eaten, as long have you have your receipt for that day. It can get windy, but it's a beautiful view, and they pipe the music in on the deck as well.

Artist Point is very romantic, but we usually save it for the end of our trips- a way to wind down and relax and reflect.

Will it be hard/crowded to make reservations with a view at California Grill on Aug 14th this summer?

BLTLDZ
04-19-2012, 09:30 AM
Will it be hard/crowded to make reservations with a view at California Grill on Aug 14th this summer?

You have to check online...Here's how I would play it..WISHES will be at 10 on 8/14.

I would try to get a reservation from anytime between 8 -9:30.
Keep in mind, even if you finish early you can still stay and hang out either at the bar or outside on the deck. :thumbsup2

jcvalenti
04-19-2012, 03:26 PM
This is a really hard question to give a pat answer to, because it might depend on a whole lot of other factors.

1) Do you have children travelling with you ?
2) Do you have a long day of travel before you even reach WDW ?
3) Is it within your budget to dine out at a lot of nice restaurants, or will this be one of your few "big" meal experiences ?
4) Have you been to WDW before ? Do you have a preferred park ?

We go an awful lot, travel as a big group, and really love hanging out at Epcot ... so for us, we usually start a trip off with something fun and casual, like the Biergarden or (lately) Via Napoli. We usually get to the park around 2, have some cocktails and wander the world showcase, and then aim for a late lunch / early dinner so we can get out and check into our lodging later in the day.

I personally dont like to use up one of my favorites on arrival day, because it usually takes me a few days to get into "vacation mode" ... so I tend to want to save favorites like California Grill, Il Mulino, Jiko and Le Celier for later in the trip.

Mcert01
04-19-2012, 04:10 PM
We used to start at Chef Mickey's when the kids were young. The food is unremarkable, but the character interaction is top notch.

We started the trip at Sanaa last year, and it was a great experience! Afterward we caught the bus to MK for the 4th of July fireworks. It really got us into the vacation mode!

Another restaurant I haven't seen mentioned is Boma's. The food is excellent.

Kouzzina's is now one of our favorites as well, but you have to like Greek food - which I do. The sampler is a great choice - cinnamon stewed chicken, Greek lasagna, and a lamb slider. Good stuff. The Baklava is crazy good too.

Ahh, DW, so many excellent restaurants, so little time :)

Ron from Michigan
04-20-2012, 02:49 PM
We always start our WDW trips with dinner at California Grill.

DizDaD7
04-20-2012, 03:03 PM
I personally like WCC for the antics.....Gets us in the right frame of mine. Ohanas is the other one I had in mind.

Auntie Liz
04-26-2012, 09:45 AM
Seems to be a theme here guys!! I agree that the best place to start and end your dining experience in Disney World is the Polynesian Ohana Restaurant! My family looks forward to this every time we go to Disney World!!

If you arrive about 8:00 PM and get the seat over in the corner facing the Magic Kingdom you will have the best seat in the house for fireworks about 9:00 PM :cheer2:

Thanks! Sounds like a wonderful idea!!