9 days, 20 ADRs, 14 b-day treats, & 2 happy bellies! Completed!
Hey there fellow fans of Disney dining or those that are just curious what to expect should you plan to dine at WDW!! I may as well share my recent dining experiences since I have photos, I have an opinion on the food, and I have some free time on my hands so this may just work!! :idea:
For some quick background, my name is Brenda and this was a girl's trip for my 15 yr. old DD and me. It was her Spring Break and we wanted to make it back to WDW to use our Premier passes that we purchased last August. This visit we didn't use a dining plan - I purchased a Tables in Wonderland (TIW)card. So my perspective will be based not so much on maximizing a dining plan but on eating at some of our favorite restaurants, trying a few new ones, and taking advantage of a pretty good discount while we are at it.
Us: (In our defense, it's not the best photo - we had been traveling all day!)
I will be reviewing the following:
Day 1 - Arrival day:
Dinner: Cosmic Rays
Breakfast: Kona Cafe
Lunch: Liberty Tree Tavern
Breakfast: Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
Lunch: Le Chefs de France
Dinner: Earl of Sandwich (DTD)
Breakfast: 1900 Park Fare
Snack: Starring Rolls/Beverly & Sunset
Dinner: Coral Reef
Lunch: Tutto Italia was swapped for Contempo Cafe
Dinner: La Hacienda de San Angel
Day 6 - My Birthday!:
Breakfast: Crystal Palace
Lunch: 50's Prime Time Cafe
Dinner: California Grill
Breakfast: Tuskar House/Donald's Safari Breakfast - cancelled, again!
Lunch: Flame Tree BBQ
Dinner: Teppan Edo
Breakfast: Grand Floridian Cafe
Lunch: Le Cellier
Dinner: Tony's Town Square
Breakfast: The Wave
Lunch: Pinocchio's Village Haus & some Main St. Bakery
I was very pleased with the food, the service, and our overall experiences. There were some amazing Cast Members that I will mention as well as some unexpected surprises along the way.
Now to make sure that all of my photos uploaded to Photobucket without gigantor sizing!
Let's get this thing started! :hippie:
I'm in! :thumbsup2 You ate at some great places, many we will be eating at in August. Can't wait for your reviews!
Im in!! Cant wait for you to start!:cool1:
Before my first official dining post....some more background....
I actually tried to add a deluxe dining plan to my AP reservation. After speaking with 3 different Cast Members who could not find the correct code to add the dining plan, I just gave up. One CM quoted me $3,084 to add the dining plan for 2 people x 8 nights - yeah right!! This is when I just decided to get a TIW card.
Because we had booked within the 180 day window, I was concerned that some of the popular dining venues like Le Cellier would be booked. However, I was surprised to see plenty of options and availability – even Le Cellier for lunch. Since we were initially undecided on use of a dining plan, I really didn’t want a Signature (2 dining credits) experience with this popular steakhouse.
My initial dining reservation list consisted of our favorites: Kona Café (breakfast), Teppan Edo (dinner), Coral Reef (dinner), Le Chefs de France (lunch), Liberty Tree Tavern (lunch), 1900 Park Fare (breakfast), Grand Floridian Café (breakfast), and California Grill – a Signature restaurant – for dinner.
To try some new places and add some variety, I booked several new restaurants: Citricos – Signature dining for dinner, Tony’s Town Square (dinner), Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (breakfast), The Wave (breakfast), Crystal Palace (breakfast), and La Hacienda de San Angel (dinner). I also re-booked Donald’s Tusker House buffet at Animal Kingdom (AK) for breakfast the morning we were to be at AK and Tutto Italia for lunch. However, both of these reservations were cancelled once we were on-site at WDW. They either didn’t fit in with our plans or we simply were not hungry.
Although I frequently modified our reservations to fit our “touring schedule” I didn’t have any trouble getting the dates/times that I wanted.
So with that said.... now I can jump right in.
And to show how excited we were to get this trip started... here we are on the DME bus eager to leave MCO!
Subbing........You are reviewing 10 of the restaurants DH and I have ADRs for during our October trip, 8 of which will be first time for us :cool1:
I'm in :goodvibes
Cosmic Rays - a first night tradition
We didn't arrive at MCO until about 4:30pm - we flew from Orange County, CA at 7am. The good news for us traveling from the West Coast - it was still early in the afternoon according to our internal clocks! Seeing as how airlines fail to don't put feeding their guests at the top of the list, we were fairly hungry once we arrived.
We were staying at Bay Lake Tower - our room had a great view of MK and Bay Lake - but hey, this isn't a trip report so who cares! :rolleyes1 Once we had completed checking in and dropping off our carry on bags in the room we walked the short distance to MK.
There was no debating where we were going to eat…. We proceeded directly to Tomorrowland and after a few wrong turns found Cosmic Rays. This has been our arrival night dining destination for the last two trips so I suppose it is now a tradition!
Menu Board for the chicken "bay":
I'm sure all of the choices are wonderful at this place but there is only one dish for us.... the 1/2 rotisserie chicken. :worship:
The chicken is served with green beans and mashed potatoes.
The chicken was perfectly moist and tender and cooked to perfection. This trip, the mashed potatoes were slightly garlicky and did not have a hint of a sweet after-taste like last time. The green beans were a bit overcooked for my preference but hey, I was eating a green veggie and it was buttery good so I was happy. I consumed my meal in no time and looked at Em who was struggling to finish her meal. She didn’t have to ask me twice if I wanted some of her green beans and mashed potatoes! Em had also ordered a chocolate cake… I think she liked it fine.
The total cost of this meal was $29. 13. (No discounts used since I didn't ask if they do AP discounts.)
We were off to a great start with this first meal. It will definitely remain a first night tradition for us.
Next up: Kona Cafe and maybe some more chit chat. ;)
How exciting to look forward to October!
Can't wait for the rest.:goodvibes
Hi Brenda! :wave: I'm loving your food choices and reviews so far!
Can't wait to read more :goodvibes
Before I continue with my dining review....
I had to stop at Guest Relations outside MK to purchase my TIW card.
It took all of a few minute to complete this transaction. It was probably the best $75 investment that I've made in a long time. (Way better than the epilady from some years back!)
Now on with the dining reviews.....
Kona Cafe - breakfast
I was VERY excited about eating once again at Kona Café at the Polynesian Resort. I have to say, of all our breakfasts, this was my favorite as far as the food.
We had a 9:05am ADR and we were seated immediately at a table for two by the far wall. Our server greeted us with a smile (I think her name was Pat) and presented the menus.
Cheers to this vacation stuff!
I already knew what I wanted to eat – there was no doubt for me – I had dreamed about this breakfast since the last time we were here in August....the pineapple macadamia nut pancakes. :love: I’m not a fan of breakfast meat so it was no problem to substitute a scrambled egg for the bacon, sausage, or ham choices. Em ordered the Tonga toast with sausage.
The food arrived quickly and was hot and fresh. I have to say, that first bite of the pancakes was….how can I describe this without sounding naughty? It made me sigh deeply and moan with delight! It was more delish than last time I indulged in these little pieces of heaven. The macadamia nut butter was the perfect accompaniment to the pancakes – it had nice little chunks of nuts and was fresh and creamy. The eggs were perfectly moist and not overcooked. (I’m not a fan of rubbery dry eggs.)
Macadamia Nut/Pineapple Pancakes:
Side of scrambled eggs:
Syrup, sauce, and butter:
Em loved her Tonga toast as she did last time. She poured the strawberry sauce over the top which to me, would seem to mess with the authenticity of the flavors but hey… it was her food. I did take a bite and once again, for ME, it is way too sweet. I was happy with just the single bite and my first impression was the bananas was a great addition. They reminded me a bit of bananas foster with a deep fried donut.
Although I gave it my best attempt, I wasn’t able to finish but 2/3 of the pancakes. Believe me; I would have eaten more if I didn’t have to keep the button on my pants fastened! Next trip, I want to be sure and book breakfast here at least two times!
We used our Tables in Wonderland card - the total with 18% gratuity was $28.75. TIW savings totaled $5.57. The server had told me in advance that a Manager would need to "approve" the TIW discount so it may take a little longer to get the final receipt. I didn't notice any delays in getting the discount applied so I'm not sure if this is really an issue.
Next Up: Liberty Tree Tavern
definitely subscribing - love the reviews so far - we wanted to do kona next trip but the kids vetoed it :(
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