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-   -   Are the signature restaurants that much better? (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3075520)

eeyoresmom 03-05-2013 06:52 PM

Are the signature restaurants that much better?
 
DH and I are doing a 3 night non park trip. I am considering ADR's at a few signature restaurants ( Flying Fish and Citrico's) I've never eaten at a WDW signature place because most trips it is just me and the kids and we are in the parks at dinnertime. Right now I have ADR's at Raglan Road and Turf Club. Looking at allears, the prices at the signatures are just about double the average TS. Worth it? Is the atmosphere at the signatures better?

Pakey 03-05-2013 08:15 PM

Food quality is probably better; certainly variety is better, particularly with appetizers. Service will be much slower paced as most people dining at these restaurants are not in a hurry to rush back into a park. I've done all of the signatures several times.

As far as atmosphere, Flying Fish and Citricos are nothing alike. Citricos is quiet and subdued and Flying Fish is noisy and bright. Citricos has a tendency to be more adult; Flying Fish will be full of kids and the tables are on top of each other. As a party of two, you may get lucky and get one of the tables against the wall. Although the tables are small they do provide a bit more privacy. My last meal here, in December, we got to enjoy the argument between a husband and wife seated at the next table. Although the were talking quietly, the acoustics carry and we could hear it probably better than they could.

I enjoy both Raglan Road and Turf Club. I don't know if they are worth "half" the value of the signatures as I think both of them are pretty good. The signatures are not what they used to be pre-dining plan but if you haven't tried them from back then, you might think they are worth twice the value. I'd say you should pick what menus really appeal to you and not give as much weight to signature vs non-signature.

Pygoplites 03-05-2013 08:18 PM

Only you can answer the "worth it" question. If you're not used to paying Signature-level prices, then you may not have a good experience. I enjoy WDW dining at all price levels, but I will admit that almost all of their restaurants are capable of delivering a "not worth it" experience (except for V&A, which has never let me down at all). However, I have found that the Signature places are somewhat more consistent in delivering a good dining experience compared to the regular TS restaurants.

As far as atmosphere...it depends on the place. Some, like Citrico's and bluezoo, definitely have an upscale ambiance. Others might feel more casual than what you might be expecting.

sleepydog25 03-05-2013 08:48 PM

Both PPs have made excellent points, so all I'm doing is adding to what they've said. As a general rule, signatures do offer a bit more ambience, quality, and adult-oriented dining experiences. We usually do a mixture of signatures and non-signatures, and some of the latter restaurants have been quite good (Portobello comes to mind). However, we still find that signatures are more consistent as mentioned above. What one defines as "worth it," however, may not be the same to another. For some, the amount of food served makes one eatery worth it over a signature that provides smaller portions. For others, the quality of service and imagination of the menu ranks higher than sheer volume.

That being said, since it's just you and your DH, why not try places you wouldn't with your kids? Though you don't say when you're going, if California Grill has re-opened (late summer), the food has consistently been among the best in WDW, and it has great views of MK. Jiko is a unique restaurant with a menu that goes beyond mere steak and seafood. Artist Point is relaxed, quiet, and romantic with a couple of exceptional dishes and nearly always very good service. For a real treat, there is Victoria and Albert's which, though very pricey, is hands-down the best restaurant on property.

In the end, only you can decide what is worth it for you when it comes to food, ambience, and price. But, I say step out and do at least a couple of signatures on this next trip so that you can definitively say you liked or disliked them based on your own merits. Enjoy! ;)

eeyoresmom 03-06-2013 10:23 AM

Thank you for the excellent resposes. We live in a high COL area so I am not at all put off by the prices.Thanks especially for warning me of the atmosphere at Flying Fish. Not at all what we would want for this trip. I think I am going to stick with our Turf Club and Ragland Road reservations as we are staying at SSR and these will be so easy to get to. I am, however very tempted by the description of Bluezoo......:rolleyes1 Our trip is early April so California Grill is not an option. Too bad because that too would be easy to get to from our resort.

frannn 03-06-2013 10:56 AM

We find some signatures to be worth it
 
We have done Narcoosies and Brown Derby a bunch of times in the past, and use to love them. The cuts of steak and availability of "higher scale" entrees, such as lobster attracted us. In recent years, we haven't been back there because the quality of food has dimished. We have been to Flying Fish more recently, and found that not only is the food amazing, the level of service has not been matched at any other WDW eatery. Having management approach us specifically to see how we were enjoying our meal was wonderful. We loved the attention and easy going manner of the wait staff as well. We mostly dine at 1 credit places while at WDW, and those places are good as well, but we can definetly feel the difference between those and the signatures.

Uncleromulus 03-06-2013 11:08 AM

Well--all I can say is that if I had the choice among Flying Fish, Citricos, Turf Club and raglan road, I wouldn't hesitate a second before choosing FF and Citricos.

Turf Club is nice but perfectly ordianary.

Raglan Road is Irish Pub-grub...and when the band starts, is extremely noisy.

Pakey 03-06-2013 11:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by eeyoresmom (Post 47716214)
Thank you for the excellent resposes. We live in a high COL area so I am not at all put off by the prices.Thanks especially for warning me of the atmosphere at Flying Fish. Not at all what we would want for this trip. I think I am going to stick with our Turf Club and Ragland Road reservations as we are staying at SSR and these will be so easy to get to. I am, however very tempted by the description of Bluezoo......:rolleyes1 Our trip is early April so California Grill is not an option. Too bad because that too would be easy to get to from our resort.

I go to WDW often and do a lot of signature dining. IMO, bluezoo is the 2nd best restaurant at WDW behind Victoria & Alberts. Unless there is a convention happening at the Swan/Dolphin, bluezoo is very quiet and adult. Tables are spaced so there is no intrusion on your privacy. The scallop and pork rib appetizer (two scallops so this appetizer is huge) is the single best dish at WDW. I've had a few raw oysters and this appetizer as my entree and I've been very happy. All of the entrees I've had have been great; the Catonese lobster is excellent. The pasty chef here is award winning and I've had some incredible desserts-this is the only restaurant where I always save room for dessert. And the mixologists here are fantastic with a huge menu of interesting mixed drinks.

You don't read a lot about bluezoo on here because it's not on the dining plan and it's not what I would consider family friendly. However, it's very good and if I was going to try one signature experience at WDW, outside of V&A, it would be this one.

Uncleromulus 03-06-2013 11:13 AM

Agree completely!!

jude&jonah 03-07-2013 03:23 AM

Bluezoo is one of the last sigantures at Disney i have yet to try- but it looks amazing! Walked inside there this last week to check it out. If I was going on an adults only trip with my spouse I would NEED to do one high end dinner- and I think bluezoo would be ideal for that.

kapoof 03-07-2013 06:51 AM

Yes they are better, but i still enjoy counter services as well. I think the best for the money would be the cafe in France.

davedmaine 03-07-2013 08:24 AM

The problem is when you involve the dining plan and you hear the comments - 'it's not worth 2 credits' or 'I wouldn't go if I had to pay for it.' For the life of me, I don't understand what people mean. How does one determine what's worth one credit, but not two?
Also, as I've mentioned before, go back and look at the reviews of LC just before it went to two credits. The place, with few exceptions, could do no wrong - the food was a gift from heaven. As soon as the place went to 2 credits on the dining plan, suddenly the place was serving the worst slop imaginable. Why? What happened?
Bottomline: Get rid of the dining plan and maybe dining at Disney can get back to what it once was -- better quality, separate lunch and dinner menus, desserts created at the restaurant, people not wearing flip flops and bathing suits at sigs, options at a CS besides a bacon angus burger, etc..

MissionMouse 03-07-2013 08:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by davedmaine (Post 47725972)
The problem is when you involve the dining plan and you hear the comments - 'it's not worth 2 credits' or 'I wouldn't go if I had to pay for it.' For the life of me, I don't understand what people mean. How does one determine what's worth one credit, but not two?
...Bottomline: Get rid of the dining plan and maybe dining at Disney can get back to what it once was -- better quality, separate lunch and dinner menus, desserts created at the restaurant, people not wearing flip flops and bathing suits at sigs, options at a CS besides a bacon angus burger, etc..

Agree. Everyone pays for their meals. Nothing is free. They pay for the dining plan or pay room rack rate. Most people have no clue what the value of a TS ticket equates to, but they just recite Disney claim of savings. Hard to demonstrate if you can reference what you TS, CS and snack ticket are worth. A ticket system with multiple offering level makes it hard for a customer to associate it back to a monetary value. This allows Disney to be paid in advance, greater room and ease to slide profit margins by quality and menu offerings. In this case, Disney markets the affordability of the DDP and brought in a very large population not familar to the golden TS dining era and converts their money into a ticket system providing table service, counter service and snack. Now time has passed and even this group is experiencing things their not happy. I think the quality we experienced in the past is gone as they have a new customer base with affordability being number one.

fuzzlekins 03-07-2013 09:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pakey (Post 47711730)
Food quality is probably better

Yikes! For the prices, food quality had BETTER be better! We're planning to do some signatures on our next trip. We're not into "upscale" dining, but we do enjoy GOOD food. The problem for me is that everyone's definition of good is different. I wish, in reviews, people had to put in some sort of benchmark rating of their palate. LOL Like ... I think Olive Garden is da bomb. Or, nothing beats Red Lobster. Or, I've had one of my recipes published in a magazine. :lmao: Seriously though, I never cease to be amazed. I've seen Chef Mickey's breakfast trashed. Yet, when we went, it was our favorite character meal. I really don't know how any of the breakfast buffets could screw up waffles, bacon, croissants, etc. Then we see rave reviews for Coral Reef and get there to find that the food is terrible b/c they use farm-raised seafood. Any restaurant that uses farm-raised seafood CANNOT be considered excellent. Sorry but that's just not a matter of opinion - that's fact. Farm raised is disgusting and not even healthy to eat (farm raised shrimp is the most bacteria ridden stuff that comes out of water).

I'd really hate to spend $50 on a dinner that's not as good as my favorite local restaurant that costs $25 for an entree. I guess there's only one way to find out though...

princessallegra 03-07-2013 10:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fuzzlekins

Yikes! For the prices, food quality had BETTER be better! We're planning to do some signatures on our next trip. We're not into "upscale" dining, but we do enjoy GOOD food. The problem for me is that everyone's definition of good is different. I wish, in reviews, people had to put in some sort of benchmark rating of their palate. LOL Like ... I think Olive Garden is da bomb. Or, nothing beats Red Lobster. Or, I've had one of my recipes published in a magazine. :lmao: Seriously though, I never cease to be amazed. I've seen Chef Mickey's breakfast trashed. Yet, when we went, it was our favorite character meal. I really don't know how any of the breakfast buffets could screw up waffles, bacon, croissants, etc. Then we see rave reviews for Coral Reef and get there to find that the food is terrible b/c they use farm-raised seafood. Any restaurant that uses farm-raised seafood CANNOT be considered excellent. Sorry but that's just not a matter of opinion - that's fact. Farm raised is disgusting and not even healthy to eat (farm raised shrimp is the most bacteria ridden stuff that comes out of water).

I'd really hate to spend $50 on a dinner that's not as good as my favorite local restaurant that costs $25 for an entree. I guess there's only one way to find out though...

The food quality IS better. But honestly olive garden and red lobster may be good to you, but I can't make it through a dinner at either of those places without a trip to their restroom. Yikes! The entrees at the Signatures are about $25-$47 an entree and the quality and iventiveness of the dishes are apparent. Some of our favorites are Citricos, Flying Fish, California Grill, and Artist Point.


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