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Old 09-02-2012, 08:41 PM   #1
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Talking Disney is an eating vacation!! Our PDR. **Updated 10/30 Epcot Part 2

I've been working on a pre-trip report over here. Please check it out if you're interested in more about our family, our trip or our trip plans! But if you're only interested in the FOOD, here goes.

First, a little info on us and our eating preferences...

My little family consists of me (46), DX (51), and our DD19. We have pretty varied taste in food, which sometimes makes eating together tricky. DX and DD are huge meat lovers. They want it at every meal. Their idea of a perfect dinner out is some kind of Brazilian steak house where the meat just keeps coming. Me, not so much. I'm not a vegetarian, but I'm often happy to skip the meat, especially when it involves big hunks that aren't not fully cooked, or meat still on a bone.

None of us like seafood. I know! Shocking, but true. At least we live in Kansas, right? Actually DD might like it, but we'll never know because the first time she tried some, she broke out in crazy hives. She's allergic, so it's not even a choice for her. I have tried many varieties of seafood and fish throughout my life, but I just never liked any of it. "Nothing from the sea!" - That's my motto. No, not even shrimp. Not even scallops. Not even anything from the sea. (The exception that proves this rule for me is sardines in Caesar dressing. Love that.)

DX and I avoid pork, but our DD loves it. I don't like it, but if my friend who is an executive chef were reading this, he would be quick to point out to you that I loved some pork chops he made me once. And some kind of pork thing I ate outside of Pompeii in Italy was one of my favorite meals ever. Still, I generally avoid it. Even real bacon.

So we are pretty much a beef/chicken/turkey family. Not very adventurous after all, and never fans of fine dining. We do, however, love good food. We're all huge fans of Mexican food. We could (and sometimes do) eat it several times a week. DD and I love Indian, Asian and Greek food. I love Italian. I am definitely the most adventurous of the group. DD is great about exploring new tastes, and DX is pretty much a middle American, meat and potatoes kind of guy.

Favorite Meal:
We all agree Mexican food is our favorite. But beyond that...
Me: some kind of pasta with chicken, mushrooms, other veg and non-red sauce
DX: chicken fried steak or meatloaf, mashed potatoes, corn on the cobb
DD: chicken tikka masala, with lots and lots of naan.

Another food factor for our family: DD has had Type 1 Diabetes since she was 9 (over half her life). She uses an insulin pump, so for the most part she can eat what and when she wants. However there are times when she has to cut back on the carbs (things like rice can get out of control fast), or more commonly, needs a big dose of sugary carbs Fast.

When the 3 of us went to the world together in the 90s, we didn't realize that Disney is an eating vacation. DD was in the chicken nugget or pizza zone so we did CS most of the time. We did try a few sit down restaurants though. We had character breakfasts at Crystal Pavilion and Hollywood & Vine. We loved Hollywood &Vine. The characters then were from Hunchback and Pocahontas for the most part and my DD was a huge Esmerelda fan. We liked the CP breakfast less. It was beautiful, and the character interaction was great, but the food seemed pretty average. We stayed at the Contemporary and had dinner one night at Chef Mickey's. DD and DX loved that one. We also ate at San Angel Inn, Sci Fi Dine In and Restaurant Marrakesh.

Thanks to my brother and the disboards, we were totally clued in for our last trip in 2010. We did the dining plan and ate at Cinderella's Royal Table, Le Cellier, Sanaa, Tuto Italia and various CS places. Sometimes I think of making a "Better Late Than Never" dining report about that trip.

This trip, since we're traveling with DX's company, we won't be on the dining plan. I feel like the dining plan has it's good and bad points, so I don't mind trying a trip without it. We have plenty of ADRs anyway - at Sanaa, 50s Prime Time Cafe, San Angel Inn, Sci Fi Dine In, Liberty Tree Tavern and Tusker House (which we may or may not keep ).

We're also going to try to share a lot of meals/snacks. In fact, I'm going to highly encourage this . There is a lot of good food at Disney, and if you eat less of one thing, it leaves more room (and money) to try something else later. I've been trying to convince my travel partners this is the way to go. I don't know whether or not I have succeeded.

Some people make a plan for what to ride when they visit the parks.. We're making a plan for what to eat! Not because we like eating better than rides, not at all. We all know what we want to ride and we will ride everything we can. Rides are the easy part. But without a plan I easily forget which restaurant has stuff we want to eat and which doesn't. A meal for 3 with different preferences is far more tricky. Trying to decide who wants to eat what when is tricky even when we're at home, so for our magical Disney get away, we need a plan. I'm about to share it here. Maybe you'll obsess about it along with me!

Last edited by dawnmichele; 10-30-2012 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 09-03-2012, 11:04 AM   #2
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Our ADRs & Report Index

You all want to know our ADRs, right?
Here they are:

Friday (Day 2) - Sanaa @ 5:40p (this meal is just for me and DD as DX will be at a work party)

Saturday (Day 3) - 50's Prime Time Cafe @ 11:15a

Sunday (Day 4) - San Angel Inn @ 11:30a
Sci Fi Dine In @ 7:10p

Monday (Day 5) - Liberty Tree Tavern @ 4:20p

Tuesday (Day 6) - Le Cellier @ 2:05p

Wednesday (Day 7) - Tusker House @ 10:15a

Sound good? I sure think it does!

Report Index:

Intro: Who we are, what we like to eat and our Disney Dining history 9.2.12
Our ADRs & Report Index 9.3.12
Some photos from our meals in the 90s 9.4.12
The Magic Kingdom 9.9.12

Last edited by dawnmichele; 09-11-2012 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 09-03-2012, 03:02 PM   #3
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I think it's great that you travel with your ex! Sounds like it'll be a great trip!
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Old 09-03-2012, 03:21 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by deenbrad View Post
I think it's great that you travel with your ex! Sounds like it'll be a great trip!
Thank you! It is great, really. It definitely took some time and some work on both our parts to get to a place we can have family vacations and such all together, but it really if fantastic, especially for our daughter.

And I agree - it's going to be a great trip. I can barely wait -- 93 days!
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:55 PM   #5
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Some photos from our meals in the 90s

No report is complete without photos - that's my motto.
So I'll start here with a few of our photos from trips in 96 and 97...

Our first Disney sit down dining experience was a character breakfast at the Crystal Palace. I didn't take any pictures of the food, but our character interactions were fantastic and I took tons of photos of those. I'll only force 3 of them on you.

We liked CP ok, but loved our character breakfast at Hollywood & Vine. So much so, we tried it both visits. You can even see some of the food on our plates in a couple of these.

We all loved the Sci Fi Dine In and are looking forward to enjoying it again!

And here's a shot of the girl with her favorite snack from back in the day. Popcorn. Not just for herself, however. She was polite and liked to share...

I know there are photos of Restaurant Marrakesh (there was a belly dancer) and Pizza Planet, but they are hiding right now. Don't worry, if I find them, I'll show you.

Last edited by dawnmichele; 09-09-2012 at 04:27 PM. Reason: fixed broken image links
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:08 PM   #6
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So cool seeing those old pics! Looking forward to reading more!
Jen & Rob's Not-So-Scary Deluxe Dining Report

October 1998 - First Visit
September 2008 - Honeymoon, Polynesian
September 2009, 2010, 2012 - Anniversary, Polynesian
December 2012 & 2014 - at the Polynesian
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Old 09-09-2012, 04:20 PM   #7
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The Magic Kingdom

I'm going to go park by park and talk about the restaurants I want to check out and what I think we'll try when we're there.
I'll start with the Magic Kingdom because it's my favorite!

Main Street Bakery:
I ate a lot of good food on my last trip to the World, but one of the things I think about often is a tasty cheese danish I had here for breakfast on the last morning of my visit. I paired it with an iced coffee of some sort and it was delicious. There's no doubt I'll be trying one again on this trip. Maybe Friday morning, during morning extra magic hours. Or maybe I'll wait until our last morning again.

So delicious!

New Fantasyland

They are ever so graciously opening the new Fantasyland Expansion just as we arrive. There's no way I can pass up trying out the new places to eat there. Not so much for the food, but I really just want to check these places out to see it with my own eyes. I think they might look spectacular.

The Be Our Guest menu doesn't really appeal to any of us, especially for dinner. So when ADRs were nearly impossible to get, I didn't try too hard before I gave up. We'll try it for lunch. I'll probably have the Carved Turkey Sandwich or a Vegetable Quiche. If it's chilly, maybe I'll try the Potato Leek soup instead. I'll guess DX will try the Grilled Steak Sandwich, and the DD might go for that as well. I think we can pass up all their desserts. I think this seems like a good place to share something, because I don't think any of us will be in love with the choices. If it's super crowded, we could easily skip this one.

And Gaston's Tavern? Well, I hope we want to grab something there, but who knows since they haven't given many clues to the menu. Maybe we'll all take a taste of Le Frou's Brew. I'll wait until I read some reviews to decide.

Liberty Tree Tavern
None of us have eaten here before. I really never even really thought about it until reviews here made it sound (and look) so good. It's just the kind of food DX loves, so I thought we should check it out.. We have 4:20 reservations here on our 5th day. I predict DX will pick the New England Pot Roast… Our Tavern Keeper's Favorite. DD might choose the Lamb Stew, or maybe the Pork Sandwich. Personally, I am torn between the Colony Salad (apples, pecans, cheese, cranberries, and chicken!) and the Freedom Pasta (chicken, mushrooms, veg and cream sauce). I have no idea what will win out. Dessert will be easy - Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake. After all the glowing reviews and appetizing photos I've seen here, how could I not?

Cosmic Ray's
DD wants to eat here. She liked it a lot last time. I thought it was kinda average and too crowded, but we'll need some counter service at the MK so I bet we'll stop here. DD and DX will probably go for burgers. Last time I had a Chicken Caesar Salad, but now that I've seen pictures of the Turkey sandwich here, I think I'll go for that.

My Caesar Salad from our last trip.

My brother's burger. He loves the pickles.

Pecos Bill's
DD and I ate there last time and if we're hungry in that part of the park, this will be a great choice. The meat lovers will go for some kind of a burger and I think I'd try the taco salad.

DD's burger and fries from last time.

My veggie burger. Hooray for the mushrooms on the fixin's bar!

Pinocchio Village Haus
We ate here in the early 90s and did not like it. I took a look at their menu and it's totally different now. It could be crowded because it's next to the FLE, but the Caprese Flatbread and the Mediterranean salad look good to me! I think DX would enjoy the Meatball sandwich and the DD could choose anything.

Sleepy Hollow
If we're looking for breakfast at the MK, we might share a nutella and fresh fruit waffle sandwich. It sounds great to at least me and DD. If it's later in the day, the DD and/or DX would probably go for a funnel cake.

Tortuga Tavern & Eggroll Wagon
These are two places I would love to try that have never been open when I'm there. Nachos. Burritos with cilantro rice. Yum. I guess I'll have to wait until I can make a trip at a different time of year.

A note about Dole Whips
I know these are all the rage for fans of this board, but I don't like citrus, so I assume I would not enjoy these. I might suggest DD & DX try one. Especially if DD has low blood sugar and is in need of a boatload of quick carbs.

Oh my goodness! This has made me so hungry I have to run upstairs for a snack!

Last edited by dawnmichele; 09-09-2012 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:14 PM   #8
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That burger was GREAT (the pickles were good too)!

Keep the Liberty Tree Tavern ADR. You will really like it.
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:23 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by murmkc View Post
Keep the Liberty Tree Tavern ADR. You will really like it.

Yes! I'm excited about it. I know DX will love it. DD will probably dig it, too, so I think it will be a big win all around.
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:13 PM   #10
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Epcot! Part 1

There are a lot of great restaurants all over Walt Disney World, but as far as food in the parks goes, Epcot easily wins for having the best places to eat.

It's all because of World Showcase of course. All those interesting flavors in one place! I've heard the argument that you can get more tasty and authentic ethnic food in almost any medium sized city, and I can't really disagree with that. I think it's the way you can eat it all right at Disney where it's magically themed and beautiful and right in the middle of the rides and excitement that make eating there such a treat! (And the magic. Disney magic helps too.)

First I'm just going to talk about restaurant food. I think snacks an beverages at Epcot are so good they deserve their own section. I'll start in Future World, since that's where we usually enter the park.

Future World isn't full of a lot of great food and in the past we've just waited til we made it to the World Showcase to eat, but I have read a lot of good reports about Sunshine Seasons. I kind of think we tried something here in the early 90s, and I kind of think we didn't like it. But we have changed a lot since then, and so might have they. So if we find ourselves wandering where to eat at Epcot sometime when we've tried our favorites, we'll probably check Sunshine Seasons out. The menu looks pretty tasty. I think DD would love the Mongolian Beef with veggie fried rice. I'd might try to Turkey on Ciabatta, and for the DX - who knows.

Since we all love Mexican food, I am confident we'll grab something from the Cantina de San Angel at least once - probably soon after we show up on our first day. Everything on that menu (except the chicken nuggets) looks good to me. I'm hoping someone will share something with me so we can all try more things. The nachos, both kinds of tacos, the cheese enchilada - I'd be happy to try them all. And I'm sure that no matter what we all get, we'll try some guacamole. We rarely pass up guacamole.

On Sunday (our 4th day), we have an early lunch reservation at San Angel Inn. We've eaten there each of our Disney trips so far and loved it each time. We have high hopes for this lunch.

I don't remember what we had on our first two trips, but I know on the last one I had the Pollo las Rajas and loved them. I will have them again. Chicken, red peppers, white sauce and onions. Yum. I don't remember what DD had last time, but she loved it as well. When it comes to choices for her and DX, I have no guess, but whatever they get I think they'll like it.

Full disclosure: I should admit here that last time we ate at SAI, I was a little tipsy. I'm not usually a drinker but with the encouragement of my brother and his girlfriend, I kicked back a few before dinner. First my brother took me to the Cava de Tequila and then we visited the frozen margarita stand where I had the best frozen mango margarita ever. We were all having a really good time and that could have easily have effected my memories of dinner there.

I didn't take pictures of our plates. I blame the alcohol. But I did take some pictures.

The Tequila Cave

Meeting Donald right before the frozen mango treat.

I think you can tell from this picture of us waiting for our table I might have had a little too much.

I do have to say that the sauce/salsa they serve with the chips leaves a lot to be desired. It is not really so good. I prefer mine with onion and cilantro. But I have faith that the tasty entree (and the margaritas) will help us all overlook that.

It's really pretty in there, and I think we had a great view. As everyone says, it's a little too dark but I think the ambience is great.

Next post: Tangerine Cafe, Memories of Restaurant Marrakesh and Le Cellier!
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:37 PM   #11
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Love, love, love your looks back to the past. What a fabulous idea.

I've never seen those Hollywood & Vine characters before. So much better than the Disney Jr. characters! I live in hope that someday soon they'll switch back to something that grown ups can enjoy.
First visit >> Oct 2010 - Age 26!
Visit #2 >> Nov 2013 - POR
Visit #3 >> Nov 2014 - Pop
Visit #4 >> Oct 2015 - We're getting married!

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Old 10-28-2012, 12:23 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by partyof2 View Post
Love, love, love your looks back to the past. What a fabulous idea.

I've never seen those Hollywood & Vine characters before. So much better than the Disney Jr. characters! I live in hope that someday soon they'll switch back to something that grown ups can enjoy.
Thank you so much! One of my favorite things about taking Disney vacations over the years is the way it lets you walk down memory lane!

Those two different breakfasts at Hollywood & Vine were SO full of fantastic characters! It was great. I don't know why they don't realize what a great idea it is, I think people would really dig it. I love character meals, but it just doesn't seem like there's a lot of variety in them. I'm a character lover though, so maybe I'm the only one...
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Old 10-30-2012, 02:47 PM   #13
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Epcot! Part 2

I left off in Mexico last time, which isn't very far at all into the World Showcase. In fact it's the first stop. But it's a good stop. Maybe that's why I stopped there.


On our trip in 96, one of our few TS meals was at Restaurant Marrakesh. We enjoyed it and loved the bellydancer and bellydancing music. In fact one of my few souvenirs from that trip is a cd full of bellydanding music. Not that I was about to start bellydancing myself, but I dig listening to the music.

I didn't take any pictures of the food back then, because I guess in the mid 90s I didn't realize anybody would ever want to see a picture of food, even myself. What was I thinking (or not thinking)? Silly. I did take a couple pictures though.

My daughter loved the music so much, she had to stand on her chair and dance along. I made her sit down, but not before I took a quick picture. There's a bit of food in that picture. She was enjoying the Moroccan bread.

And then there's me, kicked back after the meal. I was quite full. I had something with chicken and couscous.

I know there's a picture of the dancer somewhere, but of course when I'm looking for it I can't find it.

Back then, I wasn't aware of the counter service Tangerine Cafe (or maybe it wasn't there). This time I can't wait to try it! I will be having the Chicken Shawarma platter. I love chicken shawarma and hummus is one of my top 5 foods. I am expecting to love it.

Le Cellier

I know this is a controversial restaurant, at least here on the dis boards. I am pretty middle of the road (maybe because I've only eaten there once). I don't think of it as food paradise, but I very much enjoyed my meal there. DD liked it even more.

When we went in 2010, my brother strongly suggested we have a dinner there while it was still a 1 credit dinner. He (and his DVC lady) hooked us up with some reservations. I don't know if it was easy or difficult.

I don't remember what section we were seated in, but this is what it looked like. I sat at a long bench, and DD had the chair across from me.

We were looking forward to the bread. I had read all about it. The pretzel bread wasn't my favorite though. I think the seedy one was.

I had the fillet. I love both risotto and mushrooms. I knew it would be delicious, and I was right.

Hannah had something else, I think the New York Strip Steak.

We also split a side of delis grilled asparagus.

The whole meal was fantastic. In fact, DD declared it to be the best meal she had ever eaten in her entire life.

So we had a good experience and that's a good reason to go back. Also, DX and DD are both big time steak lovers. Since we're paying OOP this trip, we decided to grab a lunchtime reservation.

The first time I called for ADRs, I couldn't get a lunch spot at LC on any day of our trip. But I was diligent about checking back at least once a day, and before too long I was typing in my credit card info for a 2:00 reservation on Tuesday, the 6th day of our trip.

I know I'm having the fillet again and I'm betting DD will as well. I'll suggest DX get a steak of some kind but he might want to try a burger. I'm going to try a cup of the cheese soup this time since everyone gets all swoony about it. I hope I love it.

So there are the Epcot restaurants I think we'll go for. But there are still so many snack and drink options! I'll tell you all about them next time.
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