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Old 03-05-2013, 05:52 PM   #1
eeyoresmom
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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?
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:15 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:14 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Pakey View Post
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. 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...
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:30 AM   #4
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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. 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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Old 03-08-2013, 12:16 AM   #5
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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.
LOL! No, no, that was my point. If someone gives a seafood restaurant a great review but also thinks Red Lobster is top notch, then that kind of negates the review for me. The problem is that you have no idea what every reviewer's taste is like so it's a crap shoot most of the time. :\
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzlekins

LOL! No, no, that was my point. If someone gives a seafood restaurant a great review but also thinks Red Lobster is top notch, then that kind of negates the review for me. The problem is that you have no idea what every reviewer's taste is like so it's a crap shoot most of the time. :\
Ohhh got it! Hahaha! Derrrrr
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Old 03-08-2013, 01:29 PM   #7
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I guess I am in the minority here, but I think that the quality of food at the Signature Restaurants is MUCH better than at the non signature restaurants. We always do Deluxe Dinning with a one point TS lunch and a Signature Restaurant at Dinner. I guess everyone has their own opinions, but I would not be willing to give up Signature meals for one point TS meals. Let's face it, regardless if it is CS, TS or Signature, ALL food sold at WDW is very expensive and IMHO not worth it! We put up with it because we are a captive audience and WDW knows it.
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:27 PM   #8
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Well, that is a loaded question. LOL

The signature restaurants are better than the non-signature restaurants, but I have had better food for about half or a third of the cost at Saltgrass, Olive Garden, Mi Cocina or even Chipotle.

The food is better than normal Disney fare in their restaurants, but it is not anything I would make a big deal about personally.
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:02 PM   #9
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We are empty nesters and eat most of our dinners at Signatures. The primary reason IS the Disney Dining Plan (which I never purchase). Because these retaurants require 2 TS, they are not as crowded. I do not have to deal with as many restless tired and cranky children/parents here. The food is better. The service is better. The ambience is normally quieter and calmer. It is normally easier to get an ADR at the times I want also.

We stopped going to LeCellier for several years 1) almost impossible to get ADR 2) the quality did drop when the DDP started. 3) got tired of listening to folks complain about wait times, light level,etc. We have an ADR here for our next trip.

We are trying Bluzoo for the first time this trip.
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:18 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:48 PM   #11
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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!
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:23 AM   #12
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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...... 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.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:56 AM   #13
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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.
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:08 AM   #14
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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.
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:14 PM   #15
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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.
I absolutely agree about the service at Flying Fish. The servers always go above and beyond (we've had dinner here 3 times, always top notch) and the manager always stops by to ask about the meal. The food is fantastic.

That said, the comparison with regard to atmosphere is true. I didn't find the tables to be too close together, but the noise level is slightly louder compared to say Narcoosees. The later was great too food-wise, but nowhere near the level of wonderful service.
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