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Old 02-20-2011, 03:44 PM   #211
The_Aviator
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auntfrannie View Post
It's sad that your reviews are coming to an end! I've enjoyed checking in every day to see your posts. One question though. You mentioned that you purchased 2 refillable mugs. I thought all of the dining plans included a free mug per person? At least any plan I've been on it's been included. So I'm just wondering if they have different plans when you're an international traveler.

Thanks so much for your dedication in keeping up with your daily updates!
This system has changed now. You only receive a mug on the QSDP and the DxDDP (And I guess you would receive it on those really expensive plans too), but no mug on the regular DDP. I think this stopped perhaps one or two years ago? Not too sure.

I'm not sure what the international situation is, as far as I know it's only the UK that get their own deals for travel, in Australia we have to book through the US site and pay with US dollars, not such a bad thing considering our awesome exchange rate!

So perhaps when you take the DDP on your next trip you will have to purchase the mug.

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Originally Posted by darthtatty View Post
thanks for great reviews, ive enjoyed reading them

I must remember the tip about just getting 2 large drinks and then a bottled drink for the other meal.
Thanks for reading! I think the drinks tip is one of my favourites because TBH you still get plenty of drink with your meal and you've got some water to have later on instead of having to spend a snack credit on it!

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Originally Posted by sjs314 View Post
Your conclusion on the DDP and it's cost vs value was great, fine job with the math. I had to smile reading about your first "real" breakfast. We are doing the DxDP which seems like it is going to be so much food but we are "Breakfast" people when on vacation and love to start our day with a nice TS breakfast and we want to try so many new places this trip mostly in Epcot for lunch or dinner we will be doing our best to eat 3 meals a day.
DH can really put the food away but me not so much so should be interesting. We have never done the DP before at all so looking forward to having it all pre-paid and just paying tips during the trip. No looking at the prices and feeling guilty if I want to order one of the more expensive items.
Thank You for all the great reviews !
3 meals a day?!?! Wow you're scaring me too!

Have you considered perhaps doing just two meals, a TS brekkie/early lunch and then one of those signature 2TS places for dinner on some of the days as a bit of a reprieve? I think if we did the DxDDP that's all we could handle!

And it really does feel liberating to be able to go into a restaurant and just choose whatever you want no matter what the price. This was probably my favourite part, as I would rarely go for the most expensive option if not for the DDP. The only problem was afterwards when we went to Las Vegas and Mexico, I found myself looking at the expensive options again but no DDP there!

And thanks for reading!

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Originally Posted by shera View Post
Thank you for the great reviews.You have given us so many wonderful tips.I loved your report.
Thanks for reading!
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Old 02-20-2011, 06:12 PM   #212
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I've so enjoyed your reviews and photos and have been lurking for the entire report. Thank you so much for posting it; great job!
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Old 02-20-2011, 06:17 PM   #213
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Great !!!!!! I mean Great!!!!! breakdown of the cost! Thank you for taking the time and effort of completing this task and sharing it! It really makes one think of where the savings might be for each family!

I really enjoyed your reviews! Hope to see more in the future.

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Old 02-20-2011, 09:38 PM   #214
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Loved your fuzzy Disney math!

I go through fuzzy Disney dining planning every Disney trip. We have done trips with the DDP, without and with the TIW card. And every year I rack my brain trying to do the math on which is more cost effective for my family and every year I determine it's a wash. BUT, my DH loves the convenience of the DDP and having everything paid for upfront, so we'll probably DDP it again for our Dec. 2011 trip.
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Old 02-20-2011, 09:56 PM   #215
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Thank you for taking the time to write this review. I've been reading dining reviews a long time. This is one of the most informative and entertaining I've read. Great job! I'm looking forward to your family's next trip to WDW.
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:32 AM   #216
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarheel Tink View Post
I've so enjoyed your reviews and photos and have been lurking for the entire report. Thank you so much for posting it; great job!
Thanks for reading!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinker12 View Post
Great !!!!!! I mean Great!!!!! breakdown of the cost! Thank you for taking the time and effort of completing this task and sharing it! It really makes one think of where the savings might be for each family!

I really enjoyed your reviews! Hope to see more in the future.

Thanks for reading!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Disneyland_Mama View Post
Loved your fuzzy Disney math!

I go through fuzzy Disney dining planning every Disney trip. We have done trips with the DDP, without and with the TIW card. And every year I rack my brain trying to do the math on which is more cost effective for my family and every year I determine it's a wash. BUT, my DH loves the convenience of the DDP and having everything paid for upfront, so we'll probably DDP it again for our Dec. 2011 trip.
You're right, it really can be quite close! But overall I think the DDP is pretty good to have.

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Originally Posted by SweetSpot View Post
Thank you for taking the time to write this review. I've been reading dining reviews a long time. This is one of the most informative and entertaining I've read. Great job! I'm looking forward to your family's next trip to WDW.
I'm glad that you enjoyed the reviews!
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:52 AM   #217
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Some eats at DtD :)

With no theme park tickets and no real desire to leave WDW we decided to get out of the CSR for a while and head down to DtD.

While we were there DD picked up a Margarita from Cap'n Jack's Margarita Bar. From the name I'm guessing that it is related to the Cap'n Jack's restaurant (which as far as I know is the only Disney owned restaurant at DtD?) but you don't need to go into the restaurant or anything, it's actually on the pier pretty much right opposite the Disney's Pin Traders shop.

The receipt says 1800 Margarita so I'm guessing that means it had 1800 Tequila in it. It cost $9.75 and it was a real Margarita made in front of Dad at the bar, not that frozen stuff! Sorry, I've got no pic but it was just a standard-sized drink. He did like it though!

While DD was having his drink I decided to get a sandwich from Earl of Sandwich, since it's a place I haven't visited before. The restaurant is quite large and they have a huge variety of sandwiches as well as a huge variety of salads, all for about $6ea! They also have some kids ones, which were a little cheaper and smaller.

For those who haven't been there before, at EoS they pride themselves on having freshly baked artisan bread for their sandwiches and all the fillings are meant to be fresh or cooked onsite. It took a really long time to decide what I wanted (which is unusual for me, usually I know what I will have within about thirty seconds of reading the menu! ) but I eventually settled on The Earl's Club ($5.99), which had roasted turkey, smoked bacon, aged Swiss cheese, lettuce, roma tomatoes and some of their sandwich sauce. If you don't like the sound of this don't worry, they have a massive selection including flavours from around the world as well as various meats and veggies so I'm sure you will be able to find something that you'll like!

Basically after paying for your meal at the first counter on the left, your sandwich is passed down an assembly line where they fill it, toast it, cut it etc until it's finally wrapped, bagged and handed to you at the end of the line. Sort of like Subway I guess!

Here's a pic! It's not that great though, I really should have taken a side on one or opened it or something!



I ate outside where DM, DS and DD were sitting, although they had plenty of tables in the restaurant and also... free Wi-Fi!

The sandwich was very good. The bread tasted fresh and the whole thing was nice and warm. There was a fair amount of filling inside and since it's cut in half, if you were just looking for a quick, small snack it could very easily be shared within two people. I usually don't differentiate between sandwiches, but this one was definitely very good!

I think at $6 this is a very good OOP lunch for those visiting WDW. For those paying OOP I highly recommend visiting. On the DDP I would probably never go there, especially when Wolfgang Puck Express is virtually next door and you can get more food and more value out of a credit there, but OOP this really is a cheap and cheerful lunch that I reckon everyone would enjoy. My overall recommendation is that you should go, but please don't waste a CS credit on it

Cost:

1 sandwich, 1 margarita
Bill Total - $16.13 ($9.75 for the margarita, $6.38 for the sandwich)

Also after returning to the CSR we picked up a pack of Nacho Cheese Doritos for $3.99 at Panchito's.

NEXT UP: Dinner at the Maya Grill!
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Old 02-21-2011, 05:53 AM   #218
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Your sandwich sounds really good! EOS is another place I've been curious to try, glad you enjoyed it!
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:59 AM   #219
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So glad to read a review of the EoS Club since that is what I would probably order! I really want to try EoS, but with WPE right there, it's hard to justify going there. Maybe we'll make it in Oct!

Sorry your reviews are winding down, I've really enjoyed them!
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Old 02-21-2011, 02:46 PM   #220
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Really enjoyed reading about all of your dining experiences!! Thanks for taking all the pics, too!
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Old 02-22-2011, 03:56 AM   #221
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Originally Posted by Stringbean&Wingnut View Post
Your sandwich sounds really good! EOS is another place I've been curious to try, glad you enjoyed it!
It was good! Thank's for reading!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wdwfanatic316 View Post
So glad to read a review of the EoS Club since that is what I would probably order! I really want to try EoS, but with WPE right there, it's hard to justify going there. Maybe we'll make it in Oct!

Sorry your reviews are winding down, I've really enjoyed them!
It sounds like you feel the same way I do about EoS and WPE, perhaps just pay OOP for a sandwich!

And I'm glad you've enjoyed the reviews!

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Really enjoyed reading about all of your dining experiences!! Thanks for taking all the pics, too!
Thanks for reading!
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Old 02-22-2011, 04:29 AM   #222
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It must have been good to have gone twice! - Maya Grill

We decided to have a TS dinner on this night to see what things would be like without the dining plan. We only decided in the morning and although we considered a few DtD places, we ended up deciding that we should go to the Maya Grill again since we all enjoyed it so much. Luckily we were able to get a reservation for 7:30pm!

We arrived at the restaurant on time for our reservation and it only took a few minutes to be seated. They offered us some tables which were not very good, but they were very accomodating and gave us the table we had sat at on our previous visit.

Our server was Keith. He was a good server in his own right, but it was always going to be an uphill battle to beat the service provided by Abdel on our previous visit. Keith explained the bread and chimichurri to us (which Abdel did not BTW) and was overall very pleasant. I suppose it is safe to say that you will have a good service experience if you get either of these two waiters.

I hope you don't mind me recycling the menu and bread photos from the previous visit! I can assure you they looked exactly the same . And these will be the only recycled pictures, the rest will be new!







To drink we all decided to just get some ice water, since we had had plenty of soft drinks over the course of the trip so far and we just needed a bit of a reprieve! Dad also got a glass of the Blackstone Merlot, the same one he got on the previous visit ($9).

For the entrees both DM and DS got the Shrimp Tacos, which DS had already had on the previous visit ($24). DD went with the Broiled Chicken Breast with a Piquant Mole Sauce, potato and vegetable hash ($22). I ordered the Chipotle Kobe style Burger with American Wagyu beef, chipotle sauce, aged Vermont cheddar cheese and French fries ($17). DD also ordered an appetiser, the Pulled Pork Empanadas with Chipotle cream sauce ($10).

Sorry, but I didn't get around to taking a picture of the empanadas! If I remember, it came with perhaps three or four of them and I think DM, DD and DS shared it. It was very good, and not something that we get to have in Australia.

Eventually the mains were brought out.

Shrimp Tacos



Broiled Chicken Breast



And last but not least, the Burger!



DM and DS liked the Shrimp Tacos. They tasted the same as the previous visit and the serving was fairly generous. DS wasn't able to finish all of hers so I got to try one, and I can personally vouch that it was very good!

DD liked his chicken, but I don't think it compared to the NY Strip Steak he had earlier for example. He finished it, but I think if we were to visit again he would probably opt for the steak instead.

I for one enjoyed my burger immensely. Firstly, it was great that I was finally able to try a TS-style burger in order to make a bit of a comparison between the TS stuff and CS stuff. Secondly, I jumped for joy to see that the chips weren't French fries, but good British-style chips! I suppose I was starting to feel a bit homesick . The burger itself was very good with a premium bun, lettuce, a large patty, crispy onions, beautiful melted cheese and of course the chipotle sauce to finish it off. The burger didn't require the ketchup and mustard provided, but I used the sauces for the chips. Don't let the pic fool you, this was a large meal even for me! I would recommend it to anyone visiting the Maya Grill, although I think it would be a bit of a credit waste especially when you can get a dish for as much as $14 more! So my overall recommendation is that the burger is great to get if you're paying OOP but if you're on the Dining Plan and looking to make value, this probably isn't your best option

So this was our final TS meal. We didn't have any desserts or anything afterwards but we were still very full after the meal. It also proved that our previous experience at the Maya wasn't just a fluke, and they really do produce top food and top service on a regular basis. I stand by my earlier comments that this is the type of place that you should really go out of your way to visit, if you can make it there without too much difficulty I think you will discover that it was worthwhile. I think it's really great (for us, not so much the restaurant ) that ressies can be picked up on the day and they would probably do walk-ins fairly quickly too, which makes this place perfeect if you've planned a last minute trip for example and couldn't get many ADRs or you just like to live 'on the edge' . I think we got pretty good value out of our meal even paying OOP so DDP or no DDP, we would most likely visit the Maya Grill on our next visit too.

Cost:

4 entrees, 1 appetiser, 1 glass of wine
Bill Total - $112.89 (avg. $28.22ea)

Also after the meal, DD went to the Pepper Market and picked up a cookie with chocolate chunks ($2.75). This was a massive cookie and there was plenty of sizeable chunks of chocolate embedded in it. Since we just wanted this to takeaway, to avoid the service charge you ask for a "to-go" ticket, which I think was a different colour and allows you to pick up whatever you want and pay at the cashier without incurring the 10% charge. The rest of us didn't want anything so it was just the one cookie.

Bill Total - $2.93

NEXT UP: It really is coming to an end folks, one more review (with three small parts) to go and then it's all over . After that I'll be adding some further DDP analysis (and a summary of best values, worst values etc) and then a complete conclusion
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:42 AM   #223
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Man those shrimp tacos look sooooo good. We have visited over at the Pepper Market and stuff, never stayed there, but it looks to be a beautiful resort. I told my DH that we need to try dinner there at Maya Grill sometime because of your reviews.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:29 AM   #224
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Thank you so very, very much for your detailed dining report. It's the best one i've read yet!!
We appreciate all the work that went into this.
Now I'm totally hungry and of course have nothing worth while to snack on in the house
I'm glad y'all had a wonderful time. Hopefully this will tie me over til I can go teh 1st week in May
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:07 PM   #225
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I've really enjoyed your dining reviews. You are a terrific writer--thanks for sharing!
I'll be heading to the Coronado in May, and MUST try those shrimp tacos...
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