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Old 03-09-2013, 01:05 PM   #17
Really my username should be SarahInOR now
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 581

Let me start off with my benchmarks (as a previous poster commented/requested upstream): I would not eat at Olive Garden or Red Lobster unless I absolutely had to do so.

Here are my thoughts on signature restaurants.

We never do the dining plan but we always use Tables in Wonderland. The food and pace/ambience at a signature are worth the price. We don't find that the prices are that much out of line to what we would pay at home or at another vacation destination.

The ambience is hit or miss; we frankly try to pick times and restaurants where we think there will not be a ton of background noise (ie screaming kids) because part of dining for us is the ambience. We recognize Disney is for family's but it is hard to have a nice dinner with screaming kids throwing food one table over - sorry but that's the truth.

Hands down best signature on property is Victoria and Albert's but it is in a league of its own and I really am not going to compare it to the others.

The Upstairs Dining room at Wolfgang Puck used to be our favorite (because they didn't take dining plan) due to food, ambience, and service. We have not been back since they started taking the dining plan.

For other signatures, we usually stick to resorts (and our favorites in descending order): Jiko, California Grill, Citricos, Artist Point, Narcoossee's.
As a sidenote, Cat Cora's restaurant is way overrated.

We usually try to eat lunch at the Brown Derby.

If peace/quiet/ambience are important, the Swan and Dolphin (they take TiW) give great alternatives. We like BlueZoo but find the background noise to be bothersome. We really like Kimono's, Shula's, and Il Mulino's. Our home resort is the Beach Club and we prefer heading over to Swan and Dolphin for a nice dinner vs eating at beach/yacht/boardwalk.

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..

Last edited by SarahInMN; 03-09-2013 at 01:11 PM.
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