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Old 04-03-2013, 07:56 PM   #1
Rivka
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First timer: please check my ADR plans!

We are heading to WDW for the first time in October, which means that our 180 day window is coming right up in a couple of weeks. I'd sure appreciate it if some more seasoned travelers would take a look at my plans. We are staying at POR and getting 7-day non-hopper tickets.

Also, I wanted to have my 40th birthday dinner at the California Grill, but I'm concerned that it may not be open by then. Any suggestions for a comparably special meal? We will be planning to go from dinner to the Magic Kingdom for the MSEP and Wishes, so a monorail hotel or Wilderness Lodge would probably be wisest. I was thinking maybe Artists Point?

10/19: Arrival day. If there's free dining, dinner at Chef Mickey's.
10/20: Epcot. Cape May Clambake for dinner.
10/21: Animal Kingdom. No counter service meals.
10/22: Magic Kingdom. No counter service; BOG for lunch.
10/23: Hollywood Studios. Prime Time Cafe for lunch. If there's free dining, we'll also do the Fantasmic dinner package at either Hollywood & Vine or Mama Melrose.
10/24: Magic Kingdom. Crystal Palace for lunch.
10/25: Epcot. Lunch at Biergarten.
10/26: MY BIRTHDAY! Dinner at California Grill if it's open yet.
10/27: Departure.
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:23 PM   #2
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O'Hana at the Polinesian is a meat fest.
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:37 PM   #3
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Welcome to the disBoards Rivka, and congrats on your fortitude to plan your first trip. Most people don't realize the importance of making Advanced Dining Reservations.

Here are my thoughts... If you are going to be in Epcot your first full day, there is so much to do and so many good restaurants, that I wouldn't take the time to go over to Cape May. Instead I'd recommend Marrakesh, or Coral Reef.
On 10/21 since Animal Kingdom will close early, I recommend you go over to Boma's at Animal Kingdom Lodge. It's our favorite restaurant on property.
10/24 - I've found Crystal Palace is much better for breakfast than for lunch. So either schedule an early breakfast there and that ensures you are already in the park, or go with the latest time for breakfast and then it becomes more like a brunch and you won't need food until dinnertime.
10/26 - Happy Birthday! (My sisters is 10/25). If California Grill isn't open, I'd recommend Artist Point at Wilderness Lodge as my primary recommendation. If the menu doesn't appeal to you, then Citrico's at the Grand Floridian would be my next choice. I find Narcoosee's too overpriced.

If you haven't already, be sure to check out the menus on http://www.allears.net.

OH! And I just realized that you will be there during Epcot Food and Wine Festival (F&W). So there will probably be a lot of "noshing" around the World.

Also, for a week long trip, I build in a "down" day in the middle to just relax and enjoy a water park. It's hard to keep up the energy for continuous duration. Remember "sasmmb's rule #2: We can't do everything". (Rule #1 is Matthew must stay with an adult at all times. Since you don't have a kid named Matthew, feel free to substitute as necessary. )
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:42 PM   #4
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I agree ^^, stay at epcot for dinner on your full day. there are SO many yummy choices, and all are better than cape may in my opinion. I hope you get free dining and have a GREAT bday!
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:08 PM   #5
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Ditto the suggestion for dinner at Boma on your AK day! It's our favorite.

We celebrated my 40th at the Cali Grill about that time last year and it was wonderful. If you are able to go, bring light sweaters in case it's cool outside for the fireworks. We froze!

We haven't eaten at Artists Point but have stayed at the Wilderness Lodge and it is a beautiful resort to walk around.

Ditto the suggestion to also plan in some "down" time. By your first MK day you will be tired if you have gone non-stop, so don't plan a table service (you did mean no table service in your description, right? you say no counter service) dinner for that night (as you haven't).

We haven't eaten there for dinner, only breakfast, but I'd keep your Cape May ADR since BC/YC is a nice area to walk around (you might want to check out the Boardwalk across the way, too) and you have a second EP day.

Your plan sounds great. Make sure you get a birthday pin (you can get it on day 1 and wear it every day!).
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:20 AM   #6
Rivka
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Oops! I did mean no table service on those days.

Thanks for the advice! I think I will make a reservation for Artist Point and then watch to see when they start taking California Grill reservations again. I used to live in the Northwest, and I love that style of cooking - plus, I would like to see the Wilderness Lodge.

I have planned some down time every day. The three days we're going to be at a park for an evening show, I'm planning that we'll go back to the hotel for a few hours in the afternoon. We have three early park closing days (AK and two MK days due to MNSSHP), and the touring plans I've been playing with at the Unofficial Guide site have us finishing up each of those days around mid-afternoon. On our second Epcot day we're planning to just do half a day of touring. I know we can't do it all!

I am surprised to see the negativity about Cape May, because I thought that was pretty well thought of. My family are big seafood eaters, and I would love to be able to fill my kids up on crab legs and clams at kid's meal prices. It's just a short walk from Epcot, right? And I was thinking that, being a buffet, it wouldn't take as long as a sit-down restaurant where you wait to be served. But please correct me if my assumptions are wrong!

Boma does look truly fantastic. Must talk to my husband about how much we want to spend on dining...

Thanks again to everyone with suggestions!
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:22 AM   #7
Rivka
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Is Boma considered a signature?
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:29 AM   #8
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I would do Biergarten for dinner: there are some more choices on the dinner buffet. Have fun!!!!
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:34 AM   #9
etail
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivka View Post
Is Boma considered a signature?
I don't think so. Jiko is signature at AKL. Sanaa (Indian) is also very good there. Either is a good choice.

On down days (or AK or waterpark days) I try to arrange a late dinner somewhere that I can watch the fireworks from outside of a park. Even if it is just quick service at Poly or GF you can walkt to the beach at Poly and watch the fireworks (music piped onto the beach) and then boat or monorail to MK for a bus back to POR.

And if you have energy you can still eat at AKL and bus to MK as above and watch fireworks.

I'm not against Cape May but I agree that it takes time out of the park...unless you think you'll need a sensory break.

And I'd make reservations early because if free dining comes out it can fill up.
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivka View Post
Is Boma considered a signature?
No, Boma is not a signature.
I think it is unlikely that you will have free dining during your dates. Food & Wine is going on and it is extremely popular. Free dining is offered as an incentive to fill rooms at slower times of the year. That is not the case while F & W is happening.
I don't think anyone has expressed any negativity about Cape May. We enjoyed our dinner there last May. What folks are trying to tell you is that there is an amazing number of good, unique restaurants in Epcot. All of the International Restaurants of World Showcase are way more special than a hotel dining room like Cape May. But if a seafood buffet is what your family likes, I think you will be very happy eating at Cape May.
Budget some for F & W booth snacks. There are some pretty amazing treats at the booths. Last year we loved the lamb chops in Australia, and the Fisherman's pie in the UK and the spanikopika in Greece and the waffles in Belgium and the ravioli in Italy and the lobster roll in the US and the... You get the idea
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:00 AM   #11
Rivka
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Hmm... in Epcot, would you pick Teppan Edo or Hacienda de San Angel? My husband and I are both pretty adventurous eaters. The kids won't really eat stereotypical "kid food" like burgers, so I try to look for places that have something like grilled chicken or fish on the kids' menu.

I would love Marrakesh, but I'd have trouble feeding the kids there.
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:03 AM   #12
Rivka
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Quote:
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I think it is unlikely that you will have free dining during your dates. Food & Wine is going on and it is extremely popular. Free dining is offered as an incentive to fill rooms at slower times of the year. That is not the case while F & W is happening.
Yeah, we're definitely not counting on it. The last couple of years there has been free dining that week, though, so I want to make reservations based on the possibility even if we wind up canceling them later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopefully View Post
Budget some for F & W booth snacks. There are some pretty amazing treats at the booths. Last year we loved the lamb chops in Australia, and the Fisherman's pie in the UK and the spanikopika in Greece and the waffles in Belgium and the ravioli in Italy and the lobster roll in the US and the... You get the idea
Ohhhh yeah. I've seen pictures. Thanks for the advice!
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:07 AM   #13
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the only reservation I would be iffy with is: Hollywood & Vine or Mama Melrose. I heard both are bad. at studios I love sci fi,primetime 50s & brown derby personally have a blast!
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:13 AM   #14
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We just got back from our first ever Disney trip so I will tell you where we ate that we absolutely loved, and are planning on going for our next trip.

Magic Kingdom area - Ohanas for dinner - Yummy!
Epcot - Chefs de France - Very Good!
Hollywood Studios - 50's Prime Time - Food & Atmosphere were great!
Animal Kingdom - Tusker House Breakfast...one of the best places we ate all week. For a character meal it wasn't too crazy, and the food was awesome!
Downtown Disney - we did T-Rex for my son. The food was good, but it was very loud in there. Probably wouldn't do next time.

I can tell you that we ended up changing one of our reservations and ate at La Hacienda de San Angel. Holy hot & spicy. My son couldn't even eat it. We definitely left food on our plates. After a couple bites their really was no flavor because your mouth was on fire. If you like spicy then this would be the place for you. But I can tell you we definitely wouldn't be going back.

Hope this helps
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:19 AM   #15
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I can tell you that we ended up changing one of our reservations and ate at La Hacienda de San Angel. Holy hot & spicy. My son couldn't even eat it. We definitely left food on our plates. After a couple bites their really was no flavor because your mouth was on fire. If you like spicy then this would be the place for you. But I can tell you we definitely wouldn't be going back.

Hope this helps
We've eaten there and, for this Texan, it was boring for us.
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