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Old 06-17-2007, 02:28 PM   #1
apirateslife4us!
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A kid-oriented dining plan!

Hi all! Just back from our first trip and we had a blast! Our dining picks were all with the kids in mind, so no Brown Derby or California Grill this time I love reading these reviews... hopefully I'll be as helpful to someone as all of you have been to me!

We stayed at the Pop for 5 nights and were on the dining plan. The dates were Monday, June 11 through Saturday, June 16. Here we are:

Myself, aka Daisy
...loves a good time and getting pampered; gets quacked at a lot by Donald!

DH, aka Donald
...lovable and funny; short-tempered but shhh, don't tell him that!

DD5, aka Tinker Bell
...feisty and sweet; fun-loving but get her mad and watch out!

DS2, aka Peter Pan
...fast and daring and very charming; nothing gets rid of his smile!


Up for review in table service:
Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater (Mon June 11 @ 7:15pm dinner) Page 1
Crystal Palace (Tue June 12 @ 10:25am breakfast) Page 2
'Ohana (Wed June 13 @ 5:25pm dinner) Page 3
Akershus (Thur June 14 @ 4:30pm dinner) Page 4
Chef Mickey's (Fri June 15 @ 11:00am breakfast) Page 4


And in counter service:
Pizza Planet (Mon June 11 @ 11:30am lunch) Page 1
Columbia Harbor House (Tue June 12 @ 7:30pm dinner) Page 3
Flame Tree BBQ (Wed June 13 @ 12pm lunch) Page 3
Casey's Corner (Fri June 15 @ 6:30pm dinner) Page 5
Electric Umbrella (Sat June 16 @ 12pm lunch) Page 5
Pop Century Breakfast (various) and one to go dinner (Sat June 16 around 4pm)


A few notable snacks:
Dole pineapple whip
Sleepy Hollow funnel cakes

I'll get these up soon, if there's anything in particular you want to know just ask!!
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Old 06-17-2007, 03:08 PM   #2
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Look forward to the review! We are also eating for the 4 year old during our 4 night trip in November, although we are taking him to Neverland Club one evening and going to Le Cellier without him!
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Old 06-17-2007, 03:20 PM   #3
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Looking forward to reading more
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Old 06-18-2007, 09:54 AM   #4
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Day 1: Lunch at Pizza Planet

Hi, thanks for reading! I hope this helps or at least isn't totally boring

Rating System Explained
The rating system is based on a family with kids, this being a kid-oriented dining review… there aren’t going to be any “the place was too loud” comments, because that’s how kid-oriented places tend to get (or maybe I’ve been to McDonald’s playlands and Chuck E. Cheese too often!!), just please assume it was loud and rambunctious unless otherwise noted. The “Kid Rating” should be pretty self-explanatory, but a little clarification on the “Parent Rating”. This is based on how the place accommodated parents… not necessarily adults or parents traveling solo, but parents or adults with children in their immediate charge while in the World. So for example, if the Parent Rating for atmosphere is four stars, that doesn’t mean it’s a four star place for adults, it means it’s a four star place for parents, meaning that as a parent it entertained my kid in a safe way and I found it easy to get what I needed, or something like that! I hope that makes sense, anyway, away we go!

Pizza Planet (Disney-MGM Studios)
Lunch (11:30am)


Food-
Kid Rating: * * * * *
Parent Rating: * * * *

Atmosphere-
Kid Rating: * * * * *
Parent Rating: * * * *

Would we come back?:

Kids: Oh yes!
Parents: Only with the kids!

This was our first meal of the trip! We hadn't eaten anything since we changed planes at 7:30am and we were hungry! So with our meal credits ready and waiting on our room keys, we set out to find Pizza Planet. It’s a little tricky for a first-timer to find, but we found it with a CM’s help. There is no kid’s meal here, so here's what we ordered:

Tink and Peter shared: cheese pizza combo, mickey crispy treat, large lemonade

Donald: veggie pizza combo, chocolate chip cookie, large Coke

Me: Pepperoni pizza combo, chocolate chip cookie, water bottle

Food Details
Each combo is a personal size pizza cut in four and comes with a side salad, which was fresh. The kids love pizza, and this was really good pizza, not greasy and really well seasoned. Tink even ate the crust! So the five stars is a no-brainer from the kids. As a mom I’ve had my share of pizza and this was very good, I loved the sauce. I give the food only four stars because it would be nice to have something besides a salad as a side item for the kids, like carrot sticks or apple slices. Tink eats salad, but Peter won’t touch the stuff, and it would have been nice to offer another healthy, kid-friendly side.

Atmosphere Details

The place is an arcade and the kids LOVED the atmosphere, so five stars for sure. Definitely eat upstairs where there are minimal games because then your kids can focus on eating their food (this was well-thought out by Disney, bonus points!) For parents I give it four stars… bathrooms were clean, condiments easy to get, I loved the upstairs area so the kids didn’t go bonkers while eating. I also loved being able to escape the heat for a bit and let them play while Donald and I took turns watching over them, looked at maps, went to the bathroom, etc. But one star was knocked off because you have to spend money on the arcade games, a minimal thing and this only affects families traveling on a very tight budget like ours!

Other Details
The cookies were really big, we saved those, and also saved the water bottle and the crispy treat for later (I shared the large Coke and lemonade). Donald and I finished our salads and he ate his whole pizza. I could only eat half the pizza, it was really good but after the salad and Peter’s crust, two slices was enough for me. The kids didn’t eat the salad (Tink had maybe three bites of mine), and each had only one piece of pizza, which didn’t surprise me since they were big… this was our first lesson in Disney counter service and from here on out we only ordered two adult counter service meals and decided afterward whether we were hungry enough for more food (we never were!). Rather than throw away what was essentially a whole pizza, we asked for a container and saved it for a snack later. The kids did each eat a slice later on that afternoon so that was good. We also tried saving the salad but with the heat it became gross real quick so we ended up tossing it.

The Final Word
This was great! It will be our Disney Studios counter service of choice until the kids grow out of it Next time we'll split two meals and see if we need a third.
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Old 06-18-2007, 11:59 AM   #5
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Nice review so far!! Keep up the good work
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Old 06-18-2007, 12:07 PM   #6
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Wonderful, thanks for the pizza planet review. We are thinking of trying it for DD as it seems really limited on Cs at MGM.
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Old 06-18-2007, 12:48 PM   #7
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Great start to your reviews. I will be paying attention as we are taking our 5yo to WDW for the first time in April and so will be looking for more child (and parent) friendly places
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Old 06-18-2007, 02:13 PM   #8
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This will be great - we are going with almost 4yo dd in November. I've tried to pick kid-friendly restaurants for the most part.... I will be anxious to read the rest of your report!
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Old 06-18-2007, 02:53 PM   #9
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I am looking forward to this as this is the first time our DD will be at Disney!
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Old 06-18-2007, 03:43 PM   #10
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Great review!
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Old 06-18-2007, 10:43 PM   #11
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Loving it. Can't wait for more.
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Old 06-19-2007, 12:05 AM   #12
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Just what I needed!

[QUOTE=apirateslife4us!;19245634]Hi all! Just back from our first trip and we had a blast! Our dining picks were all with the kids in mind, so no Brown Derby or California Grill this time I love reading these reviews... hopefully I'll be as helpful to someone as all of you have been to me!

Glad you guys had a great trip! Thanks for sharing your kid-oriented reviews! I am taking my kids on their 4th trip this Sept., but I am doing it solo so I will be focusing on kid friendly places and doing some character meals. We are on the DDP for the first time and can't wait to try some new things!!!
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Old 06-19-2007, 12:29 AM   #13
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Enjoying your reviews--nice to see one aimed at families. We'll be in WDW in January with our 3 girls--4, 8, 10--so I look forward to your reviews. Thank you for taking the time to do it!
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Old 06-19-2007, 10:31 AM   #14
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Day 1: Dinner at Sci-Fi!

Hi all, thanks for the positive feedback!! I really hope this helps some of you out Okay, so on to Sci-Fi

Sci-Fi Dine In Theater (Disney-MGM Studios)
Dinner (7:15pm)


Food-
Kid Rating: * * * *
Parent Rating: * * * * *

Atmosphere-
Kid Rating: * * * * *
Parent Rating: * * * *

Would we come back?
Kids: Yes!
Parents: Yes, but I wouldn’t mind trying something different (I think the kids will win out though, they REALLY liked it)

We technically missed this ADR! It looked super busy in the lobby and we were late but thanks to CM Michael and some Disney magic we got the coveted light-up pager! Also, despite our tardiness, we had less than a five-minute wait from when I checked in, and everyone was super friendly and welcoming.

What we ordered:

Tink and Peter shared: Beef and macaroni meal (asked to substitute the sundae instead of fruit salad for dessert, and they gave them both anyway!) with a chocolate milk for each.

Donald: Spinach and artichoke dip, shrimp penne pasta, flavored cherry Coke, warm apple pecan crisp.

Me: The same as Donald except I had ice cream for dessert

Food Details

Our waiter explained that Peter, being under 3, would get a complimentary drink, and that any non-alcoholic drinks except the glowing ones were included on the dining plan. It was tempting to get milkshakes, but we wanted to save room for dessert. The flavored cherry Cokes were very sweet and yummy. The spinach artichoke dip was SO GOOD, one of my favorite foods of the whole trip! Since Tink wanted the beef macaroni meal, the appetizer was actually the veggies... I wish I would have asked to have the veggies brought out with our appetizers (it was served as a side dish on her plate later) because the kids were hungry and wanted to eat while we did. We gave them some of the corn chips that came with the dip, but our kids eat slowly and it just made the meal that much longer to have all their food brought at once. Once the entrees came we were happily surprised to see that they brought out a complimentary meal for Peter! Also, they included the fruit salad and told us they would still bring them sundaes for dessert as well (despite what the menu said about EITHER fruit or sundaes). After the delicious appetizer I was a bit disappointed with the penne pasta… the sauce seemed a little bland, but the shrimp was delicious and they weren’t skimpy with the shrimp. Donald also felt the sauce was missing something but we both enjoyed the meal. The kids ate most of their fruit, a few bites of veggies, and about half each of their macaroni, so if you go here with two young kids and they don't offer the free meal, still have them share unless your kids are big eaters. As for dessert, Donald loved the apple pecan crisp, and the kids and I loved the ice cream! Winners all around! The kids would give the food four stars, it was good overall but the vegetables were “too hard”, and also they didn’t like waiting for their meal while Mommy and Daddy made yummy noises over their appetizer. As a parent, I give Sci-Fi five stars because there was a lot of variety for the kids, healthy choices, and Sci-Fi was VERY flexible with how the meals and sides were served.

Atmosphere Details
Wow! I had no idea how cool this place was going to be! If you are going to dine here, I highly suggest NOT looking at pictures so you can have the full impact like Donald and I did. Tink jumped right into the car and began “driving”, Peter walked around the car checking out the lights, bumper, asking “Where the wheels? Where the door?” Tink promptly settled down watching movie clips, and she has called this the “movie theater restaurant” ever since. Peter was not interested in the movie clips, he just wanted to check out the car. Hands-down it was five stars in their book! I loved the theming too, and maybe it was the high ceiling or the dimmed lights, but despite being full of kids it was the quietest meal of our whole trip! Very pleasant and it definitely kept the kids entertained. Despite the great atmosphere, I give it only four stars because it was hard to monitor the kids with the way the seats are. Of course, both kids wanted the front seat, so Donald and I sat behind them, facing their backs. Those of you with two-year-olds might be able to relate, but a meal with Peter requires cutting up of food, poking straws through lids, reminding him to take bites, picking up napkins from the floor, etc etc. At a regular table you sit next to the younger one and take care of business, but sitting behind was a bit tricky. This is a minor issue that will only affect the under age 3 kids, and since three people can sit comfortably across, I ended up moving to the front next to Peter and Tink and everything went fine from then on. He definitely enjoyed the car, so I would do it again, but just sit up front from the get-go (sorry Donald, you’ll have to eat alone back there!). Those of you with older kids, or if the little one is your only child and you can on either side of him, don’t even worry about it!

Other Details

Being that Donald and I aren’t big eaters, we asked the waiter about sharing our TS credit. The waiter said that it was no problem at all, even on the dining plan, but after talking it over we decided not to. We didn’t want to end up with an extra meal credit so there was no point. It turned out to be fine without sharing… the servings here were not enormous, we found them to be as large as most restaurants serve. We probably could have shared the entrée after finishing off our appetizers especially since we were looking forward to dessert, but we weren’t sorry to have our own plates either! Besides, what would we have done with one extra TS credit, especially since the rest of our meals were family style or buffets? If you aren’t a big eater, consider splitting the dinner if you have somewhere else to use TS credits, or if you’re not on the dining plan, but otherwise don’t worry that the servings will be huge or anything.
On another note, I think most kids would really enjoy eating here, even princessy girls like Tink who has zero interest in cars at all, and she still thought it was the coolest thing to eat in a car and watch movies.
Lastly, I’ve read elsewhere that the movie clips repeat too soon, and although towards the end of our meal the clips started over, we still found them entertaining and Tink was actually happy to get to see them again!

The Final Word

We loved this restaurant, more for the experience than for the food, and we don’t imagine it will be our last visit. I wouldn’t mind trying a Fantasmic package elsewhere next time we’re in the Studios, but I doubt the kids will want to miss out on this experience again!

Up next... a Crystal Palace breakfast with Pooh and friends!!!

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Old 06-19-2007, 01:35 PM   #15
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Great reviews! It's always nice to see a positive Sci-Fi review. We love it, though I don't think anyone ever believes me when I say how quiet it is in there. It's great for lunch, too, during the hottest part of the day, after a long early morning. It's one of the few places I could easily spend 2 hours and not get antsy!
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