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Old 02-08-2008, 10:29 AM   #1
PNO4TE
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Eaters and Drinkers Unite! A September to Remember... UPDATED 9/13

I am not going to change my initial posts because they will show how this trip has evolved. Updates follow over the next page or so...

* * * * * * * *
This is going to be long and if you are not interested in reading my brainstorming, please feel free to skip the rest of this post! My feelings will not be hurt in the least!! Besides, I think this is what you all lovingly call a pre-trip report! So, on with the show...

When and Where: We usually go during the Food & Wine Festival because we like to FoodAndWineAndBeer... This trip we are once again staying at AKL. Dates are September 27-October 1, 2008.

The Eaters and Drinkers: DH (Bob): 58, Disney Veteran because we drafted him and he had no pre-existing conditions that allow him to be exempt. WDW is not his favorite place to be, but he knows it is mine and has found delight in being allowed to spend time alone in the resort reading and downing a few mugs of suds.

Me (Elin): 57, Lover of all Disney Parks and resorts, but especially WDW and all it has to offer. We are celebrating our 35th anniversary on this trip, albeit a couple of months after the fact. We were at DL last year for our 34th and just cannot get away to Florida this year in July. We don’t really WANT to be in Florida in July, but that is another story…

We are AP holders. I have been to WDW more than 50 times. Bob and our DDs, ages 29 and 21 (who are not going this trip), have been more than 30 times.

The Story: I have been playing around with my DlxDDP credits for our trip. I rapidly came to the realization that there are waaaay too many restaurants that we want to try!

Our flight does not get in until 2:50 p.m. on our first day but does not leave until 7:30 on our last day. So that gives us 4 1/2 full days of park/eating time. Since this trip is more about the gastronomic pleasures of WDW restaurants and festivals we will probably be spending more time on the eating and drinking part than on the thrill ride aspect. We are not (at this time) planning any special events at the F&W Festival. I have done many of them in the past but none of the wine pairings or things like Party for the Senseless events would make Bob happy. If the Beermaker's Dinner thing-y happened to be the weekend we are there, I would probably book that for him as a surprise. I, of course, would be “forced” to tag along on that one. Otherwise, if there is something that just jumps out at me when the special events are announced, I would book it for myself and Bob would happily stay at AKL and drink another beer... er... I mean read another book.

I sat down and determined what each of us would probably order to eat at all the restaurants we want to try. I figured the costs using DDE alone and also using the DlxDDP Option with DDE used for add-ons (like any sides or alcohol). We come out about even with our choices so we opted to do the DlxDDP since it will allow us to have pre-paid most of our food costs for the trip. We also debated the new Disney Dine & Wine add-on. But, at $40 a night it is not a smart option for us. There is a set wine list to choose from which changes AND you have to use 2 credits at any signature restaurants. As you will see, those are the bulk of our prospective dinners so I would use up $80 for one bottle of wine and I know I can get a decent wine for a lot less than that.

We have 24 TS/CS credits and 16 snack credits to play with. Snack credit use is a no-brainer... we will use them up easily at the F&W Festival. It is how to utilize those 24 TS/CS credits that is causing the headaches! It will probably come as no surprise to any of you that we are not using them as CS credits!

The Plan: BigBreakfast for Bob every morning. We both love breakfast. For goodness’ sake, 35 years ago we were married at 10:00 a.m. so we could have a sit down breakfast for our reception! So, one TS credit each day will consist of Boma or an appropriate substitute like Kona Café or Spoodles, both of which we also like. We, so far, are not planning lunches. We will haunt the F & W Festival mid-day. Dinner will be a Signature Restaurant most nights, although there are 1 credit locations we also like the sounds of and will happily attach to the ColorCodedMatrixOfFun. Here are the choices we have to work with (the numbers in parentheses are the required credits needed for that meal):

SIGNATURE DINNERS
Citricos (4)
California Grill (4)
Jiko (4)
Yachtsman Steakhouse (4)

TABLE SERVICE DINNERS
Chefs de France (2)
Tutto Italia (2)
Coral Reef (2)
Boma (2)
Spoodles (2)
Kona Café (2)

If you add those up you come to 28 credits. We only have 24 to spend. So we have to whittle away at this list and see what we can do to make this work out. We have never eaten at Citricos or Tutto Italia, so those probably need to stay on the list unless someone has a really good reason to eliminate them. We ate at Jiko last October and it was the best meal of our F&W Fest trip. We usually eat breakfast at the last three restaurants on the list so we will keep them there, untouched.

We have eaten both lunch and dinner at Coral Reef numerous times and have had good/bad service and wait times but always a good meal. It has been 11 or 12 years since we last ate at Chefs de France and we both enjoyed that meal, but our DDs did not, hence the lagtime between visits. Our Christmas Eve 2006 dinner at Yachtsman Steakhouse was one of our best meals ever on WDW property. That brings us to California Grill. This used to be our favorite restaurant. But 5 years ago we had such a bad experience there that we vowed it would be a very long time before we came back. We know that the wait time for a table will still be long (hopefully NOT 3 hours past our reservation time like in December 2002) and the offending server is probably not there anymore. So, we decided to put it on the list this trip and possibly give it another try.

So, you see my puzzle here… what to choose and what to delegate to a waiting list. Any suggestions will be read with care and consideration. But the decision of the two judges will be final. I think…
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"Music... this is the favorite passion of my soul." ~ Thomas Jefferson
‎"Good wine is a necessity of life for me" ~ Thomas Jefferson

In memory of June. 09/04/06. "Keep the board going for me while I'm gone..."

Last edited by PNO4TE; 09-13-2008 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 02-09-2008, 08:34 AM   #2
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Hi Elin,

I'm the first poster (linked from Brenda's current thread) . So nice to see another Disney-crazed DISer from F'burg! And one who is into megaplanning and ADRs (food, Food, FOOD).

We'll be celebrating our 35th anniversary this 9/1 by spending one day at AKL and then taking a 5-day cruise on DCL. Yeah, baby. It's so funny...even after 35 years, sometimes we still feel like newlyweds, especially now that we can vacation w/o kids.

So glad to hear you like the AKL restaurants. We are off to SSR in the am and will be eating at Boma for the first time this week, and I'm hoping to make ADRs for Jiko for 8/31.

Back to your dilemma: Last year we ate at Yachtsman, Cali Grill, and FF. I found that if you don't order steak at the Yachtsman, you probably aren't going to have the optimal dinner (yeah, I ordered ravioli; it was not a good choice). Cali Grill was a nice experience; we didn't have to wait that long, and the food and service were good (although my pork and polenta were a little too salty for my taste). FF was also good, but not quite the spectacular dinner we had there a few years ago. If you have questions, feel free to ask.

Almost forgot to add that we'll be dining at Tutto Italia on 2/14, so I'll have some info on that when we come back.
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Old 02-09-2008, 09:18 AM   #3
PNO4TE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoosGram View Post
Hi Elin,

I'm the first poster (linked from Brenda's current thread) . So nice to see another Disney-crazed DISer from F'burg! And one who is into megaplanning and ADRs (food, Food, FOOD).
Hi, Joanne!

Thanks for coming over and reading.

It is nice to read another Fredericksburger from my age group. There are a few more DISers from Fburg but they are younger than we are. That is not a bad thing at all, but as you say, traveling without the kids is a totally diferent way to go. My DH and I actually did a 12 day trip to California last July for our 34th anniversary and spent 4 days at DL, staying at Disney's Grand Californian. That was a very nice way to take our first real trip sans kids in almost 30 years!

I look forward to hearing about your Tutto experience. I am keeping it on my plan for now, until we get confirmation from WDW and the Patina Group as to what their plans are for the future of this restaurant. While we were in DL Bob and I ate at Catal, which is owned and run by Patina. Joaquim Splichal is a fine chef and restauranteur by my estimation from that one experience, so I look forward to seeing what they come up with for the WDW location.

A few of us here in Fburg occasionally get together for lunch or dinner. We will have to add you to our list or groupies! I look forward to meeting you in person and to reading all you have to say about your two upcoming trips. Thanks for reading!
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"Music... this is the favorite passion of my soul." ~ Thomas Jefferson
‎"Good wine is a necessity of life for me" ~ Thomas Jefferson

In memory of June. 09/04/06. "Keep the board going for me while I'm gone..."
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Old 02-09-2008, 02:07 PM   #4
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I'm here ... with nothing to say.

I might have missed it, but is there a single dinner on your Signature list that you'd be willing to pay out-of-pocket for?

And have you ever considered Flying Fish? Another signature restaurant with incredible seafood and great service ... we really enjoyed dinner there this past May.
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Old 02-09-2008, 03:59 PM   #5
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Yes, please include me in your Disney group; I'd love to meet you. In my neighborhood I'm the "kid" and there aren't a lot of folks who share my nuttiness in this area. And sometimes you just want to talk mouse, kwim?

I know you're not interested in 1 TS restaurants, but this trip (tomorrow!!!!) we're doing the DDP, but just the base level. We'll be going to Raglan Road, Boma, and Tutto Italia for the first time. We're returning to PTC and WCC, as well.

It would be nice if they had a more selective type of DDP so that you could choose more TS credits if you wanted to. Oh, well, you can't always get what you want.

Brenda is right about FF; it really is a good restaurant. Our last trip was a little stressful and I'm not sure we enjoyed anything quite as much as we might have otherwise.

Will check the thread when we get back. Bye for now.
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Old 02-09-2008, 07:37 PM   #6
PNO4TE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oybolshoi View Post
I'm here ... with nothing to say.

I might have missed it, but is there a single dinner on your Signature list that you'd be willing to pay out-of-pocket for?

And have you ever considered Flying Fish? Another signature restaurant with incredible seafood and great service ... we really enjoyed dinner there this past May.
Hi, Brenda! thanks for coming on over!

We would pay OOP for any restaurant in a heartbeat. Although money IS an object it is not the most important thing driving this trip. We have a budget, but the end of it has not yet been reached. I will say that I fear we will run out of days before we run out of need to pay OOP. I may be wrong, though! Any additional thoughts on this?? huh, huh??

I would love to try FF. My husband is not a lover of seafood, however. That is the main reason it is not on our list of Must-Dos
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"Music... this is the favorite passion of my soul." ~ Thomas Jefferson
‎"Good wine is a necessity of life for me" ~ Thomas Jefferson

In memory of June. 09/04/06. "Keep the board going for me while I'm gone..."
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Old 02-09-2008, 07:40 PM   #7
PNO4TE
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Can't stay awake at night for the "hen parties"
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoosGram View Post
Yes, please include me in your Disney group; I'd love to meet you. In my neighborhood I'm the "kid" and there aren't a lot of folks who share my nuttiness in this area. And sometimes you just want to talk mouse, kwim?

I know you're not interested in 1 TS restaurants, but this trip (tomorrow!!!!) we're doing the DDP, but just the base level. We'll be going to Raglan Road, Boma, and Tutto Italia for the first time. We're returning to PTC and WCC, as well.

It would be nice if they had a more selective type of DDP so that you could choose more TS credits if you wanted to. Oh, well, you can't always get what you want.

Brenda is right about FF; it really is a good restaurant. Our last trip was a little stressful and I'm not sure we enjoyed anything quite as much as we might have otherwise.

Will check the thread when we get back. Bye for now.
Have a WONDERFUL trip, Joanne.

I cannot wait to hear what you have to say about the meals you have on this trip. When you get back we will work out a meet, OK? I am trying to figure out where you live where the residents are "older"... Off 17 by any chance?

I am not adverse to 1 credit TS meals at all. So, let the reviews begin!
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"Music... this is the favorite passion of my soul." ~ Thomas Jefferson
‎"Good wine is a necessity of life for me" ~ Thomas Jefferson

In memory of June. 09/04/06. "Keep the board going for me while I'm gone..."
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Old 04-11-2008, 07:40 AM   #8
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Updated!

Well, there have been a few changes and updates to our trip. Mainly cosmetic in nature, mind you, but changes nonetheless. Here you go:

When and Where: Dates are still September 27-October 1, 2008. However myBob sat beside me a few weeks ago and told me he was homesick for the Poly so you had better believe I switched our reservations! He never ever has anything to say about trip planning so I took full advantage of his desire to input some ideas! So we now have a Lagoon view room booked (he thinks it is Garden view so that should be a nice surprise.)

The Meals:

ADRs were completed and this is what we are doing:

SIGNATURE DINNERS
Citricos (4)
California Grill (4)
Narcoossee's (4)
Yachtsman Steakhouse (4)

TABLE SERVICE DINNERS/LUNCHES
Chefs de France (2)
Le Cellier (2)
Coral Reef (2)
Biergarten (2)

The Signature Dinners are "set in stone" but we may tweak the lunches we have planned over the next few months. The chef and menu changes at Le Cellier have not turned us off but have given us reason to keep close tabs on dining reports. We love the Rose & Crown and would happily switch to a lunch there instead.

As always, thanks for reading!
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Elin


"Music... this is the favorite passion of my soul." ~ Thomas Jefferson
‎"Good wine is a necessity of life for me" ~ Thomas Jefferson

In memory of June. 09/04/06. "Keep the board going for me while I'm gone..."
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