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Old 08-24-2009, 03:28 PM   #1
eliza61

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A bittersweet mini trip report VAKL & WLV

Returned a week ago from a great split stay at the VAKL & the WLVís
So hereís a brief ďGood, bad and the not quite uglyĒ

Resorts: Attention to detail is one area that Disney truly excels at. Both resorts are breathe takingly themed. It never ceases to amaze me how you can drive down I-4 one minute, turn into a drive way and be completely immersed in some place else. Animal kingdom is more exotic, IMO.. You feel that you are in Africa. Smells from the Boma permeate up into the lobby and it seems every one speaks with a lilting African/British accent.
We were in a 1 bedroom villa in Jambo. Villa was clean and functional.
Pros: we had the savannah view, it really had one of the largest balconies weíve ever had at the world.
Cons: I would have preferred the shower and tub being separate and the lip of the tub is very high.
Iíll post some pictures when I download them. I took over 300 so it takes me awhile.
The only other con is the distance, even with a car, which we had, AKL seemed off the beaten path.

WLVís is our favorite resort so I canít say enough about it. Once again, upon entering the lobby you are transported to the great northwest (or at least what I imagine it must look like). Every thing from the colors to the soft music in the lobby completes the feeling.
Cons: for some reason WLVís and BCVís have a bewildering number of doors surrounding the bathrooms and master bed rooms. Not a complaint, just trying to figure out what the designers were thinking.
TVís sorry Disney itís time to have flat screen tvís in all your units. Not whining about it, but hey letís keep up with the time.

Dining: Unfortunately, IMO this is Disneyís weak spot. Iím not going to get into the ďwhoís fault is it DDP or free diningĒ but the bottom line is that most of the meals are in no way worth the money they charge. Now Iím going to throw in my disclaimer: My family owned a restaurant in NYC for 35 years (soul/American food), every kid in my family at one time or another worked in it, so Iím a little bit familiar with the operation of a restaurant in a major tourist area and a bit of a foodie, the mouse is falling behind.

We ate at Le Cellier, Wolfgang Pucks, Boma (breakfast), House of Blues, Sci fi diner (lunch), Narcosses, Il Mulino, Captains Grill (breakfast), Tony towns square (lunch) and T-Rex. We used our TIW card

Worst candidates: Tonyís town square and Le Cellier. By no stretch of the imagination can you call Tonyís Italian. Iím not Italian but I think I was insulted for them. Itís not even Olive Garden quality. I'm thinking because of the popularity plus the location, Tony's is simply trying to crank out food. Le Cellier was disappointing. The steak had absolutely no flavor. It was tender, so Iím going to venture itís not the preparation. They must be getting the absolutely cheapest vendor around. We drenched ours in ketchup and horseradish to give it some flavor.
None of our meals were so bad as to complain, they were simply very little flavor and unimaginative. I mean Iíve got 2 teenage sons who pretty much any thing served warm is edible and they drove off site for pizza a few nights.


Parks were crowded but we expected that. We old hands at it so we were able to enjoy every thing we wanted too. Plus staying 10 days allows you to go back and see any thing you may have missed on the first round.

So this trip report was bittersweet because for various reasons we've decided to venture out into that great big ole world for a while. We're off to Yellowstone next year and DH & I decided to celebrate our 25th anniversary in Paris. So for the first time I don't have a trip to the world planned. We'll see how long that last.

Wishing every one many happy "Welcome Homes"
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Old 08-24-2009, 03:44 PM   #2
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Glad to hear you liked the rooms at AKV. We are going in October and can't wait!!! I drove over on our last vacation just to walk around and loved the resort. It is absolutely amazing, and you are correct - Disney always makes the places they create feel special

As for food : We only booked Boma so far, and have heard good things, we are looking forward to eating there. We also have a princess breakfast at EPCOT for our daughter.

We will probably book one more dinner, but we also stop and get groceries. We always get at least a one bedroom now, and I love to cook, so I do not feel put out at all cooking on our vacation. Except for the Princess breakfast, we will have breakfast in our room every day. Lunch we can grab something in the parks, nothing fancy, sometimes even a pretzel will hold me over. Dinner has always been fairly easy for us to do in October. I am sure our EPCOT day will be spent eating around the world for the food and wine fest. We can head over to DTD and grab something, but probably 3-4 nights I will cook something back in the room. Save a few bucks!!!

Thanks for the report
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Old 08-24-2009, 03:47 PM   #3
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I hate to agree, but you are spot on about the food. LeCellier was probably my least favorite meal this past trip and usually it's the best meal we have. My steak and risotto were so salty it was almost inedible. When I said something to our server, she commented that they have a chef who is known for using too much salt. Now my question is...if you know this, why isn't is being corrected?
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Old 08-24-2009, 05:00 PM   #4
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I used to swear that Le Cellier had the best food on property. I'm not sure if it's the dining plan to blame but the last 3 times we have eaten at Le Cellier, I sent my steaks back because they were so horrible. The next meal they brought out wasn't good either so they did not charge me a table service credit. That really didn't help because I ended up with an extra credit at the end of my vacation but cannot receive a refund for it or use it during a future trip. To make a long story short, we no longer eat at Le Cellier. Other restaurants we have stopped dining at include O'Hana's, Cinderella's Royal Table, Whispering Canyon, Chefs de France and Tutto Italia. We still love Teppan Edos, Nine Dragons, Rose and Crown, and Cap'n Jack's.
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Old 08-24-2009, 05:05 PM   #5
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that has to be it - THE SUPPLIER!

I would so love for Disney to hear the complaints - but knowing how packed every place is - there is no incentive to change - and I'm sure the chefs are embarrassed!!
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:55 PM   #6
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Thanks, Eliza for your TR. I enjoy your posts. Your observations and experiences are always informative and entertaining.

While, you will miss your trip to the World next year, your planned journeys will make lasting memories. It's not everyday, one gets the opportunity to plan a trip to Paris! Happy 25th!
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:28 PM   #7
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So did you like AKV? I think a break from WDW is healthy and really puts some excitement back when you do go back. We have a Hawaii trip planned for 2011.
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eliza61 View Post
. . . . So for the first time I don't have a trip to the world planned. . . . .
DiznyDi . . .see, it can be done.
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:29 PM   #9
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I so agree with you about Tony's!! We went there on July 5th for my son's birthday. It was the first time we had been there in about 5 years. We are Italian and a can of Franco American spaghettiO's would have tasted better than what was on my plate!!
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:38 AM   #10
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Thanks for the great trip report, Eliza!

And good on you for taking a break from WDW. I was tired of your family hogging all the good rooms.
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Old 08-25-2009, 01:58 PM   #11
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Thanks for the great trip report, Eliza!

And good on you for taking a break from WDW. I was tired of your family hogging all the good rooms.
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Old 08-25-2009, 02:51 PM   #12
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E! You're just starting threads all over the place!

How did you enjoy The Puck? We love both the express (for breakfast) and the Cafe (the best chicken..macadamia nut, yum). You didn't say anything good about it, but nothing bad either .

Paris next year!! How exciting. You know that Disney is there too, right??
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Old 08-25-2009, 02:59 PM   #13
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Loved your post, agree whole heartedly about Disney Dining. We going to Paris next Summer as well to visit family, enjoy yourselves!
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Old 08-25-2009, 03:32 PM   #14
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I hate to agree, but you are spot on about the food. LeCellier was probably my least favorite meal this past trip and usually it's the best meal we have. My steak and risotto were so salty it was almost inedible. When I said something to our server, she commented that they have a chef who is known for using too much salt. Now my question is...if you know this, why isn't is being corrected?

I concur completely with LeCellier.

It once was our favorite.....but they should be ASHAMED of their onion soup and I had asparagus as a starter and I could not eat it....wiped it off and it was simply not edible.

...and the kicker.....by the end of the meal, I was sick......visited every ladies room surrounding World Showcase that night.

So sad....it was once so good.
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Old 08-25-2009, 03:42 PM   #15
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Dining: Unfortunately, IMO this is Disneyís weak spot. Iím not going to get into the ďwhoís fault is it DDP or free diningĒ but the bottom line is that most of the meals are in no way worth the money they charge. Now Iím going to throw in my disclaimer: My family owned a restaurant in NYC for 35 years (soul/American food), every kid in my family at one time or another worked in it, so Iím a little bit familiar with the operation of a restaurant in a major tourist area and a bit of a foodie, the mouse is falling behind.

We ate at Le Cellier, Wolfgang Pucks, Boma (breakfast), House of Blues, Sci fi diner (lunch), Narcosses, Il Mulino, Captains Grill (breakfast), Tony towns square (lunch) and T-Rex. We used our TIW card

Worst candidates: Tonyís town square and Le Cellier. By no stretch of the imagination can you call Tonyís Italian. Iím not Italian but I think I was insulted for them. Itís not even Olive Garden quality. I'm thinking because of the popularity plus the location, Tony's is simply trying to crank out food. Le Cellier was disappointing. The steak had absolutely no flavor. It was tender, so Iím going to venture itís not the preparation. They must be getting the absolutely cheapest vendor around. We drenched ours in ketchup and horseradish to give it some flavor.
None of our meals were so bad as to complain, they were simply very little flavor and unimaginative. I mean Iíve got 2 teenage sons who pretty much any thing served warm is edible and they drove off site for pizza a few nights.


I'd be interested to know whether any of the resturaunts you ate at were on the "very good" side. As someone with your backround in the resturant business, I respect your opinion.
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