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Old 11-18-2009, 01:56 PM   #1
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Quick (sort of) Reviews from Free Dining trip

We returned a couple of days ago from our free dining trip and I thought I would give a few thoughts on our dining in case it helps anyone. Overall we had good service and good food. One place I did notice that Disney has cut back was with Smoothie availability with DDP. We were only able to get one (at Coral Reef) unlike past years when we had no problem getting them.

TS (all dinners) -

Coral Reef - I was worried about this place after bad reviews on the DIS but we had a great experience. We were told at checkin that they were running 15 min late and we got called exactly 15 min after our ADR. We were then showed to our table which happened to be one right up at the aquarium window! It was great! I could hardly get my DDs to look away long enough to order. The scuba diver even came to our window and interacted with them. Only once did others come up to take pictures so that wasn't a problem. Our server - Bruce - was great. We had steak and Mahi Mahi - both were good. You don't get any vegetables though. Dessert was Creme Bulee, Chocolate Wave, and sundae. Again, all were good. Free DDP, great server, great seats, pretty good food, all added up to a great time.

Tusker House - worst meal of our trip. We had a good server but the food was pretty bad. Worst was the set up at the buffet which meant we stood in a long line to get to the vegetables with food on our plates that was getting cold. Meats were pretty good. The mashed potatoes were inedible and the potatoe wedges cold and under cooked. I wasn't impressed with the desserts and DDs wouldn't eat any of them (other than 1 cookie.) For preferred seating for the Nemo show and on the DDP, it may be worth it, but otherwise, I wouldn't recommend it.

Wolfgang Puck Cafe - again I was worried about bad reviews but we had a great meal at this place. I did not find it to be overly loud, pretty much on par with the other places we ate. We had steak, Macadamia chicken, and ravioli. All were good especially the steak which was fantastic. We all wished we had ordered that. Desserts were big and also fantastic - we had carrott cake and some kind of mousse cake. In hindsight, we should have saved one to take back to the room since none of us finished them.

Ohana - another good meal. I thought we were going to have to wait awhile since it looked like 100 people were waiting when we arrived. After only about 10 minutes, we shown to our table which was right up at the window looking directly at the castle! It was perfect! Food came fast and furious at first. Then a large group came in and sat next to us which slowed service considerably. However, once I mentioned to our server that we wanted to get to the beach for fireworks, she quickly hurried things along. I thought the food was good - but DDs were less than thrilled (I guess they are not adventureous enough!) I'm not sure why everyone raves about the bread - it just seemed like plain homemade wheat bread - there was no taste of pineapple and you don't get butter. We did all like the meats and chicken wings (they are actually legs.) Much to my surprise, I really liked the dumplings. Our steak originally came too rare but we just asked for some better cooked steak and we got it in 5 minutes. Dessert was wonderful and our server even brought an extra bowl of ice cream for DDs.

Grand Floridian Cafe - this place worked for our schedule and overall it was fine. We all went with steak this night. It was good, not great. Potatoes and vegetables were very fresh and good. Our server was fine. We had fondue and lemon cheesecake for dessert. DDs didn't really like the fondue because the chocolate had a bit of a funny taste - sort of fruity.

CS (all lunches) -

Kringla Bakery - I liked the sandwiches here but DDs didn't as much since theirs had some kind of apple sauce on it. One of the best things about this place is that they give us soup or salad with your lunch. Vegetables seem in short supply at Disney meals so having a side salad was nice. Of course, the dessert is great - we had two different kinds of sweet pretzels.

Backlot Express - we just had burgers and hotdogs. All were good (except the crumbly rolls) but dessert options are very limited. Two of us had the cheesecake which was good but the other just settled for a cookie.

CHH - maybe my expectations were too high on this one, but I didn't think it lived up to its billing. I thought the tuna sandwich was nothing special, pretty much the same as any of the food courts. DDs had the chicken fingers which were plentiful but they didn't finish them. Dessert was apple fritter and cake - both were fine. This place was ok but I guess I was expecting better.

WPE - our meal was just ok. We had pizzas and macaroni. My pizza (sausage and pepper) was fine but DD would hardly eat her 4 cheese pizza. We thought this was a regular cheese pizza but it wasn't. It had large sliced tomatoes on it and some type of crumbled cheese. Wouldn't order that again. Desserts were a mixed bag. Creme brulee was good but the frozen yogurt isn't very good. I'm not sure why we didn't remember that from last year - it is really more like ice milk. I was just going to go with a brownie but they said they didn't have them yet (it was 2:30 p.m.!)

POP food court - we only ate here once. The food - chicken alfredo and hamburgers - were good. Tye dyed cheese cake (I didn't realize there was cake in this) was great and the brownie sundae was wonderful. But this place is a zoo! Granted, we did go on the weekend, but it was really crowded.

This is longer than I thought it would be! It did seem like all we did was eat but, of course, I would do it again, especially with free DDP!
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Old 11-18-2009, 02:52 PM   #2
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Thank you for taking the time to post your reviews! First of all, I totally agree with you abut CHH!! I do not get the raves about this less than mediocre qs establishment!

I have a question about WPC. You said someone in your party ordered the ravioli. Was that the pumpkin ravioli? I have been "eye-balling" that one and was curious as to your opinion of it. Thanks!
Proud mom to 5 Eagle Scouts (and one son who will soon be Scouting)!

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Old 11-19-2009, 09:45 AM   #3
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Sorry, it wasn't the pumpkin ravioli but rather the 4 cheese variety. It seems in the reviews that people either love or hate the pumpkin ravioli and I was worried DD would be one of those that hated it! The 4 cheese version was fine but nothing spectacular (unlike the steak). We did have a good experience here though.
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Old 11-21-2009, 12:32 PM   #4
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Great reviews!! My son got the kids pizza at WPE and he hated it!! The tomato sauce tasted more like pesto. I tried and didn't like it at all, it was the sauce, and we are a pizza lovin' family. Now DH and I split the bbq chicken pizza and loved it.
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:42 AM   #5
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Great reviews
April 2003 DLRP, November 2004 WDW and Barbados, September 2005 WDW, September 2007 WDW,October 2009 WDW

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Old 11-22-2009, 11:15 PM   #6
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Just wanted to jump in to tell the poster above - I had the Pumpkin Ravioli in May and it was my favorite entree of the week DELICIOUS!!!
Me -Sandy ; DH -Dave ; DS -Josh (11); DD -Jessi (9)

Previous trips as a child/teen: FW 1985, offsite 1991, Disneyland 1992
Family trips: 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012 - all at the Poly!

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