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Old 02-27-2013, 10:10 AM   #1
Foxxie52
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Hi guys,

Really a two part question. First of all, can anyone list their top ten must not miss sit down restaurants and why? I've never really done any of the restaurants but this time I'm desperate to sample a few.

Secondly, it will be my 30th birthday while I'm out there. (Sunday 14th April). I love Disney (obviously) and my absolute favourite character is Peter Pan. Can anyone recommend a good restaurant for my birthday meal? Is there ANYWHERE you can see Peter?
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:41 AM   #2
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First off, I'm sorry, Peter Pan is not present at any character meal. The closest you can get is Jake, of Jake and the Neverland Pirates, at Hollywood and Vine in DHS. Not quite the same.

As for my top 10:

0: Victoria and Alberts: In a class by itself, really. The best food and service of any Disney restaurant, and better than at least 90% of restaurants anywhere. Also, very expensive. Figure $400 for a couple of people before you add on anything.

1. Flying Fish: On the Boardwalk, so it's a fun place to visit, the food is excellent, and the service is top-notch. They do some very interesting things with their dishes, and I have yet to get anything that I didn't enjoy a great deal there on multiple visits. It's a signature restaurant, so it is on the expensive side.

2. Narcoossee's: At the Grand Floridian, and it can be a very romantic spot right by the water, if that's what you're looking for. I had a fantastic meal there last month, and one of my favorite servers, Amer, waited on us. Another signature, so pricey.

3. Jiko: At the Animal Kingdom Lodge/Jambo House, which is an amazing place to visit, if you have not seen it before. Or, really, even if you have. They have another very romantic setting (more the restaurant interior than the placement), a fantastic South African wine list, and some intriguing food, although more middle of the road dishes are on the menu. And, wait for it, a signature restaurant.

4. Artists Point: At the Wilderness Lodge, which can put you completely out of mind of Florida once you get inside and look out over the conifers. It's a quiet restaurant, usually doesn't get as much attention as the other signatures, but puts out some excellent food. Also, some good wines from the Pacific Northwest.

5. Sanaa: Also at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, but in the Kidani Village (DVC) building. It has a view of the savannah, so you can see animals outside while you eat, if you're there before sunset. They do Indian food with some African twists, and are one of the few Disney restaurants where they have put more spicy food on the menu after opening. They also have, in my opinion, the best bathrooms on property. Not a signature, but great food and service.

6. Il Mulino: At the Swan Resort over in the Boardwalk area. It has great Italian food and is generally less subscribed than other restaurants around property. Also pretty pricey, though.

7. Tusker House: In Animal Kingdom. It may be the only buffet I'd put in the top ten by virtue of its varied offerings, and baklava on the dessert buffet. Also, I've found that the CMs here are among the friendliest on property. The Dawa Bar next door is also a nice place to grab a drink.

8. Via Napoli: In the Italy Pavilion in Epcot. Quite a good place for pizza, and the other Italian food is quite good. I have heard the CMs who work there described as "smokin' hot," as well, if that is at all important.

9. Yachtsman Steakhouse: In the Yacht Club Resort. Very good for the beef-interested diner, and the service has been good. It is another signature restaurant, so pricey.

The last spot was hard to decide; there are a lot of pretty good restaurants around.

For your birthday celebration, I'd lean toward the top two on the list. They will cost you, though. I would also suggest, wherever you go, to let them know ahead of time that you will be celebrating your birthday. Bon appetit!
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:43 AM   #3
kristainohio
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I believe you can meet Peter Pan when you do the Pirates and Pals cruise. They do serve snacks there as well. Not a character meal but a really fun experience!
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:02 PM   #4
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Just back and I can't say enough good about Be Our Guest dinner. Everything about it was wonderful. We were in the ballroom and it was so pretty with the snow falling outside and the food was the best meal we ate the whole trip. Sorry no Peter Pan, just Beast.
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:11 PM   #5
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Honestly, you're going to get a variety of people suggesting nearly every restaurant at WDW. I would advise just looking at each restaurant (either on Disney's sites or one of the useful Disney planning sites) and finding what most appeals to you.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:47 PM   #6
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We were at Disney in Oct and actually saw Peter Pan a lot in MK, to the left of the castle they did character meetings. This was a first. You can absolutely meet him and get pictures at the Pirates and Pals firework cruise. WDW-PLAY for reservations. It's not just for kids! We attended in Oct. You meet in the Contemporary at 6 or 7 (can't remember). You go into a ballroom where there is a lot of snack food, desserts, drinks. They do a meet+greet with Capt Hook and Smee. Then you go to the boat and watch the fireworks. When you get back to the dock, Peter Pan is there waiting to meet and take pictures. He's only there for your group and will stay around until everyone has their turn. These cruises are for about 80 ppl per night.
If CA Grill is open I would go there for dinner and then do this cruise.
Top 10 (in no order):
California Grill
Narcoossee's
Le Cellier
Tusker House (Breakfast)
La Hacienda de San Angel (we love Mexican food. We found if you don't, it may not be the place for you)
Coral Reef
Kona Cafe
Citricos
Ohana's
T-Rex or Rainforest (I would not say these are the same food quality as what's above but we always have so much fun at these places. Our meal at T-Rex last time was surprisingly good. It's very loud but it has a good vibe.)
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:53 PM   #7
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As a PP mentioned, you're going to get a long list that will ultimately include almost every restaurant at WDW. You might get a more focused response if you include some limitations (such as, non-Signature, no buffets, no characters, etc.). My initial guess says that most of the "top 10s" will features several of the Signature restaurants (two credits on the DDP, more expensive OOP (in general).

Top 3 Signatures:
1. Narcoossee's - The food and service have always been excellent. The calamari (appetizer) and steamed lobster (entree) are among my favorite items. The restaurant also has a really good view of Wishes and the Electric Water Pageant.

2. California Grill - Again, the food and service have been excellent. Now, the menu is undergoing revision while the resturant is renovated, so things will probably change. It also has a really good view of Wishes.

3. Le Cellier - The food is always good, the service is not quite like a normal Signature, but it's not bad. The tables are kind of close together. I like the cheddar cheese soup and filet mignon with mushroom risotto.

Top 3 Non-Signatures:
1. Via Napoli - The food is very good; the service is sometimes really good, sometimes okay. I really like the arancini (appetizer), proscuitto e melon pizza, and the Coppa Di Brutti Ma Buoni sundae.

2. Raglan Road - The food and atmopshere is really good. The scallop forest (appetizer) and Dunbrody Kiss (dessert) are among my favorite items.

3. Les Chefs de France - Good food, usually good service. I like the onion soup, braised beef, and profiteroles. If you time your meal right, you might even see Remy.

Top 3 Buffets/Fixed Price Meals:
1. Boma (Breakfast) - Lots of variety in the foods; some are pretty traditional while others have a slight African influence.

2. 'Ohana (Dinner) - I like the variety of food. If you're seated near the grill, it's fun to watch all of the meat being cooked (it's an amazing amount).

3. CRT - The food isn't really that extraordinary (in fact it's pretty "meh"), but the atmosphere is hard to beat! You get to eat inside the castle.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:45 PM   #8
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Just wanted to confirm that you do meet Peter Pan (and Hook and Smee) on the Pirates and Pals Fireworks Cruise at the CR - we just did it. I thought it was over-priced but if you really want to see Peter Pan....

As for restaurants - Our experience with TS is pretty limited but I highly recommend:
* Rose & Crown at Epcot - We thought the food was great and if you're lucky, you can get a front row seat for Illuminations if you get a table on the deck around 7:30 or so.
* Biergarten - Lots of fun meeting other people (you may be seated with strangers), dancing, and the food is different and good.
* Chef Mickey's - Our favorite character breakfast to date. Lots of fun for the kids with the monorail running through and having all the classic characters there.
* Kona Cafe for the tonga toast
* Be Our Guest - Gorgeous castle, great atmosphere with unique magical features, and good food as well. When we were there, everyone also got to meet the Beast in his study on the way out. This was dinner only.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:57 PM   #9
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My Top Ten List and unfortunately not sure of any restaurants to meet Peter Pan:

1. Victoria & Albert's - Best OVERALL DINING EXPERIENCE BAR NONE in Disney World
2. Bluezoo - Second best food behind V&A
3. California Grill - Great food and excellent viewing spot for Wishes
4. Sanaa - Very good and reasonably priced (for Disney World) food and ONLY restaurant you can view animals at while eating if it is light outside
5. Jiko - excellent and some unique food
6. Narcoossee's - good food and great spot to view Wishes
7. Kona Cafe - excellent reasonably priced (for Disney World) food for breakfast and dinner
8. Via Napoli - ONLY good pizza on Disney Property
9. Artist Point - Very good and some different choices in a quieter atmosphere
10. Crystal Palace - good breakfast (go before park opens to get better pictures without people's heads in them) and very good character interaction
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:44 PM   #10
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I am a frequent visitor and my top 10 is for adults only. In order:

1 V&A
2 Bluezoo
3 Il Mulino
4 Flying Fish
5 Citricos
7 Monsieur Paul
8 Shulas
9 Jiko
10 Brown Derby
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