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Old 11-26-2013, 08:24 AM   #31
JimmyV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncleromulus View Post
Great restaurants there for sure!

But I've found over many years that the food at BlueZoo, Shulas, and Il Mulino--tho probably "better" than at most Disney signature restaurants--is at least AS expensive.

And at Shulas anyway, MORE expensive.
Shula's is not more expensive if you order carefully. Compare similar meals there and at Yachtsman:
  • A Caesar Salad, Shrimp Cocktail and 12 oz NY Strip at YSH will cost you $78 ($12+$18 +$48). The steak will come with sides that you don't get to pick, (or, you may have limited options.) Total cost=$78 per person.
  • At Shula’s, you get a Caesar Salad, Shrimp Cocktail and 16 oz NY Strip for $68 ($11+$15+$42) but no sides. So you will want to split some sides of your choosing, so add the price of half an order of Broccoli ($4) and half an order of Potatoes Au Gratin ($4.50). Total cost per person=$76.50 and you get a bigger steak and higher quality food all around.
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Old 11-26-2013, 08:37 AM   #32
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I'm discovering that dining has been the most stressful part of our last 2 trips. Mostly because we booked a lot of ADR's planned days around them and the food was really iffy. Some was really good, some was really bad. It was all expensive.

This past trip we ended up cancelling a bunch of ADR's and just winging it. It worked out much better and I feel like we finally know how to dine at Disney.

I was kinda disappointed to hear that Starbucks was coming to Main St. but a coffee and breakfast sandwich from SB was one of the best breakfast meals we had.

I thought Cali Grill atmosphere was nice, service was fantastic, view was great, food was ehhh, just ok. Spent over $200 on sushi and wine and can get much much better at home for 1/4 the price. But you can't see the castle from here so there's that.

I do feel like you have to try them for yourself to find out whether you like it or not. We almost cancelled Ohana because of a bunch of negative reviews, but we went and it was awesome. The kids even ate which is rare.
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:55 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by ReganlovesWDW View Post
Hi all! I am the OP. It is interesting to read the different responses to what I said. I was merely expressing my opinion. What is amazing to me is how quickly some formed an opinion of me without ever knowing me. To read some of the criticism you would think that I was a spoiled, affluent, mean spirited self centered, arrogant individual, which is hardly who I am or my value system.

I enjoyed this vacation like none other because for this period of time, life was near perfect. For this period of time, each person in my family was truly happy. We greeted EVERYONE warmly. Whether it was a CM, taxi driver, unhappy parent, you name it.

My only regret right now is that I chose to speak on this forum and was persecuted for what I spoke. But that is the beauty of free speech. We are all entitled to it.
No flames here, I would like to thank the OP for their post.

My husband and myself enjoy going to Disney at least twice in the winter months. Part of the reason we go is to enjoy the signature dining. I won't go into our disappointment with some of the signature dining, for fear of, like you did, getting lectured on world hunger, how I should be grateful....etc. But I would like to say that your post has given us the idea to try the restaurants at the Swan and Dolphin on our next trip in January.

Last edited by MsThumper; 11-26-2013 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 11-26-2013, 01:56 PM   #34
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Thanks Ms. Thumper! I do suggest trying the eateries at the Swan and Dolphin. If you have AAA, there is 20% discount as well but not for fine dining.
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Old 11-26-2013, 02:04 PM   #35
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I can't imagine cooking on vacation. I am the chef in my family so I have to handle dinner 90% of them time. No way I am cooking on my vacation. To each is own
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Old 11-26-2013, 03:20 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by ReganlovesWDW View Post
Thanks Ms. Thumper! I do suggest trying the eateries at the Swan and Dolphin. If you have AAA, there is 20% discount as well but not for fine dining.
Good to know, we do have AAA and we were also glad to see that some of the Swan and Dolphin eateries are on the Tables In Wonderland, which we purchased on our last trip.
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:25 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by FlipHipster View Post
I thought Cali Grill atmosphere was nice, service was fantastic, view was great, food was ehhh, just ok. Spent over $200 on sushi and wine and can get much much better at home for 1/4 the price. But you can't see the castle from here so there's that.
Do you mind if I ask what are you're from? Nothing exact - just an idea so that we might get an idea what kinds of options you might have locally. I think that makes such a big difference across the board. For us we can't find better in our area. Around here Texas Roadhouse and Ryan's are a big deal. We have to drive an hour to hit real food, something I can't do every weekend - much less every day.

Which is not to discount your experience, it's just if you live someplace like New York or even another major city I can see how the options at home might make Disney look bad.
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Old 11-27-2013, 11:40 PM   #38
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I am the OP not the person who wrote the sushi piece however I can tell you that I live 30 miles west of Philadelphia. While I don't venture into Philly for dinner, we do have a variety of wonderful restaurants in the surrounding areas.

I understand your question and it makes sense. My perspective is that the dining experience used to be so much better! It was only six years ago when the dining plan included an appetizer, entree, dessert AND gratuity. That was truly a value then.
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Old 11-28-2013, 08:49 PM   #39
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I have to say I agree with you. We had a terrible meal at Narcoosee's and will never go back. Our Cali Grill experience was so-so. Ate at Flying Fish in August and while the food was excellent our server would NOT leave us alone. I was dining alone with DS5 and maybe he thought I needed an adult to talk to? No clue. I wanted to enjoy my dinner with my son and he would come to our table every 5 minutes or less and talk incessantly. It was incredibly annoying.

Le Cellier and Jiko have been consistently good for us and we enjoyed Citrico's. Monsieur Paul is excellent - if you haven't tried it, you should. It's nothing like the other Disney signatures.

But I agree, the Swolphin restaurants are consistently much better than Disney dining. Great food and great service. We've eaten at blue zoo a few times and ate at Il Mulino on our last trip - could never eat at Tutto Italia again after that! Even Fresh is good and the Fountain has fabulous ice cream.
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Old 11-28-2013, 09:02 PM   #40
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WDW restaurants have nose-dived. They are not....across the board....anywhere near the experiences they once were, even though the pricing would indicate that they should be better than they ever have been.

Our last two trips to Cali Grill were horrible (relative to how WDW presents the experience and relative to the price). One time the food was good, but the service was bad. Next time, the food and the service both sucked ***. Citrico's was our best WDW dining experience last trip, but also.....some of our more pleasant dining visits were when we really weren't expecting the best.....Boatwright's at POR was an example of that. I am thinking maybe next time (if there is a next time.......if WDW get's it's proverbial act together with the MB/FP+ mess....but I really am OK with not returning if they don't get it worked out) we may just visit more out-of-the-way, resort-based restaurants to see how some of them surprise us.

I will say.....Universal's onsite eateries, by and large....flat out hammered WDW's last trip. No comparison.
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Old 11-28-2013, 09:14 PM   #41
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I agree. We have gotten to the point with Disney dining that we only eat QS or Signature and we are even selective there. I'm sure that the chefs are talented, but there is something wrong with the meats. They seem to all be similar...either oversalted, tough, stringy, processed, defrosted, you name it. I'm not sure how much leeway the chefs have on purchases. For example, at one Signature recently, everything was good, the seasonings were amazing, but the chicken was as I described above. I think it is a high-level purchasing problem, probably due to "value engineering."
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Old 11-28-2013, 10:02 PM   #42
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I do not care for chatty servers! I'm a nice customer; tip well.
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Old 11-29-2013, 04:52 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marthasor View Post
I have to say I agree with you. Ate at Flying Fish in August and while the food was excellent our server would NOT leave us alone. I was dining alone with DS5 and maybe he thought I needed an adult to talk to? No clue. I wanted to enjoy my dinner with my son and he would come to our table every 5 minutes or less and talk incessantly. It was incredibly annoying.
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I do not care for chatty servers! I'm a nice customer; tip well.
I agree with both these posts! I go with my family to WDW several times a year, but also try to get in 1-2 solo trips each year, where I can just relax and do my own thing. I do fine socializing with a crowd, but am just as happy on my own. I don't know why waiters can't understand that. If I'm dining alone I always bring my camera to go through and delete pictures, as well as my Kindle. I hate it when a waiter assumes I want company and won't leave me alone, no matter how many times I tell them I'm fine. I usually tell them at the beginning of the meal that if they keep my water glass full, they can just ignore me and I'll be perfectly fine. Nope, for some reason they always assume a solo diner wants company. What really irritates me though are the ones that sit down with you or worse the ones that go down on one knee beside you. I was once eating a nice quiet lunch at House of Blues, when my waitress decided to sit down and chat. I felt like just saying 'go away, I don't want to entertain you'. California Grill used to have a waiter that I swear I got every time. He always went down on one knee to talk to me about the menu. I'd draw back and frown at him, but he never seemed to take the hint to back off. This happened there three times in a row. On the fourth trip, before I was escorted to my table, I specifically told the waitress I did not want that waiter. She asked me why and said he was one of their best waiters. I told her I didn't want to be rude, but they needed to tell him that not everyone appreciated his bending on one knee right next to them and not all solo diners needed to be entertained with all of his stories. Some of us just wanted to be left alone to enjoy our meal. Keep my water glass full and bring out the courses in a timely manner and I'll be friendly and tip well, but don't expect me to entertain you, don't crowd me, and I don't want to be entertained.

Quote:
Originally Posted by metzgardesign View Post
WDW restaurants have nose-dived.
I will say.....Universal's onsite eateries, by and large....flat out hammered WDW's last trip. No comparison.
I agree! Mythos over at IoA in Universal has been voted the top theme park restaurant on Orlando for how many years in a row now? I could eat there every day and their prices are so much better than Disney's. The blueberry crusted pork chop they used to have on the menu was devine, along with their banana molten chocolate cake. The chef's pasta of the day is always good too. We also love Finegan's over Universal Studios. Irish food! Yum!!! Even their counter services are good. We love the platter at Three Broomsticks with a glass of frozen butterbeer. I forgot where I was exactly, but I got some very good Korean BBQ tacos when I was over there this past Sept too. I also got a good paella over at one of their City Walk restaurants one night. We always have to eat at Bubba Gumps and even Margaritaville has some of the best nachos, fried pickles, and shrimp/crab dip around. When I was there in Sept I had a steak at Jakes over at Royal Pacific Resort that would knock any steak I've ever had at WDW out of the water. It had some grilled asparagus and sweet potato hash with it that was soooo good too. Oooh, I drooled as I savoured every delicious bite. The waiter came by and even made a comment that it looked like I was really enjoying that steak. I told him I was from Texas, so knew good steaks and that was definitely one of the best I've ever had. I also had a wonderful meal at Emeril's Chop Chop at Royal Pacific that trip. It was another meal that I really took my time and savored every single bite. I haven't had any meals like that at WDW in several years now. Yeah, over all we much prefer the restaurants over at Universal/City Walk.

Last edited by aubriee; 11-29-2013 at 05:10 AM.
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Old 11-29-2013, 04:57 AM   #44
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Old 11-29-2013, 06:41 AM   #45
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I will say.....Universal's onsite eateries, by and large....flat out hammered WDW's last trip. No comparison.
Not really. I haven't eaten in a TS place there, but CS at Universal is worse then Disney- only seemed to be chicken fingers,hamburgers,pizza. I got a chicken burger from one place in IOA and it was lukewarm because they put it under a heatlamp. And it tasted of oil, not very nice at all.
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