|12-30-2004, 12:16 AM||#1|
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Pit bull free Ontario :-)
Restaurant Report ~ We had WONDERFUL meals at WDW
Hi Everyone... We just returned from my 40th Birthday Celebration at Disney.
Who Went: Myself & daughter Noel (11) & SuAnne & her daughter Hayley (11)
Stayed: WL Concierge ~ December 15th - 20th.
Meals (Ratings 1 poor to 5 excellent)
1) Candlelight Processional Dinner Package with Alfredos (Dec 16)
Oh, this was very good! We had a PS for 4:45pm with seating for the 6:35pm Processional with Eartha Kitt narrrating.
The Dinner Package was around 45.00 for adults and 12.00 for kids and for that you could choose
- any appetizer off the menu except the large sampler or large calamari
- any entree'
- any dessert except the Italian sampler
- soft drink/tea/coffee
- bread with flavoured olive oil for dipping
- soft drink
- kids entree
- ice cream
- bread with flavoured olive oil for dipping
The restaurant lobby area is looking a little tired in my opinion, but the main table area is very nice and the staff friendly, efficient, quick. Very good service overall.
I had the fettucini Alfredo appetizer which was such a large portion it could have been a meal.. and it was absolutely delicious. I only had a quarter of it and had to stop otherwise I would not be able to eat my entree which was also very good. I had the veal piccata which came with garlic mashed potatoes and italian sauted vegatables. My first entree came stone cold to the touch - literally cold, not even luke warm.. so I had to send it back and the next one was piping hot and perfect.
SuAnne had the small calamari for an appetizer (that could have fed an army) and for an entree the Pasta with Vodka Sauce and Shrimp and she said it was excellent ~ also a very large portion.
For dessert we both had the marscapone cheese & strawberry preserve that was served in a little dish. It was okay but nothing to write home about.
Noel had plain pasta with butter (sigh) and Hayley had a heaping portion of fettucini which she liked.
For drinks I had the "Italian Margarita" which was very large and very potent and SuAnne had an overpriced (12.00) 'okay' glass of house Red Wine.
After dinner we waddled off to the Processional and sat in the front Row - the absolute best part was that we were able to watch the conductor interacting with the orchestra, his facial expressions and he sang along to the songs with the choir ~ he was quite a character and we had some teary Disney moments during the performance. The choir and orchestra were great and Eartha Kitt was in fine voice with that Cat Woman snarl of hers.
It was a night to remember - if you are going to Disney during the Christmas season you MUST do the dinner package.. it takes all the stress away, knowing you have a seat without lining up forever.
2) Artist Point, Wilderness Lodge 5+++ (Dec 17)
Tonight we had tickets to MVMCP at the MK so we decided to leave the kids to there own devices exploring the lodge and SuAnne and I went for dinner at Artist Point.
We had a PS for 5:30pm which is when the restaurant actually opens so we were seated immediately.
This restaurant is beautiful, the tables are well spaced, the ceilings are so high, the lighting perfect for a pleasant meal.
We started with..... booze (of course) SuAnne had a glass of house red which was much nicer than the house red at Alfredos & much less in cost (7.50) and I had a double baileys on the rocks
We decided to spilt appetizers because we both wanted to try different things... the waiter "jack" was a sweetheart and the way they split and presented the appetizers to us on separate plates was wonderful.
We shared the endive, bleu cheese, pear & candied walnut salad (TO DIE FOR) and the Venison Springrolls (delcious and spicy)
For entree' SuAnne had the Pacific Salmon cooked on the cedar plank with a maple butter glaze... yum... and I had the beef tenderloin with wine sauce.
We were both in heaven - this meal was outstanding, my beef was so tender it would cut with my fork, SuAnne tried it and could not believe the texture as it melted in your mouth. I didn't try the salmon because I don't do fish.. but SuAnne said it was the best she ever had.
Now for dessert... we had to order the berry cobbler and asked to split it.. but for some reason they gave us a huge cobbler (that would feed a family of 5) on a large plate. It was outstanding, mounds of fresh berries with home made raspberry ice cream on top and the cobbler cake underneath.
We had had the cobbler in concierge the night before - and it is not the same, I don't care what they tell you - it is not the same as what you get in Artist Point - it is a budget version.
Good news as well about coffee... the fine restaurants can serve specialty coffee which was delicious, they no longer have to serve that park nescafe crap.. so SuAnne and I enjoyed that with our cobbler as well served in a french press at the table.
Kudos to Artist Point, absolutely outstanding meal, service and atmosphere.
California Grille (December 18th)
Today is my 40th Birthday and SuAnne made a PS for the California Grille for 8:20pm so we could catch the Wishes fireworks from MVMCP that night at MK during our dinner.
First of all, I must say I hate the contemporary hotel with a passion... I really really really try to like it.. each time I go near I tell myself that I will like it this time and then it just all falls apart. My Birthday visit was no exception.
We took the little launch over from WL that runs to the CR and as we approached I saw the garden wings which much resemble how I imagine a high security psychiatric facility must look.. stark, barron of any character, depressing... the main building is of course much better and seeing the monorail entering lifts your spirits.. if you are on the concourse level you might even be fine with it all... however, the launch left us off on the pool level and we headed towards those mall like revolving doors wondering what was in store for us.... shocking teal green walls and hideous shades of lavendar walls and the smell of overcooked french fries from the food and fun centre (ick) guests lounging on vinyl modular sofas that show sticky hand prints... we hurried across the stained carpeting to the escalators noticing the garish "christmas decorations" along the way...akin to 8 burgundy feather dusters tied together with a bow representing a wreath... anyway.. I digress.
We head up to the busy concourse level and the Outer Rim Bar for a pre dinner drink. It is busy up here and although I am distracted by the ugly mosaic I soon hear the monorail whiz in and I remember where I am - Disney!
SuAnne has a martini which comes with three plump olives and I go with a baileys on the rocks again.. Hayley is queen of the Shirley Temples and Noel politely asks the server "Do you have coke here?"
We have our drinks and people watch ~ you see all kinds on the concourse level at the CR...
All is well until Noel spills her goofy powder candy out of its 18 inch tube all over the seat in a large stripe. the girls had been told NOT to open the candy until we were back at WL, so we were a little annoyed.. I tried to brush it off as best I could - but I hope someone in white pants did not sit there after us!
So it's time for dinner! and then I realize, oh no.. we have to head back down to that awful level to check in at the CG Reception area. I try not to look at any more exotic plummage decorations on my way down. Avert your eyes... avert your eyes.... !
the desk has several people around it and two less than friendly cast members behind it... I hear arguing and mutterings between the cast members and the people ahead of us and every once in a while a elevator pops open and someone in a black shirt peeks out and then leaves again.
Finally it's our turn and we check in, but there is some confusion and I don't really hear what the girl tells us to do.. so we wait and shift from foot to foot until the other person clarifies it by telling us to "get in the elevator"
On our way up to the 15th floor we have a new black shirted cast member who tells us about pumpkin lasagna... finally we are here, and the door slides open to.... a toddler... standing there.. blocking our exit and actually trying to get on.. and then the shriek of a horrified mother who runs over and scoops him up and whisks him to safety.
The atmosphere up there is akin to grand central station, dozens of people fill the elevator area talking, leaning on walls, waiting.. the restaurant is so loud and busy but kind of neat and not at all what I expected. I start to worry we have a long wait ahead of us but we are shown right to our table.. out in the middle of the room and what feels like miles from a window.
I can't remember what we had to drink here ~ I think just soft drinks and then we study the menu. SuAnne and I decided to split appetizers again as we did in Artist Point, it was so loud in the restaurant we practically had to yell or use semaphore signals to place our orders. (This is not the place for an intimate dinner for two, don;t try to get engaged here or anything, you will go hoarse screaming "will you marry me?" over the chatter of the other patrons and open kitchen clattering of pans.
Hayley has a caesar salad and one of the flat breads that was 'closest' to sounding like a pizza. Noel had macaroni and cheese (a little more adventurous for her)
SuAnne and I split the 'beets three ways' appetizer which was excellent, it was not how I have ever had beets before.. they were not purple as you would expect but had been blanched almost a golden colour and some were sweet, some were tart, some were savory made into a little cake formation topped with a herb cream cheese topping, very very different and good.
We also split the hearts of romaine salad with a greek goddess dressing that to me just tasted like caesar salad, but it was very fresh and tasty.
For dinner we both had the beef tenderloin which is served in a sweet spicy sauce almost like teriyaki, excellent and came with potatoes au gratin and asparagus.. during dinner the manager came over and wished me a Happy Birthday which was very nice.
I enjoyed my beef imensely, but SuAnne's was a little rare for her taste, she had asked for medium well I believe and it was moo-ing from her plate.. in fact it was so rare that I swear I saw it try to eat her salad
It was getting close to fireworks time... the lights dimmed and Jiminy Cricket (I think it's him) started narrating the show... we headed outside to the observation deck.. and I think it's time I mentioned that we arrived in Orlando during the 'cold snap' and it was probably about 40 degrees out there with a brisk wind... we huddled together in the cold and the fireworks began - what a view... we had seen them the night before at MVMCP but it was a whole other perspective seeing them from above like that.. you see things you did not realize happened the night before such as heart shaped fireworks
Noel gave up half way through and ran back inside the restaurant - she is wussy... SuAnne was edging that way when I laid the law down.. this is my 40th birthday and we are seeing this display.. so buck up and remember we are Canadian women.
We headed down to the every end of the deck and it was much better there, much less windy and saw the rest of the show.. we both cried at the end! LOL
Then we got back inside and I noticed Noel had blue lips... hmmmm it was not THAT cold out there... why the blue lips?, then she smiled and she had blue teeth too... the girls had gotten into the goofy candy again while we were outside and were eating it. grrrr... into the garbage it went, and they were none too pleased about that.
I might also mention that SuAnne arranged a chocolate birthday cake which had my name on it.. three layers with chocolate icing and sprinkles and candles so we had that for our dessert but could not make much headway as we were all full from that great dinner.
it was a great birthday ~ even though the contemporary was involved!
Cap'N Jacks Restaurant (December 18th)
I forgot to tell you about my biirthday lunch at downtown disney. We had separated in the morning... Noel and I went to play mini putt at Winterland.Summerland and SuAnne and Hayley hit the parks early.
We met at noon in DTD and did some shopping and I was presented with my "Birthday Button" which got me a few greetings and one song from a sweet cast member in the Team Disney store.
We headed into Cap'N Jacks Restaurant for lunch.. nothing fancy, nautical theme... hayley had a great kids entree' of pasta provincal' which was nice linguini with tomatoes, basil, garlic olive oil. Noel had a hot dog (thats my girl)
SuAnne had the caesar salad with chicken that she said was great and I had the beef dip which was okay.. nothing special, it improved vastly when I asked for horseradish and she brought me a red pepper mayo instead by mistake but it was tasty just the same.
Noel and I skipped dessert because we wanted Ghirardelli's.. but Hayley ordered the dirt n' worms sundae and was not impressed.
Later at Ghiradelli's I had a scoop of butter pecan and Noel had a scoop of chocolate chip cookie dough and be both enjoyed it... PS - no line ups when it chilly outside
Hoop Dee Doo Revue Dinner Show (December 19th)
As you know, we stayed at wilderness lodge and one of the little surprises we arranged was for a sleigh ride from the lodgel to HoopDeeDoo and back.
The one horse open sleigh had seats facing each other and a thick tartan wool blanket for our laps (It was really cold) but perfect weather for a sleigh ride. Our driver was John and our horse was Rodney who was handsome and sweet.
It was about a 25 minute clip clop ride through the woods, very dark, stars and moon out and we sang some christmas songs... it was really magical.
Hoop Dee Doo, Noel and I had seen the show before and enjoyed it.. we had a table right at the stage that frist time, this time however we were about 3/4's back from the stage and I found it very distracting the amount of people walking around, selling those photos they take outside, servers with drinks and food and clearing tables and people getting up to leave for the restrooms, I found I did not enjoy the show as much for this reason.
It was also a little bit of a different show as they did christmas songs and interacted more with the audience the regular story line kind of suffered.
SuAnne and the girls were all pointing at me and waving frantically when they asked if there were any birthdays being celebrated and one of the performers came over, microphone in hand to wish me a happy 40th.
Dinner was pretty darn good, nothing to complain about, hearty fare.
A big bucket o' salad with a great italian dressing that we demolished and actually needed to ask for more when Hayley decided she wanted seconds - after the rest of the meal was already out.. so the waitress brought her a big bowl of it for herself.
Dinner was Bread and butter, a bucket fried chicken, a bucket of pork ribs, a bowl of corn, a bowl of beans (Hayley looked horrified as Noel heaped spoonful after spoonful of beans on her plate as they SHARED a double bed)
LOL SuAnne and I didn't care how many beans noel ate, as we had the bunk beds.
Dessert was strawberry shortcake and it was okay but not as good as last time... I think because we were there in summer the first time the strawberries were fresh but this time they were more like preserves, but still tasty.
The show was fun and a good time was had by all.. then we were outside and Rodney and John were there to take us on the sleigh ride back to the hotel.. it was really a perfect night.
Le Cellier ~ Lunch (December 19)
In the morning we had concierge grab us a PS for an impromptu lunch at Le Cellier in Canada at EPCOT and we surprised to find it was available.
We didn't want to eat too much so SuAnne and I each had a bowl of cheddar cheese soup ~ Excellent! and we shared the prime rib sandwich (just okay)
The bread sticks were also very good, especially the pretzel ones... the waiter told us the story of how each variety represented certain provinces of canada... it was a long story, and then we noticed he sat several guests nearby and never told them the story LOL just brought them the sticks and left
but back to the cheese soup - SuAnne found the recipe online and we both made it this week.. my husband loved it even though I had to put his beer in it and SuAnne said hers turned out great too.. if anyone wants the recipe let me know.
The kids.. Hayely had spaghetti and Noel had chicken strips, both kids enjoyed lunch.
Noel had campfire smores and was not impressed.. hard to describe but it involved skewers.
Concierge Food & Beverage
I have stayed at BC Concierge and AKL Concierge and WL really does not compare well at all.
Breakfast fare at WL is very very basic, bagels (usually, but not every morning) danish, the same muffins every morning - no variety, very small fruit plate, coffee, juice... BC and AKL put WL to shame on the breakfast offerings and presentation.
Afternoon appetizers (5pm) were better, but still not anywhere as extensive as AKL and BC.. they had one main hot dish like pulled pork, smothered chicken etc... one soup like minestrone or bean & spinich, some bread, some cheese cubes..., some veggies and dip, wine & liquors
Evening desserts... I would have to say poor compared to AKL & BC, some cobbler (just okay) cookies (just okay) and brownies (everyone agreed were disgusting)
Beverages... I just could not get a hot cup of coffee at this place if my life depended on it - it always seemed luke warm out of the Urn they were using...
the only time soft drinks were out for the taking was at the appetizer time... they never had bottles of water or cans of coke, milk, chocolate milk etc out..and it was a pain to try and find someone to get you a one. Most of the time I gave up and took a glass of ice chips to crunch at our table :D
Funnel cakes at EPCOT world showcase Yum!
goofy powder.... grrrrrrr
Fudge ~ yum
Hope you enjoyed this report.. any questions just ask away.
Last edited by Cass; 12-30-2004 at 12:29 AM.
|12-30-2004, 04:33 AM||#3|
Oh how I wish I lived in Florida!
Likes to watch unsuspecting people try the "Beverly" at Ice Station Cool!
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Connecticut and Celebration, FL
Hi Cass, welcome back and thanks for the great reviews!
Happy belated 40th birthday! It sounds like you celibrated in style!
Waving to SuAnn, Noel and Hayley!
|12-30-2004, 06:29 AM||#5|
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Glen Rock Pa.
Enjoyed your reviews-especially your perspective on California Grill!
1'st Disney experience-- Movie "Peter Pan", 1953, Naval Air Station Theatre, Pensacola Florida.
WDW first meal-Papeete Bay Verandah, Sept. 1975
Victoria and Alberts first dinner Sept. 1988
Vacation Club since 1992
Next trip-- Fantasy Cruise on 11/1 14!!
60 previous visits to WDW!!!
|12-30-2004, 07:06 AM||#6|
Join Date: Sep 1999
Yummmm...my mouth is watering all over again reading my pal Cass' report of our eating adventures. She hit the nail on the head with all of them and reading her report brought back some great memories.
Just to add a note in here as the drink queen of this trip....the dirty martini at the Outer Rim at the Contempory was one of the best martini's I've ever had! It was huge, very dry and the olives were very yummy after sitting in all that gin.
|12-30-2004, 07:15 AM||#7|
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Atlanta, GA
|12-30-2004, 10:15 AM||#8|
Dances in the kitchen
Misses puppy breath
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Raymond, NH, USA
thanks for the reviews. we had one of the most enjoyable nights of our lives at Cali Grill - Ive heard a lot of people say its loud - and I swear it wasn't the night we were there. We also watched the MVMCP fireworks from there and it was fantastic.
|12-30-2004, 10:55 AM||#10|
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Burlington, Ma.
Great reviews. We will be at the WL next month. I was considering trying to upgrade to conceirge level at check in. Now you have got me thinking. I figured that breakfast would cost about $25.00 each morning for the 4 of us. Then snacks and soda woulb be around $15.00 per day at the resort. I have heard that if it is available conceige can be upgraded at checkin for around $50.00 per night. Do you feel that it is worth the extra money at a discounted rate? Or is WL conceirge a waste in your opinion?
|12-30-2004, 02:50 PM||#11|
No longer lonely without a tag
The TF's think you like your beer ;-)
If you love the magic, you'll never be too old
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Western Massachusetts
Excellent reviews. I especially enjoyed your review of Alfredo's. It always gets a few knocks, but I think we'll try it on our next visit. Thanks. :D
"It's funny what happens when you become a grandparent. You start to act all goofy and do things you never thought you'd do. It's terrific." - Mike Krzyzewski
|12-30-2004, 02:58 PM||#12|
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Pit bull free Ontario :-)
In my case it had nothing to do with $$ - we picked WL Lodge because of the Christmas Decorations.. not for food or value and I paid 350.00 a night for it.
The problem is I had the same expectations as I did for BC & AKL and WL is more of a Concierge-Lite.
Definately go for the upgrade, I am sure your family will make good use of it and it is definately worth the extra charge.
|01-04-2005, 06:59 PM||#14|
Join Date: Dec 2003
Loved your reviews...thanks for the report!!!
You review made me hungry and made me laugh!
PROUD TO BE THE STARTER OF THE FOOD PORN THREAD!!!!!
Watch out Disney.....here come the DisneyDivas!!!
DISNEY DIVAS BACK AGAIN TRIP - FREE DINING IS A GOOD THING 9/9 - 9/17/2008
|01-04-2005, 07:32 PM||#15|
The TF hopes to brighten your day too!!!
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Thanks for your great reviews. It is nice to see you back on the board. Hope you did a trip report too.
Staying at the Poly for the first time!!!
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