Are we the only ones not at all impressed with the food at WDW?

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by 1st_trip4us, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. 1st_trip4us

    1st_trip4us Mouseketeer

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    We went last September and then just got back yesterday. We have had a total of 11 table service meals between the 2 trips. We chose the most popular places:

    Whispering Canyon Cafe
    Mama Melrose
    Le Cellier (lunch one trip, dinner the next)
    Chef Mickey (breakfast one trip, dinner the next)
    Princess breakfast at Epcot
    Boma breakfast
    O'hana breakfast
    Sci-Fi lunch
    Tonys Town Square dinner

    I cannot say that 1 meal we had was really great. This trip we thought Le Cellier was good, not great. If it was a local restaurant I can't say we'd go back, we have much better local steakhouses near home. Tonys Town Square and Mama Melrose were just downright awful! We did not care for WCC at all, the food was all dry and a bit overdone. O'hana breakfast was ok, nothing special. Chef Mickey breakfast last year was way better than the dinner this year. We all wound up eating more off the kids section and filling up on desserts, just couldn't find anything in the adult area that had any taste. Sci Fi was ok as far as greasy fast food goes. I do realize that we shouldn't expect much out of character meals food-wise, and we go mainly for the kids to have the experience of the characters. But the way people rave about the restaurants and how they can't wait to go for all this great food has me wondering what we're doing wrong.

    So I'm wondering, does anyone else think the food just isn't that great? Or are we the only ones? Because of now having 2 experiences with free dining and not being at all impressed we're thinking we may just go in December next trip and enjoy nicer weather than icky food.
     
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  3. pta-mom

    pta-mom <font color=deeppink>The three-second rule does no

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    Well, in my humble opinion, it's a little hard to have a "great" breakfast...how hard is it to mess up breakfast yet on the same hand, how can you have a "great" one? Eggs, sausage, waffles, bacon, home fries...not much to rave on there. So, that takes a large portion of your dining experience away.

    Than, if you look at your list, MM, TTS & Sci-Fi consistently get low marks in the food dis-boards. WCC & CM dinners are well know for a specific dish &/or their entertainment value.

    To be honest, the ONLY restuarant I see in your list that I would consider to be highly rated in the "great" department is Le Cellier...& that "great" rating depends on your tastes & sometimes on whether or not they happen to be having a bad night.

    I feel bad that you didn't find DW food to be not great. Last year we loved the food at Le Cellier & Maya Grill. We were also pleased with Liberty Tree Tavern. This year after checking out the many reviews for consistently high marks, we feel confident that we will get "great" food from Spoodles, Boma, Kona & Wolfgang Pucks. Perhaps if you go again, you might want to look for the restaurants that are known more for their exceptional food & less for their gimics or character dining. I've found that that makes a big difference.
     
  4. mom2aredhead

    mom2aredhead DIS Veteran

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    ...and what you eat when you go out for dinner at home.

    I live in the NY metro area and am surrounded by (and go to) a lot of terrific restaurants around here - Italian, Mexican, Spanish, Steakhouse, you name it.

    We looked at it this way - we were on a family vacation with a toddler at a theme park. Fine dining was not the purpose of our trip. I was not "wowed" by the food in any of the restaurants we ate in, but again, we did not eat in any of the Dis "favorites" like V&A, Le Cellier or Jiko. Our restaurant list was similar to OP's - including Chef Mickey's, Boma, & Tony's, and what we ate was fine - not exceptional, but fine. It served it's purpose for us - we ate, we were entertained, and we were fueled up to go back to the parks for some more fun.

    Living in NY, I don't consider WDW to be a "dining destination"...I'm not faulting those that do, and I'm not looking to get flamed here, but its my opinion that a lot of the it has to do with expectiations and perspective.
     
  5. 1st_trip4us

    1st_trip4us Mouseketeer

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    maybe that's a big part of it....I'm from the Chicago area and maybe we are just blessed with really great food here. I don't normally think of going on vacation as where I'll be enjoying fabulous meals. In most cases you go to a certain destination for something other than food. I guess I just don't get what all the hype is about on the dining boards where there's so many places everyone raves about and seems to think it's such fantastic meals there. In both trips I kept thinking I'd be blown away by our meals. Beaches N Cream is another one. We tried to get there on our first trip and the wait was so long. I was determined this time we'd get in there. We waited the 45 minutes and got ice cream. Which was simply that, just ice cream, like I could get at any local ice cream shop.
    It's not like the food ruined my trip. We had an unbelievable time both trips. And really eating is just filling your gut to get you through the day, every meal isn't going to have you gasping at the end of it saying it was an amazing experience to eat that meal. I was just thinking we'd be a bit more impressed with the food. I guess that's why on the dining boards someone can ask an opinion on a restaurant and will get just as much positive feedback as negative on each one.
     
  6. wildeoscar

    wildeoscar DIS Veteran

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    at WDW there is a difference between popular restaurants, and fine dinning restaurants.

    Ohanna, WCC, LTT, etc. (the family style restaurants) are not fine dinning... and the food is ok, but you are really paying for the atmosphere and entertainment.

    Cali Grill, Artist Point, Jiko... these are fine dinning.

    ya just have to adjust your expectations on the difference between what is popular and what is fine dinning.
     
  7. wildeoscar

    wildeoscar DIS Veteran

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    there is not one place on this list that is fine dinning, though Le Cellier does make a good steak, and the shrimp cocktail salad is killer.
     
  8. Lintasare

    Lintasare Holy Carp!

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    I'm sorry you didn't like the food but I can say from experience that the chefs at Disney try their best to create appealing dishes. Out of all my dining experiences I think I have only ever had one bad meal and that was at Sci-Fi. We went for the entertainment value and not the food and I was very unimpressed with the food. Course after working at the Brown Derby it takes alot to impress me. Of course that is not to say that the restaurants on your list havn't gotten into a rut. Sounds like they need to shake up their culinary staff a bit.
     
  9. melomouse

    melomouse DIS Veteran

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    I agree with the PP - with the exception of Le Cellier, which gets rave reviews here on the DIS, your experiences were with breakfasts and venues where the focus is more on entertainment than on the food.

    That said, I do think that from reading these boards sometimes, you'd think that every meal was a fine dining experience! While I have yet to try places I would consider to likely be on a par with MY definition of "fine dining" (V&A, Narcosee's, Citrico's, etc.), the food overall is a cut above "average" an in some cases, an extraordinary surprise (Kona, for example, amazed us this trip!)

    I think we have had exactly ONE breakfast at WDW in all our visits - Yacht Club Galley this past trip. It was more than adequate, but nothing more than I've had at all my Marriott stays in the past.

    All a matter of perspective, experience and expectations.
     
  10. mom2aredhead

    mom2aredhead DIS Veteran

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    If I'm going to be honest, I did a lot of researching and planning before our last trip. I had a whole list of restaurants that were "must do's" based on the hype here. But when I stumbled on the threads with the pictures, I was pretty underwhelmed, and it was partially the pictures posted in peoples reviews that made me not want to break my neck and rearrange my schedule to eat at some of those "Dis favorites". I ended up just going with the ones that were more for entertainment value, convenience and supposedly had decent food, and they were fine.
    Now, I've never eaten the mushroom filet at Le Cellier, and I'm sure it's really good, but I do not for one second believe it is any better than the filet I can get at any good steak restaurant. And when I saw the pictures of some of the entrees at the "Dis favorite" restaurants, I decided pretty quickly that it's similar to the food we get regularly here at home. I know, some will criticize me for deciding that without tasting it, but again, the purpose of our trip was to have fun together as a family. I make grilled filet at home. I had lobster bisque and crab cakes on the boardwalk last week. I do not have anything like Sci Fi or Chef Mickey's at home, so that's what I picked, similar to the OP.
    That being said, if you read some of the reviews, you would think that every morsel of food you will put in your mouth at Disney will be the most mind blowing dining experience you will have, and that's simply not true. I've read dining reviews that rave about that fried cheese at 50's PTC. Or the wings at O'hana. (I mean, seriously, wings??) And don't even get me started on the food at LTT - helloooo, it's stouffers mac and cheese! But because it's in MK, it's fabulous!
    So I guess my point is this...I don't think it's right to tell the OP that she picked the "wrong" restaurants and that's why she was underwhelmed. Had she followed the hype, she may have been equally underwhelmed at Coral Reef or even (gasp) Jiko. She's got a right to be unimpressed the same as others are allowed to endlessly gush over a turkey sandwich.
     
  11. my3disneygirls

    my3disneygirls <font color=blue>I have never had the disire to tr

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    I agree with you for the most part. The reason that people are overwhelmed by the food is the same reason some are underwhelmed. Because it's Disney. Some go in so happy to be there and excited by the atmosphere that a good meal, feels like an excellent one. Others go in and expect to get food on par with The French Laundry and are let down.

    There are tons of dining options and those who want higher end do have less to choose from, but I think thats because there is not as big a call for it. If I'm in the mood for Stouffer's mac and cheese and roast turkey (yes I do on occasion eat Stouffer's) then LTT for dinner fills that need for comfort food. This is why I try to research where I want to go. I have never gone to Sci-fi and expect a fancy meal, (it is a drive in) or go to Cali Grill for a burger.

    People from all over the world go to Disney. This board is represented, by people all over this country and many others with a wide range of tastes. This is why I read reviews, but look at the overall picture and make my own decisions.
     
  12. LSmith

    LSmith DIS Veteran

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    We just got back from 10 days of dining. We were underwhelmed by most of the food we had.
    Coral Reef: Bland food, very spotty service.
    California Grill: Terrible service, for example: waitress had to be asked 4 times to bring the kids drinks, we were well into our main dishes when she finally brought them. The sushi was average at best. My son's steak came out 15 minutes before the rest of us got our food. When we told the waitress she laughed and shrugged her shoulders. Our filet of beef was drowning in bbq sauce. Definitely not what I would consider a fine dining experience. That said, friends of our ate at CG the night before and had rave reviews of the place. Not to mention stellar reviews on this board.
    Lilo and Stitch breakfast: Cold eggs, undercooked sausage.
    Wolfgang Puck: Excellent service and excellent food.
    San Angel: I know this one gets a lot of bad reviews but we quite enjoyed our meal here.
    Hollywood and Vine: Good food one night for dinner and not so good for lunch two days after.
    Boma: We really liked the food here. The service was amazing.

    I guess at the end of the day it's "To each his own".
     
  13. Donald&Tinkerbell

    Donald&Tinkerbell Mouseketeer

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    I once lived in an area where the nearest Chinese restaurant was 60 miles away. Southern style BBQ was hundreds of miles away. As an adventurus eater, DH & I had to try to cook things ourselves. We tend to plan our trips around the restaurants. We go to the signature ones and spend far more than we would usually do at home because it is part of what we want to do on vacation. Disney needs to cater to all styles of travelers. It's up to you to choose, but I must say, I know we eat with our eyes, but taste trumps looks.
     
  14. Kristie36

    Kristie36 Earning My Ears

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    I was also underwhelmed with the food at WDW but I think my expectations may have been set too high. I really researched our first trip last Feb. and from reading the reviews on this board, I thought that the food would be better than it was. We didn't have any really BAD meals, but it was not as good as I thought it was going to be based upon what I had read, especially for the price. I knew it was going to be marked up since it's a theme park and was expecting that, but I guess I didn't realize how much more money it was going to be and for the prices we paid, I thought the food should have been better. In some cases, a lot better.

    Since we have a young son, we did eat at places that catered more to families and had more "entertainment" like Chef Mickey's, Crystal Palace, Liberty Tree, O'Hana, Boma, Coral Reef, Whispering Canyon, Hollywood & Vine, etc.

    Food aside, we did have a ton of fun and are going back next Feb.

    :cool1:
     
  15. KatMark

    KatMark DIS Veteran

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    I agree with you. I think the chefs try (and often succeed) in creating appealing dishes. Not every meal is going to please every person's taste buds. We have had outstanding meals (LeCellier, Concourse Steakhouse, Fultons); we have had good meals (50's Prime Time, Mama Melrose, Crystal Palace, Cape May Cafe); we have had so-so meals (Sci-Fi, Maya Grill, etc.) and we have had terrible meals (Boatwright's and, sorry no offense...Brown Derby). But as in every thing in every day life, everyone can have a bad day (I'm having a really bad day at the office today and someone snapped at me and then apologized because they were having a bad day). Nothing in life is perfect!
     
  16. MickeyNicki

    MickeyNicki It is pretty darn sad when a valet picks you out a

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    Please tell me your thoughts on Boma, we are going in a few weeks for the first time.
     
  17. LSmith

    LSmith DIS Veteran

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    Personally speaking, we thought the food at Boma was terrific. The salads are amazing, as are the soups. One of the chefs cut me a huge slice of roast beef that was perfect. I mumbled something under my breath about horseradish to my husband and the chef heard and took off and came back with some for me. The service was outstanding. One of the people we were dining with has a nut allergy and a chef was out in less than a minute to personally walk him through the entire buffet. There was so many things to try but I got full too fast and wasn't able to try a lot of things. The entire party of 9 agreed the food was great. Didn't try dessert but my husband had a much talked about Zebra Dome. It was way too sweet for our liking. The decor of the restaurant was very nice as well.
     
  18. mom2aredhead

    mom2aredhead DIS Veteran

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    Oh my goodness hundreds of miles for BBQ...I'd never survive LOL!

    Coming from a more rural area, someone may look at a menu or pictures and think - "Wow, it's been ages since I've had ________" or "I can't wait to try _________" I've never had it before.

    Others may think "I just had __________ last week, lets go see Pooh and the gang instead" or "I make _________ all the time, but Sci Fi looks like fun!"

    Neither one is right or wrong, just different perspectives. The point I was trying to make earlier was that people were telling the OP she picked the wrong restaurants, and there's really no such thing...it just depends on your family's vacation/dining style. I think the problem is that all of the restaurants get sooo much hype on these boards, people may go expecting way too much.
     
  19. tfoster

    tfoster My friends call me T

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    We just got back and I was also underwhelmed. It wasn't that things were BAD; it was more that nothing stood out as being particularly good. Actually, that's not totally true. We ended up loving Pepper Market and preferred our meals there over all others, even the table service ones. To us, everything else (besides Cindy's Gala Feast) seemed pretty mediocre.

    At Chef Mickey's lunch, I kind-of struggled to find anything I thought was good. And yes, we did go to some places primarily for the entertainment, but unfortunately, most of our experiences didn't match the DIS masses in that regard either. CP breakfast, the characters were very rushed and we didn't get to see them all. CM lunch, we sat ignored for the first 3/4 of our time there and the staff had to get the characters to come to our table. When they did come, they were great - maybe our table was just in a bad location??? 50's PT, our waitress was very nice but didn't play a role in any way whatsoever. Cinderella's Gala Feast, however, provided wonderful character interaction, service, and food.

    I sometimes see people write that counter service is counter service and should be judged accordingly. Before our recent experience, I agreed. However, after waiting in those lines for seemingly forever, I did expect better food than we received. The thing about CS is that you may expect to maybe get mediocre food, but the benefit should be that it's quick and convenient. If I'm going to wait a long time, I do have higher expectations. A couple of times, the process of getting that mediocre food in it's little plastic containers was almost painful. Again, Pepper Market gets a big thumbs up for great fresh food in a great environment!
     
  20. Amyshubby

    Amyshubby Favorite Hidden Mickey! Birthmark on my son's arm!

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    Do tell!

    We are going for 8 days in January and are renting a car so many of our meals will be off-site. However, the 4 places we are looking at are WCC, CM, Ohana and a lunch at sci-fi (for the atmosphere). We have 4 and 7 yr old boys.

    If there's a specific dish at WCC or CM that you can let us know about, that would be great. I thought CM was buffet and WCC was a choice? We were planning on buffet at WCC but if there's a special dish we don't know about...
     
  21. WildGrits

    WildGrits DIS Veteran

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    I totally agree with you. We pick our TS meals for two reasons.

    One reason is that the restaurant holds good memories for our family i.e. went to Cape May Cafe for dinner years ago with great grandparents who a gone now. I never did feel the food was anything special but being there brings back warm memories for me and the other 7 folks joining me. And Ohana is the only character meal I can get my kids to go to. I have video of them there with Goofy and the rest when they where still in high chairs.

    Secondly, Boma and Beirgarten are the only places I get my fill of food that you can't find here. For me it has been 5 years since our last visit and since I had sauerbraten.:love:

    I have never done any of the high end places at Disney so I can't say how good they are, but, I can honestly say I do enjoy mostly what I get where we eat. Except for Chef Mickey's and WCC, we didn't care for them at all. Mainly too loud for us.
     

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