Deluxe Diners - Was it worth it?

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by arcticdisneylovers, Mar 5, 2010.

  1. arcticdisneylovers

    arcticdisneylovers DIS Veteran

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    Deluxe Dining Review Jan 25th – Feb 1st

    Let me start by saying this was our first family Disney Vacation. My DH and I have visited twice many years ago when money was tight so we did not stay onsite or eat many meals in the park.

    This was my dream trip as we now have DD5 and can afford to stay at the Contemporary MK view. An exciting development was that we were surprised with a free upgrade to the 12th floor Club Level. We had such a terrific time that we are planning on going to WDW next year during the same week.

    We decided to go with the Deluxe Dining Plan as we are pooh-sized people who like to eat. We liked being able to choose as many TS meals as we wanted and we love appetizers. Double the snacks also sounded great. Since we are not used to eating fast food (there isn’t any where we live) we did not think DD5 could survive eating CS every day.

    We left Iqaluit, Nunavut on Jan 22nd and arrived in Tampa on the 23rd. My parents picked us up at the airport and we stayed with them at their place in Dade City when we weren’t at Disney. We didn’t actually leave Florida until Feb 13th.

    Cast:
    Me princess: : Chief Disney planner. I love seafood and I admit to being a little bit picky. We're not used to "fancy" food. I'll admit I'm not interested in trying new foods very often. My DH claims I have as much fun planning the vacation as I do taking the vacation.
    DH pirate: : Very easy going, he will eat just about anything and not complain.
    DD5 :cutie:: First trip to Disney, a small but good eater. But she does not eat a lot of typical kiddie fare. She prefers plain meat and veggies.

    Rating System:
    I’ll rate four categories (characters, service, atmosphere, food) out of 5
    The return rating:
    :yay: Awesome, we loved it and we’ll definitely go on our next trip
    :confused3 Ok, we might give it another try
    :sad2: Will only go for the characters, not the food
    :sick: Never again, I say NEVER

    We took lots of pictures but we had trouble remembering at first, so forgive us if we are missing a few plates. I will post all I have, if I can figure out how to do it. The last time Robo posted instructions I copied them so I could have them when I need them. I've been having trouble finding time to work on my reviews since we've been home. I figured if I got started it would force me to make time to work on them.
     
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  3. SGMCO

    SGMCO Vintage Style is Sweet--Rumbleseat Fashions

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    Looking forward to your review.

    You got me with the I LOVE Seafood!!

    I also :love: Seafood and love reading reviews about seafood.
     
  4. natesmommy

    natesmommy Earning My Ears

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    I can't wait to read your reviews.
    It sounds like you had a great time.
     
  5. jacky b

    jacky b Mouseketeer

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    Can't wait for the reviews!!!!!
     
  6. arcticdisneylovers

    arcticdisneylovers DIS Veteran

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    I’ll include a review of club food at the end of my restaurant reviews.

    We had terrific service everywhere we went. We never encountered any rude behaviour from CMs or guests. In fact we had a couple of “magical” moments :wizard: and often CM’s seemed to go above and beyond to be helpful and friendly.

    We loved the Deluxe Dining Plan but there was a lot of wasted food at our meals that were not buffets. Hopefully by the time I am finished with my reviews I can determine whether we would do the Deluxe or any version of the Dining Plan again next year. I am leaning toward yes but my DH is leaning towards no. I’m sure we saved a lot of money (but I haven’t done the math yet) but DH is convinced if we paid OOP we would actually save money because what we would order would actually be less. I’m not convinced so I’ll let my records help clarify the situation for us. DD5 eats so little that she could eat from our plates if we were pay OOP. But we tend to eat at a lot character buffets so we’d have to pay for her most of the time anyway. Maybe she’ll start eating more so my DH will feel we get our money’s worth. :rotfl:

    Reviews for this trip include:
    Chef Mickey’s – Dinner
    Chef Mickey’s – Breakfast
    Liberty Tree Tavern
    Narcoossee’s
    50’s Prime Time Cafe
    Cape May Buffet
    Norway Princess Breakfast
    Coral Reef
    Pecos Bill’s (We cancelled San Angel’s Inn because wanted to head to MK to see Spectromagic)
    Donald’s Safari Breakfast
    Yak & Yeti
    Room Service (We cancelled Japan – Teppan Edo because we were tired and wanted to head back to the hotel)
    Cinderella’s Castle – Breakfast
    Tony’s Town Square
    Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show
    1900 Park Fare – Breakfast
    Le Cellier
    Contempo Cafe (We cancelled Garden Grill because we were freezing and wanted to head back to the hotel)
    Breakfast in the 12th floor lounge
    Casey’s
    Pecos Bill’s
     
  7. 2manypets

    2manypets DIS Veteran

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    Can't wait for your reviews! You've got some our favorite places.

    BTW, I never heard of Iqaluit, Nunavut before so had to look it up. I've got to say it's beautiful but quite cold right now. It looks like a great photographic area. Does it warm up in the summer?
     
  8. arcticdisneylovers

    arcticdisneylovers DIS Veteran

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    I'm trying to upload food porn to photobucket but because of our bandwidth I'm having trouble :mad: I think I'll have to upload one at a time :eek:

    We love it here and actually it's pretty warm right now because it's snowing tonight. Only -23C with the wind :goodvibes The week we left for Florida it was in the -50'sC all week :scared1: It can get above 10C in July and August but sometimes in snows then too. Usually we go south for July and August but 2 years ago on the July 1st holiday it was snowing and people were wearing winter gear :sad2: That's when I vowed to go on vacation before the end of June each year. I can't take snow in July. :rotfl2: But it's definately warm enough for black flies and mosiqutos for about 6 weeks, that's why I leave town :lmao:

    I have a few of my reviews ready to go. I just need to get the photos uploaded. I will start posting over the weekend.
     
  9. robinb

    robinb DIS Veteran

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    I admit that, as an ugly American, I had no idea where Iqaluit, Nunavut was. So I Googled it! You're not kidding that you don't have fast food there! It's the capital of Nunavut, CA with a population of only 6,200! I live in the capital of Wisconsin (Madison) and our population is 232,000 :).

    Anyway ... I'd be interested in your experience of doing the DxDDP along with Concierge. What a great upgrade!
     
  10. 2manypets

    2manypets DIS Veteran

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    Snow in July?!? :scared1: I like it around 90F. Not sure I have enough sweaters and coats and long johns to handle -50C. :laughing:
     
  11. SusieBea

    SusieBea DIS Veteran

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  12. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    Count me in! I'm looking forward to your review as well.

    We break out our winter jackets here in Southern California when the temps are 60 (F)!! My Chicago born DH says that I don't know what real cold is - he's right!

    Can't wait for more of your review.
     
  13. vinotinto

    vinotinto Just Keep Swimming

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    Signing in! Sounds like a great report will follow :cool1:
     
  14. arcticdisneylovers

    arcticdisneylovers DIS Veteran

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    This is a test to see if inserting the photo works:

    Us waiting to be seating our first night - Chef Mickey's

    [​IMG]
     
  15. arcticdisneylovers

    arcticdisneylovers DIS Veteran

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    Day 1 – Monday, January 25th – Arrival – No parks

    We decided not to rent a car so my parents dropped us off at the Contemporary on Jan 25th. We arrived at 2pm. They felt their health would not allow them to visit the parks with us but we were able to talk them into letting us treat them to supper before they returned home.

    5:20pm Supper ADR– Chef Mickey’s –we used 3 credits and paid OOP for my parents and two smoothies that were not included in the DxDDP.

    Checked In: 5:15pm
    Seated: 5:21pm
    Left: 6:30pm

    We would give Chef Mickey's the following ratings:

    5/5 - Characters: Excellent, saw all five (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto). We had a child size apron signed by all five characters and we enjoyed lots of pictures, hugs and kisses.

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    DD5 was dressed like Minnie so Mickey made a time over her, insisting on a kiss and Minnie twirled her around and danced with her “twin”. They were all great and didn’t seem rushed at all!

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    5/5 - Service: Excellent! Great team work, it seemed like 3 or 4 servers cleared plates, dropped off refills and stopped by to check on us. We were the first table seated in our section but all the tables were full within a few minutes. When we asked for bill it was taken care of quickly.

    4/5 - Atmosphere: It was very loud and tables were a bit close but we didn’t mind. We were seated at a table for 6 in the middle of the section (to the left when entering the restaurant). There seemed to be a nice view out the giant wall of windows at the back of the section. We opted to have the photo done with my parents included. It was quick and we actually purchased the picture! The picture is with a small statue of Chef Mickey and the package is not included in the meal price. The package was $31.90. There was one bigger picture (6x8) and 4 (3x5) and 2 postcards DD5 could colour. It’s in a nice folder for display. I do wish the photo was with a “real” Mickey instead of a statue. The photographers were polite and professional.

    2.5/5 - Food: VERY limited selection. The only hot veggies were mashed potatoes and green beans. The meat included; ribs, beef and turkey (carved) and chicken pieces. DH and DD5 loved the ribs and beef. I found the chicken pieces kind of greasy. The beef was medium and I only eat well done. But I asked and the carver had a separate plate with pieces that were well done, it was ust OK for me. The weird thing was that the lady in front of me commented to the carver, “Yikes that’s way too red for me”, he just smiled and she kept on moving. I almost called out to her but I didn’t want to make a scene as she was heading to her table. There were lots of salads, but I don’t eat that type of salads so I didn’t try any. DD5 loved the peel and eat shrimp. I found them typical of a frozen shrimp ring but she liked them. My parents thought the clam chowder was just ok, they said the potatoes were hard. :confused3 DD5 also had a piece of pizza and 1 chicken nugget. Actually I made a note in my report book that DD5 loved the food, she ate a ton which is highly unusual. :laughing: I admit I’m a bit more picky than DH. DH thought the food was “ok” but my parents and I were less than impressed. Looking back I would say this was our worst meal of the trip. That’s not really that big of an insult since we thought we had great meals our whole trip! It was not that the food was horrible; there just wasn’t a lot of choice, IMO. I guess for a restaurant in a deluxe hotel I expected a bigger buffet with more selection. DH got a dessert plate with a few choices for us to share but I’m not big dessert fan. They seemed like typical buffet selections and DH liked them.

    Bottom Line: :sick:
    We would never return for supper. I did read lots of negative reviews before we went, but Chef Mickey’s was conveniently located in the hotel. Truthfully when I read all the complaints on the boards before we went I thought. “Well what do you expect, it’s a buffet”. But the food selection really was disappointing for the price. Later in our Florida trip we went to Golden Corral and it had 3x the selection for the price of $10.95. Even though the service and characters were great, the food wasn't. There are so many better choices for supper at WDW, we won't be back to Chef Mickey's for the supper buffet. The rating seems harsh but I decided on this rating in light of the fact that all of the other buffets we ate at had much bigger and better selections.
     
  16. arcticdisneylovers

    arcticdisneylovers DIS Veteran

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    Day 2 –Tuesday, January 26th - MK

    7:15am Breakfast ADR– Chef Mickey – We actually made this reservation before we decided to have my parents join us for supper there the night before. DH thought we should start our first park day with a hardy breakfast so we kept the ADR even after eating there night before. DD5 was excited to see the characters again :banana:

    Checked In: 7:05am
    There were probably 30 people standing in line to check it when we arrived. But the line moved quickly, there was a CM walking down the line chatting with everyone. We had the picture taken with just DD5 this time and course we couldn’t resist buying it!

    Seated: 7:20am


    We gave Chef Mickey’s Breakfast the following ratings:

    5/5 Characters: Excellent, saw all five (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto). DD5 wore her Minnie dress again with her new Minnie mouse ears.

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    This time we brought an autograph album, the kind with a picture slot on one left hand side and autograph page on the right. I'd highly recommend these books as it's so great to have a photo of DD5 with each character right beside their autograph. The characters seemed a bit more rushed but it was very busy and they were still great.

    5/5 Service: Excellent! The waitress even brought us an apple juice box to take with us. She said something like most kids don’t really like orange juice so maybe DD5 would want it later.

    3/5 Atmosphere: The restaurant appeared very busy again. It seemed much louder than the night before. We were seated right across from the buffet along the wall. So it was pretty hectic. But the food was super close so we didn’t mind the location. The people at the next table weren’t too happy but they had a huge party so it was kind of tight for pictures for them.

    3/5 Food: VERY limited selection. There were eggs, nasty potato casserole (DH thought it was great), bacon and sausage patties. There were cereals, fruit, yogurt, cottage cheese, and pastries. This was the worst breakfast buffet selection of the trip. We also ate at Donald’s Safari Breakfast and 1900Park Fare and they had bigger selections and much better food IMHO. But the service and characters were great at all three.

    Bottom Line: :sad2:

    We will suffer the food for Breakfast in order to see the characters. We are going to stay at the Contemporary again next year so we will plan to eat one breakfast at Chef Mickey’s because it will be so convenient and it is a great way to see the fab five. I would say this was the worst of all our breakfasts though.
     
  17. goldielocksraj

    goldielocksraj Anxiously awaiting deluxe birthday trip!

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    Thanks for the reviews, looking forward to more!!!

    I have to say that your daughter is just A CUTIE PATOOTIE!!! Especially in the picture that she's dancing with Minnie. :love: Daddy had better get his baseball bat/gun ready for the guys!! :rolleyes1
     
  18. 2manypets

    2manypets DIS Veteran

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    I agree about the food at Chef Mickey's. I was so happy when my DD said she was too old for character meals. This was the first to go. :rotfl:
     
  19. Meg1884

    Meg1884 Mouseketeer

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    Great review so far! Can't wait for the rest.
     
  20. arcticdisneylovers

    arcticdisneylovers DIS Veteran

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    Day 2 –Tuesday, January 26th - MK

    11:35am Lunch ADR– Liberty Tree Tavern

    Checked In: 11:33am
    Seated: 11:35am – DD5 was disappointed because she wanted to colour at the activity tables that had paper and crayons. We were shown right to our table before we could even sit down in the waiting area.
    Left : 12:33pm

    We gave Liberty Tree Tavern the following ratings:

    4/5 - Characters: We saw Chip and Dale, Minnie and Pluto. DD5 loved seeing the chipmunks. We got autographs and pictures. They seemed a bit rushed even though the restaurant was mostly empty. It was nice to see Minnie in her green gown. DD5 wondered why she wasn’t wearing her “regular” dress.

    4.5/5 - Service: Raymond was our friendly server. We had to ask for drink refills but he brought them quickly. He also settled the bill quickly which we always appreciate. There was quite a lag between the salad and main course but we just filled up on the wonderful rolls.

    4/5 - Atmosphere: A bit dark for lunch, we were seated more in the middle of the restaurant away from the windows. Actually we were right beside the back stairs leading to an upper seating level. The inside had a wood decor. We visited every restaurant bathroom and this one was no exception, very clean and well maintained. It seemed that in a lot of restaurants we were seated by the kitchen, bathroom or serving station. But because we have a small child we don’t mind, the extra noise and activity are welcome to drown us out. :laughing:

    4/5 - Food: Everything was nice and hot. The rolls were the best of the trip and the honey butter was to die for. We gobbled down a few before we remembered to take a picture. These heavenly morsels were enough to make sure we return and we don’t usually eat much bread at home since I’m not a baker and it’s hard to buy here. We usually buy frozen loaves of bread on food mail every two weeks. You can see the stairs in the picture, I never noticed that until now.

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    The salad was fresh with lots of flavourful dressing. It was a nice treat since we don’t eat a lot of salad, once again it’s hard to buy in the arctic.

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    The mac –n-cheese was runny. I was the only one who tasted it since we don’t eat mac-n-cheese.

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    The green beans were crisp but had a weird taste. DD5 found them hard to eat with the “funny” fork which had the tines widely spaced. The potatoes tasted like instant but we enjoyed them. DD5 ate mostly turkey and potatoes. The gravy was bit too runny for us and not very favourful.

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    The turkey was good, the ham was dry but had a tasty mustard sauce. DH liked the roast beef but I didn’t try it since it was blood red. Next time I would ask if I could get some cooked a little better.

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    The dessert was fantastic. Nice and hot with delicious ice cream. We hardly touched it but only because we were so full. It was a huge portion. The server tried to insist on bringing DD5 something else for dessert when he saw she wouldn’t eat the apple crumble. But she doesn’t really eat any desserts so we politely declined. We didn’t want to waste more food.

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    The portions brought to the table were so huge we felt guilty that there was so much leftover. We hate to waste but we were always stuffed. DD5 is a very small eater but she loved the “home cooked” food. Maybe they thought we needed extra big servings when they saw us coming. :lmao: Actually we are big eaters but we still felt that portions were too huge at almost all of the restaurants we visited. Perhaps it was because we were eating 3 TS meals a day but that’s how we eat at home. Our DD5 is used to eating 3 regular meals and lots of healthy snacks. She doesn’t eat a lot so we have make sure gets enough since she never asks for food and rarely seems hungry. I was usually hungry when it was time for our ADRs but we never really felt like snacking between meals or in the evenings.

    Bottom Line: :yay:

    We will definitely be back, especially since we find MK lacking in TS restaurants. I loved that the characters were there for lunch. Unfortunately it was because Crystal Palace was closed while we were there. But we’ll probably try LTT for a menu lunch and character supper next year. I really hope that the Fantasyland refurb includes a few more TS restaurants.
     
  21. arcticdisneylovers

    arcticdisneylovers DIS Veteran

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    With the DxDDP we had 2 snack credits each everyday.

    I forgot about telling you all about our snack credits; we used 2 credits our first night to buy fudge at one of the shops on the 4th floor of the Contemporary. DH said it was good but I didn’t try any.

    Tuesday - Main St. Bakery MK
    After the parade we were heading for the hotel when we decided we were thirsty and stopped at the Main St. Bakery. It wasn’t busy and there were lots of free tables. The staff were friendly and efficient. We used 4 snack credits for a bottle of water, the best strawberry smoothie we had the whole trip, a huge cupcake and cheese danish. DH liked the danish but I thought it was dry. Maybe that's how it's supposed to be I don't think I've ever eaten one before. DD5 loved the cupcake and ate mostly the icing off the top. Good thing we had lots wet wipes. That is probably the real reason she didn’t eat her supper later at Narcoossee’s.

    [​IMG]
     

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