Magic Happens, and Then You EAT: Our Gluttonous *Year of the Dragon* COMPLETE!!

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by iloveeeyore, May 6, 2012.

  1. iloveeeyore

    iloveeeyore DIS Veteran

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    Index with links to completed reviews in next post!

    Hi, fellow DISers! Welcome :welcome: to the PTR stage of our third dining report! This time, since we are feeling exceptionally gluttonous and celebratory (for many reasons which may or may not be revealed to you later ;)), we are pulling out all the stops...I mean no holds barred...with the Deluxe Dining Plan! :cool1::cool1::cool1::cool1::cool1::cool1:

    When: August 3-11, 2012

    Where: 1 night at Disney's Contemporary Resort (no dining plan), and 7 nights at Disney's Polynesian Resort (Deluxe Dining Plan) - all 4 theme parks, DTD, probably an afternoon at Blizzard Beach...in other words, all Disney, all the time!

    Who: Our lucky family of four -
    iloveeeyore AKA Jasmine- (45), staff nurse by night, family trip planner by day!
    MainStreetFireman AKA Aladdin- (48 *Year of the Dragon* man!), volunteer fireman, renaissance man, great helper when it comes to trip planning!
    Inspire&Imagine AKA Belle - (soon to be 18), high school graduation celebrator (almost college student!), actress, singer, dramatic writer!
    DS (15) AKA Hercules - athlete, actor, singer, dancer!

    We are all Disney fanatics! We also LOVE Disney Dining, great food, and laughing, playing, and EATING together! We enjoy sharing our experiences with our friends, so any little piece of information or advice we can offer can enrich the experiences of others. We hope that this report will bring something to you to assist in your planning! Thank you for reading, and please enjoy! And please chime in! We love to read your thoughts, ideas, criticisms, words of wisdom...anything you have to say will be appreciated here! So let's get ready to GO!:cheer2:

    Again, :welcome:

    ADRs next post!
     
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  3. iloveeeyore

    iloveeeyore DIS Veteran

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    This post will be used as an index of the plans, and will be edited on an ongoing basis as I work on the report to tell you what's new, and if/when any of the plans below change. I will add links to posts that contain reviews as I complete them.

    Rating System
    Links Test

    New 7/27: practice post for live report:
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=45633172&postcount=66

    Day 1 Why ASMu for one night?
    NEW 7/10 - SURPRISE ABOUT DAY 1 REVEALED!
    B: Favorite local deli for bagels/sandwiches to eat at home
    S: JetBlue snacks
    "L:" Contempo Cafe
    D: Chef Mickey's

    Day 2 (arrive at Poly/Epcot)
    B: 8:15 Kona Cafe (1)
    S: Joy of Tea
    L: 2:00 Via Napoli (1)
    D: 9:30 HDDR (2)

    Day 3 (MK)
    B: Snack Credit
    L: 11:30 Liberty Tree Tavern (1)
    BONUS: Pre-dinner cocktails and possible mini DISmeet at Tambu Lounge
    D: 8:00 Citricos (2)

    Day 4 (Epcot)
    B: Snack Credit
    L: 12:00 Biergarten (1)
    S: La Boulangerie Patisserie
    D: 9:30 Yachtsman Steakhouse (2)

    Day 5 (AK)
    B: Snack Credit
    8:45 Wild Africa Trek (we get a snack with this)
    L: 1:30 Tusker House (1)
    D: 8:00 Raglan Road (1)

    Day 6 (MK)
    B: Snack Credit
    L: 12:05 The Plaza (1)
    D: 7:20 Narcoossee's (2)

    Day 7 (Epcot)
    B: Snack Credit
    L: 11:30 Le Cellier (1)
    S: Karamell Kuche
    D: 7:00 'Ohana (1)

    Day 8 (DHS)
    B: The Writer's Stop
    L: 1:15 Mama Melrose (1)
    BONUS: Pre-dinner coctails and mini DISmeet at the Tambu Lounge (again)
    D: 9:30 California Grill(2)

    Day 9 (MK and home :sad1:)
    B: 8:10 Crystal Palace (1)
    S: Sunshine Tree, Confectionary
    L: 2:35 Kona Cafe (1)

    Final Thoughts
     
  4. MainStreetFireman

    MainStreetFireman DIS Veteran

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    Eventhough I already know about the plans, I still cannot wait to read about them! 89 days, and counting! :cool1:
     
  5. dreamscometrue101

    dreamscometrue101 Mouseketeer

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    I've never written a PTR or TR.... but I'm arriving at the World a week after you head home so maybe I'll get some inspiration from your PTR to write my TR when I get home.

    I hope you're having as much fun planning your trip as I am planning mine.

    Have a great trip and I'll be following along!
     
  6. CanadianPaco

    CanadianPaco I miss my tags!

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    I'm in!!! Your restaurant choices look great!pixiedust:
     
  7. jacksmom

    jacksmom DIS Veteran

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    Can't wait for more!:rotfl:
     
  8. jennyf2

    jennyf2 DIS Veteran

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    I'm in & will be at the Poly for 2 nights :) We have also upgraded to the Deluxe Dining plan..

    Can't wait to read your PTR :)
     
  9. iloveeeyore

    iloveeeyore DIS Veteran

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    WooHoo! How deliciously decadent are we going to be?! I can't wait either, and the pre- trip report helps me to manage the excitement. Thanks for motivating me to get this started.

    I'm so glad you are following along! I will try to get some, if not most, of my reviews up live, so hopefully that will help more. Will you do a pre- trip report?

    Thank you so much! Some of them are old favorites, but many will be new to us. I will get into the details about how we arrived at our choices soon! Hope you enjoy reading! Glad you're here.

    Fantastic! I'm looking forward to sharing, so please stay tuned! Thanks for following along.

    We're Tambu buddies, right?! I have to add our cocktails to the list of plans in post #2! Will you be writing a PTR? Thanks for joining in!
     
  10. MickeyNicki

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

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    YAY! I made first page! I am so in for this....know why? Because I love your reviews, yes of course but the main reason? Because since you are going 2 months + before me I will have time to read your reviews and change my plans!
     
  11. iloveeeyore

    iloveeeyore DIS Veteran

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    Thank you, Nicki! :hug: You are my dining review idol and inspiration, so that means worlds to me! Oh, my, you might change your plans because of MY lil' ol' reviews? Now I really feel the pressure to get them right! Or more importantly, to get them up in a really timely manner! :eek: I promise I'll do my best.

    Thank you for reading!
     
  12. iloveeeyore

    iloveeeyore DIS Veteran

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    As you can count, we are one credit short, or in other words, we are exceptionally gluttonous! We will be on the DxDP for 7 nights, meaning we get 3 credits per night per person, or 21 credits. But we are at 22 with our current plan. What to do?

    I put this question out on the Restaurant Board last week, and we (the DIS community, Aladdin and I) came to the conclusion that we can easily split a few of our meals at some of these venues, specifically at 4 venues (saving enough credits to cover all meals). That means that we will only order 3 meals at probably Kona breakfast, and lunches at Liberty Tree Tavern, Tony's Town Square and Mama Melrose. It has been ages since we have had breakfast at Tony's, and all of the others are completely new to us, so we are guessing that this will work. Hercules is a hungry boy and doesn't love to share food, so essentially, it will be Aladdin, Belle and I splitting 2 meals (with maybe a taste from Herc here and there) at each of these meals.

    So experts, do you think these would be the best places to share meals? Can you think of any specific dishes that are big enough and worthy of sharing? And do you have any other suggestions?

    Please keep the feedback coming!
     
  13. Smiling Cheshire Cat

    Smiling Cheshire Cat DIS Veteran

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    So happy for you to be heading back so soon. It looks like you have wonderful plans! Hope you have good luck sharing dining credits. We have shared many meals at WDW but don't usually do the DDP.
     
  14. iloveeeyore

    iloveeeyore DIS Veteran

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    Thank you, we are soooo excited to be heading back so soon, too! Thanks for the encouragement about the plans. Aladdin is opposed to paying OOP for any meals, on principle. He feels that the DxDP should be more than enough to satisfy us without having to pay more, except for adult beverages and tips, of course. We have never shared meals before, but primarily because we like to sample a variety. Typically, our family of 4 will order 4 different dishes so we can taste them all. It will be hard to see a fourth dish on the menu we'd like to try but skip it to save the credit. I will look at it as we are also saving the calories. We surely won't need a FULL 3 course meal twice a day. Especially since we will be "forced" to eat 2 snacks per day ;)!

    What meals have you most enjoyed sharing? Have you shared at any of the above? I'd appreciate any tips! And thanks for reading! I am reading yours, too!
     
  15. Inspire&Imagine

    Inspire&Imagine Mouseketeer

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    Totally subscribed! <3
     
  16. iloveeeyore

    iloveeeyore DIS Veteran

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    YAY! Thank you for reading my report, Beauty! :hug:
     
  17. iloveeeyore

    iloveeeyore DIS Veteran

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    :thumbsup2 This is my first attempt at both building and using a rating system. We're really excited to see how it works this trip. We will take into account food quality, variety, service, atmosphere and entertainment, since Disney Dining, for us, is more about the overall experience in a venue than just the food. Monetary value won't play too much of a role in our considerations, since we are on the DxDP and everything is already paid-for (ha, I might recant this when those gratuities start to add up ;)), but I will take value into account during my discussions.

    So I'd like to introduce you to my rating system!:yay:


    We will call this first rating 1/5:

    [​IMG]
    Raincloud Eeyore represents the worst possible restaurant rating. The food, service, atmosphere and value were poor, and little or no redeeming quality could be found. We would not go back to this restaurant (or try this snack again)! In other words, there is NO bright side for poor, gloomy Eeyore. We hope to NOT see this guy again, even though he is ridiculously cute. We can always look back to post #16 of this report to enjoy him, if we so choose. To give you an idea where what we mean by this one, we would put ABC Commissary in this category, and Aladdin would put Yak & Yeti here, because the one time we tried it, he found the tip of a latex glove in his mouth with his bite of food. Very little was done to compensate us for this disgusting event (they gave us "free dessert" though we were on the DDP), and Aladdin refuses to ever step foot in the place again, it turns his stomach to think of it. No matter how tasty the curry bowl or the fried rice, no deliciousness or free dessert could compensate for potential hepatitis or choking to death. We wouldn't return. :sick:


    Our next rating will be 2/5:

    [​IMG]
    Unhappy Eeyore is still a bit depressed, but at least it isn't raining on him. The edge has been taken off his gloom, because there is some some redeeming quality to be found in his meal or snack. Maybe there was an entertainment value, or the service was excellent, or it was sooo cheap we expected nothing or didn't care...or perhaps everything overall was just meh, but not horrible (i.e., NO rubber gloves ended up in our mouths). We wouldn't rush back to the venue within the next few trips, but we wouldn't necessarily ban it forever or totally pan it here on the DIS, either! Nor would we recommend it. We might chalk it up to a "bad night" for the restaurant or server. For your reference, Whispering Canyon Cafe belongs in this category per our experience. We found the food barely acceptable, the service spotty, the antics unamusing after the first 10 minutes, (there weren't even any games during our 90 minute meal), and even the margarita wasn't good. However, the shakes were delicious and the atmosphere in the open lobby of the WL are intriguing and beautiful, and we think we probably ordered wrong (we ALL got the skillet...maybe we'd prefer something else?). We will probably return again someday when we stay at the WL, which we intend to do one year around the holidays, but until we have a different experience, we cannot recommend this place to anyone. :sad2:


    Things are looking much better when we reach the 3/5 rating:

    [​IMG]
    Happy Eeyore is neither elated nor disappointed. He has a sated tummy and he enjoyed his meal or snack, it basically met his expectations. The venue will be kept on the rotation, probably not for every trip, but there is something there that would cause us to return, and we would even recommend it to friends and other DISers. In our experience, most Disney dining venues belong in this (or the next) category. San Angel Inn and Les Chefs de France belong solidly here. We had some really nice food, special kind of atmosphere, fine service, maybe some part of the meal was even exceptional (view of volcano, Avocado Margarita and Pollo a las Rajas...Remy, Onion Soup and Profiteroles), but other things were not great enough to bump it up into the next category (tables too close together, atmosphere too noisy, some food items just meh, service fine but not great). Great time, we just don't feel compelled to return next trip! :)


    Next we have our great rating, 4/5:

    [​IMG]
    Party Eeyore is so happy, he's almost floating on air...but he still needs a little lift from the balloons. This restaurant ALMOST merits the highest available rating, but there is something that prevents it from achieving the highest honor. Biergarten and Flying Fish would fall into this category for us. We had a wonderful meal with great entertainment and exceptional service at Biergarten last trip, but in the end...it is still a buffet, and this rater would have a hard time awarding highest honors to a buffet (or family-style meal). We of course found items on the buffet that weren't perfect (while we love it, Stouffer's mac and cheese?). That said, we loved it and cannot wait to return, because it offers lunch as an option, we can probably come here most trips! I was terribly disappointed in the signature snapper at FF, and though everything else we tasted there was scrumptious, their signature dish just wasn't good for me, so it we'd give it a 4 instead of a 5. Still great, but not quite excellent! :thumbsup2


    Finally, the rating of excellence, 5/5!

    [​IMG]
    Nirvana Eeyore is in love, in heaven, on cloud 9! This is one of the best overall dining experiences of his life, and he can't wait to return. In fact, he might plan another whole vacation on the desire to return to this restaurant! Service, atmosphere and food are perfect, we couldn't ask for more, it was everything we dreamed of! In our experience California Grill and Hoop Dee Doo Revue fall into this category (my family would put Raglan Road here, too, but I disagree, my food hasn't been quite good enough). Both have something extra special to offer, something unique and spectacular and altogether magical. pixiedust:
     
  18. CanadianPaco

    CanadianPaco I miss my tags!

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    Awesome!!!!!!!:yay:
     
  19. raniroo

    raniroo If you look like your passport photo you need the

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    Exciting! Your plan sounds fantastic and your rating system is .............awesome!!!!!!...Eeyeore forever!!!! :cheer2:
     
  20. iloveeeyore

    iloveeeyore DIS Veteran

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    Thank you! :goodvibes :yay: Thanks for hopping with me!

    Hi, Roo! So glad you're here! Thanks for the compliment and oh, yeah, Eeyore rules the world! :woohoo:
     
  21. CraigB03

    CraigB03 Earning My Ears

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    Love, Love, LOVE your rating system. Eeyore is where it's at. Can't wait to follow along throughout the course of your PTR and Dining Reviews. Your going to most of the restaurants I went to on my last trip so I'm excited to see how our experiences compare......Did I mention how awesome your rating system is:thumbsup2
     

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