Mmmm....Cake, 9 nights of Deluxe Dining w/Pictures *Big Update 8/29 GF Wishes DP, CRT

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by gilsan, May 7, 2010.

  1. gilsan

    gilsan DIS Veteran

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    Crystal Palace

    One thing I like about the deluxe dining plan is that you can include a lot of character dining and still do more foodie restaurants. I like the character meals for breakfasts because you can usually get an early dining time and make it for rope drop or be already in the park for park opening. I also find that my DD doesnÂ’t eat much at character meals because she is so excited, but she loved waffles, bacon and fruit so we can usually get her eat.

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    Our reservation was for 8:05 and we checked into the Crystal Palace before they had opened. We were seated quickly, one table down from where we sat when we visited last year and we had the same waiter. He took our drink orders and told us to visit the buffet. The restaurant was still fairly empty.

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    The food was all very fresh looking and they had a good selection of breakfast food. Two things that Crystal Palace serves that I have not seen at other buffets are chocolate Mickey waffles and puffed french toast, found in the childrenÂ’s section of the buffet. I found the food to be very good, Crystal Palace is one of the better character breakfast buffets. I forgot to take pictures until part way through.

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    From the to bacon, a mickey waffle, smoke salmon, and berries. the puffed french toast and pineapple is missing. So...

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    ...I went back for seconds ;) The puffed toast was very good, it was still warm!

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    The characters stopped by for pictures and autographs. First we saw Piglet followed by Tigger.

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    They then did the character March around the restaurant.

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    After the March Pooh and Eeyore stopped by. I am very impressed at how well the non-face characters sign their name, but Eeyore was the most impressive.

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    Once Eyeore stop by we paid our bill and headed out to Magic Kingdom.

    The characters seem to come by slowly at The Crystal Palace, we were not finished until after 9am so we did miss rope drop, the same thing happened last year. If you are concerned about making it to rope drop I would recommend asking for your bill when you first sit down that way you can leave as soon as you see the last character, it could save you 5-10 minutes. I would probably eat at the Crystal Palace again, my daughter like s the characters and the food is better than many of the other character buffets.

    Up next tea at the Grand Floridian Tea Room.
     
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  3. laliwalden

    laliwalden Mouseketeer

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    Loving your reviews!! Can't wait for the review of the GF tea!! We want to take DD there in December!!
     
  4. gilsan

    gilsan DIS Veteran

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    We were at Magic Kingdom until around 1pm when we decided to go back to the hotel to rest. I really enjoyed staying at GF because it was just a quick trip back to the hotel. Originally we had an ADR for California Grill but we had managed to book the Wishes dessert party for tonight and I thought it would be too much food so I had moved the California Grill to earlier in the trip, and booked an early reservation at Boma in it’s place, but when we got back to the hotel we didn’t feel like driving over to AKL. Instead we called reservations and booked an ADR for the Tea Room. Calling reservation took about 15 minutes on the phone. When we went down to check in they didn’t have the reservation. If I was staying at GF again I would just walk down and check in it wasn’t very busy and they were talking walk ups.

    The tea room is very a small sunny room at the far end of the GF Lobby a very nice spot for tea. We were seated at a table along near the lobby. The woman who seated us gave DD a little bracelet, I think it is the same one that they give out at the princess tea so that was a nice treat for her. Our server brought us the menus and went over it with us. Our ADR was later in the tea serving and while the service was good it felt rushed.

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    I ordered the Grand Tea, which included a variety of tea sandwiches, scones and jam tarts, followed by a choice of freshly baked tea pastries or English trifle, accompanied by a glass of Domaine Ste.-Michelle sparkling wine and your choice of tea. I picked the vanilla rooibas for my tea. I have taken the descriptions of the teas from allears.net.

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    The tea sandwiches includes shrimp salad, egg salad, chicken salad, watercress and cucumber and pear and gorgonzola. The tea sandwich plate also included an onion tart and pate. I liked the shrimp and chicken salad, and the pear and gorgonzola sandwich. The cucumber and watercress was very bland and tasted more of butter. I don’t like egg salad so DH ate it. The sandwiches were very cold like they were pulled from the refrigerator and served.

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    I chose scones and a jam tart for the next course. You get 2 scones strawberry preserves and devonshire cream and a strawberry jam tart. DD ate the tart and enjoyed it. The scones do have raisins, I prefer scones without, but they were still very good with the preserves and cream.

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    I was also able to choose to pastries and chose a chocolate strawberry and an eclair. The eclair was good. DD was not happy with her choice of the pistachio cream filled swan so she ate my strawberry. I thought this would happen and chose the strawberry with her in mind. The swan was good the cream was more of a pastry cream than a whipped cream.

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    My tea was good, since it was a herb tea it was served in a tea press not a traditional pot.

    DH had Prince Edward's Tea an array of duck and cherry terrine, chicken and pork roulade, country pate en croute, and English Blue Stilton, the "King" of English cheeses. Served with marinated fresh berries, and Cumberland sauce. We then offer our delicious fresh-baked scones served with rich Devonshire cream. Your choice of our tea with a glass of our Fonseca Bin 27 Character Port. He had the Gardenview Blend.

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    DH drinks a fair amount of tea and enjoyed the Gardenview tea. His meal was enormous and he enjoyed it. For his second course he had scones with preserves and cream

    DD had Mrs. Potts tea, for the young tea lover in your party, we offer a variety of tea sandwiches, tuna salad, ham and cheese, peanut butter and jelly on white bread. We serve our magical dark tea (chocolate milk), followed by a choice of two pastries.

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    DD only liked her ham and cheese sandwich which looked like it was hand sliced from a whole ham (not thin sliced deli ham). We asked if she could have a second ham and cheese and they were happy to exchange all her sandwiches for ham and cheese. We only took one, I knew she would not eat 3 ham and cheese but it was nice that they were so accommodating. For her pastries she chose a cream filed swan and a chocolate strawberry. For tea she had chocolate milk but had she wanted tea she could have chosen one. She really enjoyed the tea party and I think it is a good more reasonable priced alternative to the Perfectly Princess tea.

    Overall we enjoyed the tea and would go back. I do think I would possibly buy items a la carte, so we could share and get just what we wanted.

    Since it is not part of the dining plan we paid OOP for a total of $60.71+tip.
     
  5. Pooh&OurHunny

    Pooh&OurHunny DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for another wonderful update ad enjoying reading it.
    :goodvibes:goodvibes
     
  6. Sweet Pea UK

    Sweet Pea UK DIS Veteran

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    Really enjoying your reviews. We are staying at the GF in August for 3 weeks and are also visiting several restaurants you have done reviews on - including the GF tea so really enjoying reading.

    Sara x
     
  7. persephone742

    persephone742 Earning My Ears

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    Love the review and the pics !!

    I want to try the sushi desert lol it looked like it would be fun to eat :)

    Your DD is so cute !!!
     
  8. gilsan

    gilsan DIS Veteran

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    Where has the summer gone? It has flown by and I haven't had a chance to update my dining report. I will try to put up the rest of my pictures and include some comments. I hoping to wrap it up this week and hopefully the thread won't get closed before I am done.

    First up Wishes Dessert Party.

    They had a pretty good selection of desserts and did a good job of keeping them restocked. The desserts themselves were mediocre. The chocolate strawberries were waxy, and the tarts were very soggy. I did enjoy the mango shooters, something that I would not have expected and I thought the chocolate brownies were good.

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    As others have reported you sit at the tables until the fireworks start. Then everyone moves to the rail to watch the fireworks. At our party a little fight broke out about who had rights to a potion of the rail. It didn't amount to much but it was surprising since there was plenty of room.

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    After the fireworks we sat and waited for the crowds to clear out. The CM's came around to the tables to let people know that there were desserts still available and that they would be clearing them away soon. So if you wanted to enjoy desserts after the fireworks there is an opportunity to do so.

    It was a nice spot to watch the fireworks and we had a nice spot to sit and wait for them to start. I would not recommend the party if you are looking for yummy desserts, but if you are looking for a guaranteed spot with minimal fuss to watch the fireworks then the party is a good choice. I probably would not do it again.
     
  9. Pooh&OurHunny

    Pooh&OurHunny DIS Veteran

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    thanks for the update, wonderful pictures.
     
  10. gilsan

    gilsan DIS Veteran

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    This was our free day, we had no parks or ADR's planned for the day. We spent most of the morning at the pool. In the afternoon we went to play mini golf at the Winterland/Summerland course. My DD loved it.

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    After an afternoon of mini golf and noticing how grumpy DD was getting I realized she really hadn't had much to eat that day. So we headed over to AKL to see if we could get in to eat at Jiko. When we arrived DD remembered eating at Boma the last time we were her and she wanted to eat there. Much to my surprise they were able to seat us immediately.

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    I really enjoy the nut crusted salmon and fufu that they serve. And of course Boma's desserts are fantastic. My DH said to me 'Why couldn't the dessert party have desserts that were this good?" and I agree.

    Here is the bread pudding, a zebra dome, mango pannacotta?, and a cheesecake. All of them were great.

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    The only bad thing about the meal was that we ordered a wine flight and the glasses that the wine came in were coated with a thick layer of dust. When we pointed it out to our waitress she asked what we would like her to do about it. I kind of thought it was obvious that we wanted new glasses. :rotfl:
     
  11. gilsan

    gilsan DIS Veteran

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    Since we were on DxDp and had eaten dinner at a lot of 1 credit restaurants (Le Cellier, Boma, 'Ohana) I was looking for a way to use up some credits, so I booked lunch at Hollywood Derby. I wasn't expecting to much from lunch since I had found other restaurants in DHS to be only ok.

    Our reservation was for the first seating so we were there to see the opening ceremony. We were seated at a booth which was nice.

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    For appetizers I had Seared Day Boat Sea Scallop with black bean corn pudding and a mango papaya salsa, it was very good.

    Seared Day Boat Sea Scallop - with black bean corn pudding and a mango papaya salsaSeared Day Boat Sea Scallop - with black bean corn pudding and a mango papaya salsa.

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    My DH had a mushroom ravioli for his appetizer. He also thought it very good.

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    I don't think that DD had an appetizer. For lunch she had Grilled Cheese on Whole Wheat Bread with brown sugar apples. She enjoyed her sandwich, it was a double decker grilled cheese so it was a substantial sandwich.

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    I had the Loch Daurt Salmon it came with a crepe that was stuffed with barley. It was one of the best meals that I had at Disney. The salmon was cooked perfectly and the flavours were perfect together.

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    DH had grouper for lunch, he also was very impressed with the quality and flavour of the dish.

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    For dessert DD had the Hidden Treasures Vanilla ice cream, Oreo cookie crumbles and gummy snakes with a Tollhouse cookie. I had a Banana tower desert. Dh had Shortbread-crusted Cheesecake with Grand Marnier Macerated Strawberries. All the desserts were great.

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    Overall we were really impressed with the Hollywood Brown Derby. I would not hesitate to eat there again.
     
  12. Pooh&OurHunny

    Pooh&OurHunny DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the review on Brown Derby, we usually go there and I'm glad the food is still good and we cant wait.
     
  13. gilsan

    gilsan DIS Veteran

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    I believe we we had an ADR for Citricos this night but decided to cancel and order room service. A nice thing about GF is that you can order off of the Narcoossee menu. It cost 2 dining credits but includes gratuity. We did tip the room service guy a little extra on top. Overall this was the best monetary use of credits.

    They set up for room service is nice with a pull out table.

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    Dh had the crab cakes, he thought they were good but probably would have been better in the restaurant.

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    I had the calamari and it definitely would have been better in the restaurant. It was good but had a lot of green olives in it, it also was a little rubbery, but I thought it was because of the traveling.

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    For our mains we had the mushroom scallop risotto, it was very good, but very rich.

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    Dessert for both of us was the almond crusted cheesecake. I didn't like it. I know it is a favourite on this board, but I thought it tasted like a no bake cheesecake, which I don't like. It was very rich and too sweet.

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    DD had a hamburger.

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    The meal was good, you can order anything off the menu including the lobster. The room service person tried to talk me into it when my first pick was not available. We live in the Maritimes so lobster is not particularly exotic and at the time we traveled you could buy local lobster for $5.00 a pound, so the price they were selling it for at Narcoossee seemed a little high.

    The plusses for room service are that you are not stuck with a set ADR time, and it really is good value for your dining credits. I would recommend picking dishes that travel well and checking out the posted menu so you know what they are serving. We checked the menu off allears and it was a little off
     
  14. gilsan

    gilsan DIS Veteran

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    I really like CRT for breakfast. I don't know if I would think it was as great if I was paying out of pocket, but if you are on DxDp it is a good use of credits. Included in the price is a professional picture with Cinderella and the gratuity. Our reservation was for 8:00am and we were seated quickly. I like how efficient the staff is. I know that some people feel it is rushed, but both times we have done it we had breakfast saw all the princesses and were out waiting for rope drop at fantasyland which is great.

    They do have a limited menu that starts with pastries and fruit. Both are fresh and good.

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    I had the stuffed french toast it was fresh and well prepared.It is like having a dessert for breakfast;).

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    Dh had the savoury choice. He really enjoyed his as well.

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    I don't have a picture of DD, she was not in a princess meeting mood that morning. The kids breakfast is french toast dippers and I think it includes sausage and bacon. I think that this is the one area CRT could do better with a couple choices for kids. DD was not impressed and I don't think she ate any of it. She did have a croissant and some fruit.

    I would recommend CRT it is rushed but done well.

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    To make up for the lack of breakfast we stopped in Adventureland after Fantasyland and DD enjoyed a dole whip float.

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    and stopped at the Mainstreet Bakery on the way out of MK.

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    We picked up a couple cinnamon buns but were disappointed with them they were a little dry and not nearly as good as last time.
     
  15. gilsan

    gilsan DIS Veteran

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    Last time we were at Disney we loved Artist point so it was on our list this time.

    They started us with an amuse bouche. It was very good.

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    For starters I had a salad with pears and gorgonzola, it was good better than expected.

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    DH had the mussels and enjoyed them.

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    For my main I had the signature dish of salmon with a side of truffle fries. It was disappointing. The salmon was cooked well but a little bland. The fries were very good. Our waitress was extremely attentive to the point of being annoying. I had finished my salmon dish but thought I would have a few more fries, but they were cleared away before I had a chance to get a word out.:rotfl:

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    Dh had the bison, he also was disappointed with the flavour and quality of the cut. I think he had a side of risotto with his meal.

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    DD had pasta with olive oil, and an ice cream sundae for dessert.

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    Both of our desserts were the highlight of the meal.

    DH had a goat cheese cheese cake with huckleberry ice cream.

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    I had the berry cobbler, it was delicious.

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    We were disappointed with our meal and found the service to be overbearing, but I really love the atmosphere of the restaurant and would definitely give it another chance.

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  16. gilsan

    gilsan DIS Veteran

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    We ate at Boma for breakfast last year and thought it was one of our best breakfasts on that trip and I will say it did not disappoint this time.

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    Highlights for me were the turkey and banana mini muffins that were great.

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    I would not hesitate to recommend Boma for breakfast, and as you can see it wasn't very busy.
     
  17. gilsan

    gilsan DIS Veteran

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    It was our last night before we checked out, and we had thought we would see about doing a walk up at Citricos but in the end we decided to spend more time at the pool and order room service.

    DD had the same as before a hamburger and fries.

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    They do provide you with a large assortment and quantity of condiments with room service.

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    Dh husband had the Crispy Duck Roll savory lentils, cucumber, tomator, red onion relish, and Cilantro-mint vinaigrette. It was very good.

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    I had a spiced tuna appetizer it was wonderful, very flavourful and it traveled well with room service.

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    DH had King Salmon with caviar that he thought was great, so did DD she ate almost half of his salmon:rotfl:

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    I had Crab-crusted Alaskan Halibut crushed Fingerling Potatoes, yellow & green pea tendrils, and Meyer Lemon Sauce, it was also very good. The flavour was nice and a little rich. The portion was huge and Dh ate a large amount of mine which was good because of DD.

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    We both had the strawberry shortcake for dessert and thought it was much better than the cheesecake.

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    We loved our meal and it was great relaxing last night.
     
  18. gilsan

    gilsan DIS Veteran

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    We still had 2 credits remaining on this day, luckily we were able to get a late check out. Our plane wasn't leaving until 6pm, so we had time to swim and use up the rest of our credits.

    The Gaspirilla grill sells your standard counter service meal I am not a fan of CS and probably would have been happier with a muffin for breakfast. I don't have any pictures.

    After swimming and packing up we sent our luggage to guest services and went to our last meal at GF Cafe. We didn't have an ADR and had no trouble getting in to the restaurant, this hands down was the worst service we had the whole trip. Our waitress disappeared for looooong periods of time and the food was only ok.

    I had crab cakes to start. They were ok.

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    DH had french onion soup and wasn't impressed with it either.

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    It is a pretty bright restaurant.

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    I had salad nicoise for my main. It was very bland.

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    DH had a sandwich, I don't remember what exactly, (I think roast beef), but he was less than impressed.

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    DD had a hamburger, very out of character for her;)

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    The dessert was very odd at this restaurant they were just tiny, we really didn't need large desserts but it was odd compared to other restaurants.

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    Overall we were very unimpressed with with restaurant the food was mediocre and the service was awful and the staff seemed to have a bit of an attitude. I wouldn't go back, or recommend it. In the same spot next time I probably would walk over to Kona or take the monorail to the Wave.
     
  19. gilsan

    gilsan DIS Veteran

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    This is the second time we have done DxDp and we enjoyed it both times. Had we paid OOP for the food we ordered we would have paid about $1000 more. Now we probably would not have ordered as much food had we been paying out of pocket but I still feel that we saved $500 by being on the dining plan. I think if you do a lot of Signature dining and don't enjoy CS DxDp is for you. We were staying at a monorail resort and had a car so it saved us transportation time getting to the restaurants. We also discovered that room service gives you more flexibility in your schedule while still allowing you use your credits.

    I would get the DxDp plan again. When I add up the cost of the restaurants that we want to dine at it makes sense for us. We did have a lot of extra snack credits this time because we brought refillable water bottles with us. We stopped at the Mainstreet candy store on our last day and used up our remaining credits.


    Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed my food reviews. I will leave you with a few snack pictures.

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  20. darthtatty

    darthtatty Been There, Done That, Going Back!

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    thanks for all the great reviews :thumbsup2
     
  21. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    Thanks for the great reviews, boy were you busy today! :thumbsup2

    Makes me sad that I won't be going back for more than a year, and even then we'll be there for F&W so we won't be making many ADRs :sad2:
     

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