Summer dining review with plenty of pics

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by Steelersfan, Jul 29, 2007.

  1. Steelersfan

    Steelersfan Mouseketeer

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    Well for what it’s worth, here is a review of our July 21-28, 2007 Disney dining experiences.

    Our group was:

    Me: I’m a big guy who really likes to eat but I’m not picky at all unless the food gets too fancy. Seafood is a big time “no-no.”

    My Wife: Has many of the same tastes as me. She has a mild allergy to shellfish so no seafood here either!

    Our Daughter: Sydney is 3 ¾ and eats sporadically. Loves chicken nuggets, fries and PB&J.

    My Parents: Both like most foods except seafood.

    My Brother: He is also a big gut who likes to eat. He also travels quite a bit for work so he gets to sample some different foods which was useful in making this evaluation.

    My Niece: Carlee is 10 but actually ate off of the children’s menu because she was nine when we booked the trip. She has Celiac’s disease which means she cannot eat foods with gluten. This was interesting to see how the chefs could accommodate her. It is worth noting that she would constantly get sick before her diagnosis so she still eats very little and gets nervous that she’ll get sick again when she eats.

    We were on the dining plan and I have mixed feelings as to whether we will use it the next time.

    The Positives:

    1. Plenty of food! We honestly could have eaten until we exploded! You cannot possibly imagine just how much you are going to eat on this plan. Like I said, I like to eat and even I was shocked at the amount of food given in a day!
    2. Guilt free character meals. It was nice to attend so many character meals and not have to pay at the end. I know we already paid in advance but it was a good value because we would have spent well over the money we paid per day.

    The Negatives:

    1. Time issues. We found that having a sit down meal every day really cut into our plans. Each meal took anywhere from 1 ½ to 2 hrs to complete if you start counting from the time you leave for the meal, sign in, get seated, eat, square up the tab, get transportation back to the park, etc. In addition, it seemed like just when we were on a roll, we had to stop and go eat. It is especially tough because it was soooooo crowded that we had to leave extra time to travel. Plus, when you have to book these meals 6 months in advance, you have no way of knowing exactly how your day is going to unfold.
    2. Wasted food. I know I said that the plethora of food was a positive, but there was almost too much. For example, there is NO WAY we would have ever needed the desserts if we were paying out of pocket. When you add in the costs of the desserts it kind of makes the plan seem like a better bargain but it really isn’t if you throw away the dessert of part of the meal because you are just too full from the sit down, or you don’t eat your money’s worth at the sit down meal because you ate your dessert earlier in the day. I cannot imagine a light eater getting any value out of this plan.

    If we went back right now I would just pay for three or four character meals and eat counter service when we were hungry. I think it would have been cheaper. I would also make my reservations for the late breakfast or first lunch. I think this would fit our touring plan better since we like to get to the park early, leave in the afternoons for a nap and return (not necessarily to the same park) in the evenings. It wouldn’t cut into our time as much.

    Also, keep in mind that the kid’s selections are very limited at the counter service restaurants and even the non-buffet choices. Keep this in mind also, your appetizers will come out well before the kid’s meals so you will either have to share or request that they at least bring out one of the sides or you will have to deal with an angry child.


    Now for the reviews… I’ll be reviewing this in a realistic fashion. For example, if I ordered a counter service burger I’m not going to criticize it because it didn’t taste like filet mignon. It is a counter service burger and should be judged as such.

    Day 1:Cosmic Ray's

    We arrived in the evening and it was pouring. We all were hungry and went to Cosmic Ray’s in the MK because it had a big selection and was very helpful in the gluten free department. It was a little crowded due to the rain so we grabbed two tables in front of Sonny Eclipse and saved tables while we went up.

    My parents both had the burgers. They said they were very good and my dad was especially impressed with the fixin’s bar. It really was loaded with mushrooms, etc. It had plenty of choices. (sorry… no pics)

    My brother and I had the chicken and ribs platter. We both agreed that the chicken and mashed potatoes were awesome. He does not like carrots but mine were very good. The ribs were not really all that good though. You had to rip them off the bone. The sauce was good and it was really no big deal because the rest of the meal was so filling. We had the chocolate cake for dessert which was good but VERY rich. It would have been great with a big glass of milk.

    [​IMG]

    My wife had the chicken strips. She usually gets these at restaurants because she likes them and they tend to be difficult to screw up. She said hers were very good.

    [​IMG]

    My daughter had the kid’s chicken nuggets and they even gave her a chocolate cake for dessert. She ate most of it although she was very distracted by Sonny Eclipse and was just excited for the trip in general.


    [​IMG]

    They took care of my niece too. We will definitely eat here again. My dad was kind of mad he didn’t see the chicken/rib combo but the fixin’s bar made up for it. This restaurant has very good food and great variety. There is something for everyone. The only negative was that there were different food lines for various items. I guess this could be a problem for some but I would recommend grabbing a table then take turns going up for the food if it is busy.

    More days to come soon!
     
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  3. Amyrlin

    Amyrlin DIS Veteran

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    Nice piccies :)
     
  4. sandybobandy

    sandybobandy DIS Veteran

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    Oh boy. You are off to a marvelous start. Can't wait for more! :)
     
  5. rlduvall

    rlduvall DIS Veteran

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    Can't wait to hear more reviews. Thanks for posting. :thumbsup2
     
  6. disneymom06

    disneymom06 DIS Veteran

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    DH loves the pictures!!!!
     
  7. Mrs.Reese

    Mrs.Reese <font color=darkorange>My name is Dr. Reese and I

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    Nice pics!
     
  8. my2tinkerbells

    my2tinkerbells Mouseketeer

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    great pics! Can't wait for more!:cool1:
     
  9. Steelersfan

    Steelersfan Mouseketeer

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    Day 2: (Norway Princess Breakfast & Whispering Canyon Café)

    Breakfast: Norway Princess Breakfast. I have nothing but great things to say about this breakfast. They had a cold food bar with breads, cheese, fruit, etc. The choices were plentiful and very fresh.

    The hot food was just wonderful. We had eggs that were cooked to perfection, sausage, bacon and a fantastic potato casserole. All was just perfect. Our server was attentive and we never needed anything.

    The character interaction was very good also. We met Belle on the way in and the girls had a chance to talk to her very quickly and pose for pictures. Throughout the meal Mulan, Mary Poppins, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White all stopped by our table and were very good with the girls. Unless your child really wants to see Cinderella, I would use this every time. It was great on the dinner plan but I would have gladly paid out of pocket also just for the experience. We all truly felt that there is nothing bad to say about this experience. I recommend it fully. A bonus was that on the way back to future world to use our Soarin’ fast passes we got called over on one of the bridges and were all given the magical fast pass for the day!

    This is the plate of food the server brings out as many times as you want!

    [​IMG]


    Dinner: Whispering Canyon Café. Because we got in late the first day and had to leave early the last day, we had to schedule two sit downs in one day. I was still kind of full from breakfast even late in the day but we still went to one of our favorites.

    We three guys had the all you can eat skillet. On the dining plan you didn’t get an appetizer with this because the salad that came with it counted as the appetizer. This food was very good as always. The ribs, chicken, and pulled pork were all very tender. They even had shrimp which my dad ate some but the rest of us passed because it is the dreaded seafood. The only downside to this was that three of us ordered and they only had two pieces of chicken and ribs. As a result we had to wait for another plate which took a LONG time. I would make sure you ask for enough when ordering. What happened to us is they didn’t ask what specific items we needed replaced but brought a whole skillet instead. This meant that all we really wanted was some ribs and chicken and everything else was wasted. We were so full we couldn’t really eat dessert (or take pics for that matter). My mom just told them not to even bring hers out she was so full.

    [​IMG]



    My wife had the wings for an appetizer and trust me, they are a little spicy but AWESOME! They almost filled her up completely.

    [​IMG]


    She had the ribs for her entrée and could hardly eat them. They had a reddish color which kind of turned her off but they were done and falling off the bone. I know this because I ate some of hers while waiting for more ribs to come out in our skillet.

    [​IMG]

    My mom had the prime rib and said it was very good but was stuffed. I can’t remember what the girls had from the kid’s menu but they did eat. My daughter was very mad because the salads and appetizers came out and she had nothing. We asked the server to bring out her watermelon side so she’d have something.

    Our server was OK. He tried to be funny but he reminded me of someone who has really funny friends and tries to keep up with the humor but can’t. We have eaten here before and had some very entertaining servers but this guy fell a little short. The service was also VERY SLOW. We were in the place close to 1 ½ hours. It took a long time to get the drinks alone, then it seemed like it took forever between courses. I don’t know if it was our server or the whole restaurant.

    The outside entertainment like the pony races, ketchup bottles, giant glasses, birthday celebrations, etc was as good as ever. Like I said, the service was just very slow and our server just wasn’t as entertaining as some others we have had in the past. The food was very good but spending that much time at dinner really cut into our plans that evening. Keep that in mind if you are going here. I suppose we could have been a little more aggressive in keeping things moving so maybe someone could try that.

    More Later...
     
  10. nikjd68

    nikjd68 Mouseketeer

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    The reddish color of the ribs is a chemical reaction that is caused by the smoke. That is how you know the ribs have been slowly smoked for hours from ones that have simply been grilled and slathered with sauce.

    The more "red" the better.
     
  11. Steelersfan

    Steelersfan Mouseketeer

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    True. They were definitely cooked to perfection. I think she was more stuffed from the breakfast, wings and milkshake than anything.

    That's another thing. The milkshakes are good and it is tempting to get them because they are all you can drink (and who doesn't like that?), but they are VERY filling. I switched to coke after the 1st one and so did my dad.

    I would get a pop or iced tea and get an ice cream product for dessert or as a snack so you have room to actually enjoy your food without feeling so bloated!
     
  12. Schucraig

    Schucraig Disney World is my World!

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    Great reviews and pictures! Can't wait for more!:banana:
     
  13. atisikitabasket

    atisikitabasket Mom Always Said I was a Little Off

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    Great review! Hope to see more!
     
  14. DisFoodlover

    DisFoodlover Disney Dining Pro

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    Great reviews & pics
     
  15. KatGarcia

    KatGarcia Just Keep Swimming.

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    awesome reviews!
     
  16. AnninIowa

    AnninIowa DIS Veteran

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    Great start!! I totally agree with your views on the DDP, too. It's exactly how we feel: great to not have to physically fork over the cash every time, but it's way too much food and too time-consuming...for us, anyway.
     
  17. averill94

    averill94 DIS Veteran

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    Awesome thanks for sharing!

    We have PSB Norway planned- do you recall what time your ADR was?

    Thanks:goodvibes
     
  18. PatsMom

    PatsMom <font color=blue>Sometimes has Dory moments!<br><f

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    Wonderful reviews and pictures! Can't wait for more.
     
  19. Steelersfan

    Steelersfan Mouseketeer

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    Our ADR at the princess breakfast was 9:00 AM. We went on an Epcot early morning so we were able to grab fast passes for Soarin' on the way through. We got to the restaurant at about 8:40 or so and were seated within 5 minutes.
     
  20. my3disneygirls

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

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    Those ribs looked so good. I'm getting hungry now.
     
  21. Steelersfan

    Steelersfan Mouseketeer

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    Trust me, they were!
     

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