Team Renfroe's 2nd Trip Report - 1,500 pictures, dining reviews, and DISmeets!

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by alan_renfroe, May 26, 2009.

  1. alan_renfroe

    alan_renfroe DIS Veteran

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    Think of it like visiting a museum but with a little more ummph. There is enough comedy and drama, not to mention motion, that should keep a 5-year-old entertained. My advice to someone who has never been to Epcot and only has one day to tour: I would skip it. However, if you have two days for Epcot, Universe of Energy is certainly worth your time. Frankly, I liked it much better than Honey I Shrunk The Audience and The Seas with Nemo and Friends.

    :rotfl2: It certainly has that Ellen wit about it!

    Hi Kathy! :wave2:

    Hi Mary! At this point, we don't know when we'll be going back. Elizabeth wants to go for her 40th birthday, which will be in early 2012. The kids both want to go somewhere different on vacation next summer, but we don't know where. (A cruise, perhaps.) Also, we are thinking about going to the beach for Thanksgiving next year. (We did this back in Nov., 2004 and LOVED it.) All that being said, Elizabeth and I are really, really, really wanting to go back to WDW....soon. She and I would love to do an 'adults only' trip and stay at the Boardwalk or somewhere like that. I'm saving pennies and earning those Disney Dollars on my Visa as fast as I can!
     
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  3. KatMark

    KatMark DIS Veteran

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    Hi, Alan. I was so glad to see your update and to see that I wasn't too far behind. Had some issues at home (DH is having a health issue and youngest son's car was smashed--luckily he was not in it) and work has been crazy. I had people responding to my trip report and my question on what to do for next year's trip and hadn't been able to respond. But I'm all caught up now and see that you didn't get too far so I was able to catch up with one of my fav families. :)
     
  4. disneyfan61

    disneyfan61 DIS Veteran

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    Hi Alan. Enjoying the updates!! My DH & I will be doing an "Adults Only" trip the first week of May. We are celebrating our 25th Anniv. & staying at Beach Club.
    Have always wanted to stay there but always did value or mods with the kids. It will be a very different trip but getting excited!! We will be trying Narcooses for the first time. LOVE me some lobster!!
     
  5. CRdisMom

    CRdisMom DIS Veteran

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    Ive got PTR going on for our October trip. Keeping my fingers crossed that it goes well. I need to get my resort choice figured out. You seemed to love this resort. Would you go back?
     
  6. Mysteria

    Mysteria I guess the tag fairies wings were clipped.

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    I think a need a couch potato dog! That sounds sooo good.

    Ellen's is not must do for me but it usually ends up being done because there is always someone new that hasn't seen it. Especially in the heat. :thumbsup2
     
  7. englishrose47

    englishrose47 DIS Veteran

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    Morning Alan !!Great Epcot update !! I know I am behind ..work keeps getting in the way!!!:lmao:

    Universe of Energy is on my To Do list !! In September we all did SE and al loved it !! There is just sooooo much to do at Epcot !! That's why another trip is always necessary!! :cool1:Are you and Elizabeth still planning on Peep Fest in 2010????:confused3
     
  8. alan_renfroe

    alan_renfroe DIS Veteran

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    Oh goodness! Sounds like you've had a tough month. Hang in there, pal. You all are some of our favs as well!

    25 Years? Wow....congratulations! This year at Disney, we celebrated our 15th anniversary....but we failed to mention that it was the 15th anniversary of our first date. This coming summer will be our 15-Year wedding anniversary.

    Hope you and DH have a wonderful trip! Enjoy the lobster!

    Oh, absolutely. I would go again and again and again to Coronado Springs. We drive down from Alabama and the way we come into Disney, CSR is the first resort you come to. It wouldn't feel right for us to have to drive past CSR and stay somewhere else! Also, we LOVE the queen-sized beds.

    Hi Myst! One couch potato coming right up!

    Yeah, I wouldn't say that Ellen's is my favorite or anything, but it is a good thing to do in mid-day heat. Wil enjoyed it, which was our main reason for trying it in the first place.

    I know what you mean about work....and life in general! I very very rarely have any time for myself these days.

    Don't know about 2010 just yet. Financially, it isn't looking good. Juliana needs braces this spring and we've got some loans to pay off due to starting our own business....so we may be looking at doing a "staycation" this year by just doing some local things.
     
  9. alan_renfroe

    alan_renfroe DIS Veteran

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    By this time we were all ready for lunch. In our planning, I really wanted to try Biergarten.....but Juliana really wanted us to try the Coral Reef. (She thought the aquarium dining room was neat!) Even though we had read mixed reviews, we decided to give it a try.

    I think that particially because my expectations were not high or particially because we were so hungry, we were pleasantly surprised with our meal at Coral Reef.

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    On the Deluxe Dining Plan we could have any non-alcoholic drink we wanted, so Elizabeth and I chose the Sour Apple Freeze: Sweet and Sour and Sprite blended with Granny Smith Apple Syrup. YUM!!

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    Juliana got the Blue Whale:

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    Wil got the Great White:

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    The bread was delicious with the olive oil/balsamic vinegar

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    Elizabeth and I split the Appetizer for Two, which included Scallops, Sea & Land (shrimp and beef skewers) and creamy lobster soup. Everything was delicious - just wish there had been a little more of it.

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    Wil had the Sea & Land:

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    Juliana had the Creamy Lobster Soup. (I think I ended up eating hers! It was sooooo good!)

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    For our entrees, Elizabeth had the Grilled Mahi Mahi with spicy pineapple chutney over rice. She loved it!

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    Wil had the Pan-seared Tilapia served over a white and green bean salad tossed in a tomato vinaigrette. Very good.

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    I had the Blackened Catfish served over Pepper Jack Cheese Grits. (Yes, I am a Southern boy!) It was wonderful!

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    Juliana had the kid's cheese pizza:

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    As we waited for our desserts, we just enjoyed our dining experience at the Coral Reef. The aquarium is beautiful and it is neat to see divers swim up to the windows and interact with guests.

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    For dessert, Wil and Elizabeth both had the Chocolate Wave:

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    Juliana had the Ice Cream Sundae:

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    I had the Bailey's and Jack Daniel's Mousse topped with a ganache an chocolate cigar. It was AWESOME!

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    Overall, I'm glad we were on the Deluxe Dining Plan or this meal would've been very expensive. If you are on the dining plan, this is a great value for one table service credit. I don't know if it would be worth the prices if you are paying out of pocket.

    Anyway, we very much enjoyed our lunch at Coral Reef.

    Up next: more Epcot fun and later, our anniversary dinner at Yachtsman Steakhouse.

     
  10. inkedupmomma

    inkedupmomma If you live to be a 100, I hope to live to be 100

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    we also loved Coral reef! I don't see why people dislike it so much! Glad you agreed with me ;)
     
  11. bwmmfan

    bwmmfan Mouseketeer

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    Hi Alan we love Coral Reef too! My dh keeps telling me to put that on my list for 2011. I keep reading (and enjoying) your report and forget we there the same time. Not once do you even seem to imply that the erain put a damper on your trip. You must most definitly be a glass half full kind of guy!
     
  12. Luis Rodriguez

    Luis Rodriguez I'd rather be at Disney

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    Oh My!! It is about 8:30pm over here and I haven't had dinner yet... Those photos are a torture :-)

    Seriously, it all looks very good. I had the chance to visit Coral Reef many years ago and still have wonderful memories of the food and service (not to mention the ambiance).

    Regards,

    Luis.

    P.S. Love the small plastic dolphins...
     
  13. englishrose47

    englishrose47 DIS Veteran

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    Hi Luis !!

    Alan great update !! I don' t remember them having the catfish on the dinner menu as I also wanted to try it!! No Southern Belle here :rotfl2:but I do love me some G:laughing:rits !!!!
     
  14. LOVEMY3KIDDOS

    LOVEMY3KIDDOS DIS Veteran

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    We were not thrilled with Coral Reef when we went last time. But, after looking at your pictures, it looks like it is worth trying again! Glad you enjoyed your meal!
     
  15. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

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    I would have ordered the catfish, too- just for those grits- they sounded DELICIOUS!!!! I think I'm going to do DDxP next Sept with Pods- and I will definitely put Coral Reef on the list for lunch! :thumbsup2 Great review!!
     
  16. 2xcited2sleep

    2xcited2sleep DIS Veteran

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    Your meals at CR look yummy. I'm glad you tried it! The skies sure do look ominous and I see Will has the poncho on in one picture. Hope the rain doesn't damper your spirits!

    Can't wait to hear your thoughts on Yachtsman! popcorn::
     
  17. CRdisMom

    CRdisMom DIS Veteran

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    coral reef was one of my favorites. Our service was just okay but it was a great break in the day. We were on the first tier, the view was great. Those deserts were so filling. I'm laying out our meals for next trip and it is hard not to do the DxDP again just to get these grear meals.
     
  18. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    Somehow, I got two updates behind but am all caught up now. We really enjoy Ellen's Universe of Energy too.

    I am glad that you enjoyed your meal at Coral Reef. We've eaten dinner there twice and everything was delicious. I think our favorite are the pepper jack cheese grits!
     
  19. KatMark

    KatMark DIS Veteran

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    I am so slow in catching up on everyone's reports (youngest son's car was smashed--thankfully, he was not in it) and dealing with getting him a rental, insurance, has been a nightmare (plus hubby's medical issue).

    Great update, Alan. We've not done Coral Reef in like 12 years; we've been talking about going back when we are on the dining plan.
     
  20. brookelizabeth

    brookelizabeth <font color=red>Jambo Wildbunch Gang<br><font colo

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    That sounds like a crazy, yet strangely appealing combo! I love that your customers are comfortable enough to do that. :thumbsup2 Very cool!

    Great update too! I've been reading more and more positive reviews of Coral Reef, I wonder if they are stepping it up after so many poor reviews?
     
  21. alan_renfroe

    alan_renfroe DIS Veteran

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    Yeah, we were pleasantly surprised....which is always a good thing!

    Thanks for continuing to read! I guess I am a 'glass is half full' kind of guy!

    We certainly did enjoy the ambiance. Epcot is such a HUGE park, and Coral Reef provides a nice oasis to sit down and relax in a cool Disneyesque setting while enjoying some really good food! Hope all is well with you and your family Luis! Tell everyone the Renfroes say "hello!"

    Gotta love grits!!! I was extremely pleased with my dish.

    Don't get me wrong, it certainly wasn't anywhere near the best meal on our trip...but we did enjoy Coral Reef - the food, the ambiance, the whole experience. Oh, and we had really good service also.

    Oh, that pepperjack cheese really kicked the grits up a notch and brought out the spices on the fish. It was yummy! Out of pocket, our meal would have definitely been pricey...but on the dining plan we thought it was a great deal.

    Hi Christine! Yeah, that darn rain was a factor for pretty much the rest of our stay....but we carried on like good little campers! ;)

    I know what you mean about the DxDP. It really is too much food. Really, really. BUT, for foodies like us....we thought it was a first class way to spoil ourselves. I've said it before and I think it bares repeating: I don't think the Deluxe Dining Plan is as much about saving money as it is about having sort of an "all-inclusive" type of experience. We LOVED being on the plan, and now that we are spoiled to it, it would be terribly hard to go to WDW and NOT be on the plan.

    Yeah, the cheese grits were great....they provided a nice alternative to all of the other meals on the trip.

    Hi Kathy! Sorry to hear about the car, but thankfully he's okay.

    Hi Brook! Hope all is well with you and your family.

    We definitely have some cool customers at B.F. Dawgs! I think everyone gets into the spirit of being creative when it comes to hot dogs. They are basically a blank canvas! Our Dawg of the Month for November is called "the Couch Potato." We wrap a piece of thick-sliced Hormel Bacon around a bun-length all-beef dawg, deep fry it, then top it with our Sour Cream based Baked Potato Salad. It's really good!

    I wondered the same thing about Coral Reef. I was very leary about eating there, and I probably would have dropped the ADR if Juliana had not been so persistent about eating there. I figured it was her vacation too, right?

    New update coming up.
     

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