The Deluxe Dining that defeated us ...a German perspective! (FINISHED!)

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by annichan, May 17, 2009.

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  1. annichan

    annichan There's a platypus controlling me, he's underneath

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    Hello everyone who may be reading this,

    here I am sitting in front of a task I am still slightly afraid of: My first ever dining review! However, as I have delighted in reading other people's dining and trip reports here on the boards, I would like to give it a go myself. I hope somebody will find it interesting!

    First I'd like to say, yes we had the Deluxe Dining plan - and it was really too much food for us! I would never have expected that to happen to us, no matter how many times I read that exact same sentence here on the boards before :confused3

    "Us", that is my DH, 32, who is a software consultant, and myself, 35 working in a book publishing house. We both love dining and food, and as soon as we made up our minds to spend our (a little belated) honeymoon in Walt Disney World, we knew pretty much straightaway that we would go with the Deluxe Dining Plan for those whole two weeks. Little did we know that we would end up leaving plates half-full, occasionally skipping desserts (me! skipping! desserts! :scared1:) and even - most incredible thing of all - flew out of Orlando with one unused dining credit still sitting lonesome in our account.

    But oh well, we have still dined in quite a few restaurants, and managed to eat a lot of extremely delicious (and sometimes some not-so-nice) food, so I hope the report will still prove worthwhile reading. I didn't manage to take pictures of all we ate, but there will nevertheless be a few dozen pictures in the report - and these are the restaurants I will be reporting on, in order of appearance:

    Trails' End (dinner)
    The Crystal Palace (breakfast)
    The Plaza (lunch)
    In-Room Dining (dinner)
    Whispering Canyon Cafe (breakfast)
    Olivia's Cafe (lunch)
    Raglan Road (dinner)
    Tusker House (breakfast)
    Tusker House (lunch)
    Boma (dinner)
    Spoodles (breakfast)
    1900 Park Fare (dinner)
    Sci-Fi Dine In (lunch)
    California Grill (dinner)
    The Wave (breakfast)
    Coral Reef (lunch)
    San Angel Inn (dinner)
    Flying Fish Cafe (dinner)
    Kona Cafe (breakfast)
    Artist Point (dinner)
    Whispering Canyon Cafe (breakfast)
    Hollywood Brown Derby (dinner)
    Chef Mickey's (breakfast)
    Liberty Tree Tavern (lunch)
    Narcoossee's (dinner)
    'Ohana (breakfast)
    The Yachtsman Steakhouse (dinner)
    In-Room Dining (breakfast)
    Yak & Yeti (lunch)
    In-Room Dining (dinner)
    Cape May Cafe (breakfast)
    Yakitori House (lunch)
    Artist Point, part 1 (dinner)
    Artist Point, part 2 (dinner)
    Whispering Canyon Cafe (breakfast)
    The Best and the Worst / Final Thoughts

    So while I hope that some of you will enjoy reading it :surfweb:, I am looking forward to reliving the experience in this review - trip report to follow afterwards, if all goes well!

    Oh, and one last thing: I am German and English is not my mother tongue, so if some of the things I say don't make any sense I apologize in advance :)
     
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  3. 3BoysRDisneyFreaks

    3BoysRDisneyFreaks DIS Veteran

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    You look like you have a nice variety. I can't wait to hear your reviews.
     
  4. katiebelle21

    katiebelle21 DIS Veteran

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    Wow what a lineup! I'm in!
     
  5. luckytobeme88

    luckytobeme88 DIS Veteran

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    Wow, that's what I am talking about! The Vacation of my dream! :worship:
     
  6. elump1

    elump1 Mouseketeer

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    I'm so jealous but I am totally in!
     
  7. natalielongstaff

    natalielongstaff <font color=deeppink>I need a cup of tea and a big

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    count me in :thumbsup2
     
  8. Cookie Princess

    Cookie Princess DIS Veteran

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    I can't wait for the details!!
     
  9. Cind

    Cind Earning My Ears

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    count me in!
     
  10. TigerKat

    TigerKat DIS Veteran

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    Great line-up, can't wait!
     
  11. annichan

    annichan There's a platypus controlling me, he's underneath

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    Oh wow, people are actually reading this, how exciting!! :yay:
    Yes, for me this has also been the holiday of my dreams: The last time I was at WDW, I was 8 years old, and I have always dreamed of a honeymoon at WDW. A mere 27 years later, this dream has come true! :woohoo:
     
  12. annichan

    annichan There's a platypus controlling me, he's underneath

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    Our first evening at WDW was Monday, April 27th. We had just flown in from Germany via the UK, had had a rather stressful long trip, and were tremendously tired. Moreover, something seemed to be not quite right with my stomach, which is why I was not really feeling well for our first dinner and didn’t take any pictures, either (shame, I know!).

    Anyway, we had dinner at the Trails End Restaurant in Fort Wilderness. Getting there was very pleasant: As we stayed at the Wilderness Lodge, we got to the restaurant with a 20-25 minute walk along the jogging path that connects these two resorts, mostly running along Bay Lake. We couldn’t believe all the wildlife we saw on that walk: rabbits, squirrels, geckoes, even a deer in the undergrowth!

    Arriving at Fort Wilderness, after a short walk past the ponies and horses at the Tri-Circle Ranch, we quickly found our restaurant and were greeted by two nice ladies who had a table for us straightaway. It was great to finally experience that Disney friendliness and hospitality – not something we necessarily get at home when we go to a restaurant! What made it even nicer was that we were wearing our “Just married” buttons, and everybody congratulated us.

    Anyway, the reason why I am saying so much about the surroundings instead of about the actual food is that I hardly remember anything as I was so tired, and I hardly ate anything as my stomach was giving me trouble! DH took this one picture of me with a little plate full of veggies, and that was literally all I ate that evening.


    [​IMG]

    Now, actually I had a second equally half-empty plate after this one, and I remember enjoying the sweet carrots, finding the corn a little bland and loving the old-fashioned pewter plates and the soft-drink glasses they use at the Trails’ End, but that’s about it, sorry!

    What I do remember is that DH tried several meats from the carving station, and even though I could not have stomached them that day, he said that everything was very nice.

    Coming up next: Breakfast at The Crystal Palace, and how to make a grown man happy with a teddybear!
     
  13. binkytell

    binkytell DIS Veteran

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    :thumbsup2 count me in, lookin forward to ya reviews
     
  14. medicgirl911

    medicgirl911 Free dining here we come!!

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    I think it may have been easier to list where you DIDN't eat!! :lmao::rotfl: :goodvibes LOL! I am so excited to read your reviews, sorry you weren't felling well your first night!!
     
  15. MelanieC

    MelanieC <font color=blue>BL II - Blue Team<br><font color=

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    ooh - can't wait for the rest! I ate at Trail's End once, I agree it was great :)
     
  16. GoofySon'sMom

    GoofySon'sMom DIS Veteran

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    I am definitely in for this one! Sorry to hear you weren't feeling well your first night ... hopefully it didn't last long!
     
  17. CoolPool

    CoolPool DIS Veteran

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  18. annichan

    annichan There's a platypus controlling me, he's underneath

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    Thank you for reading! :)

    Well I was better the next day, but I am afraid there was an encore later ...

    Actually you won't believe it but you're right: I CAN list the places where we didn't eat! :lmao:
    Because all these are places where I had also made ADRs, and then we either cancelled them because we were still full, felt more like easy in-room dining or because I wasn't feeling well. So here goes - this is what you would have been reading reviews of here if all had gone according to plan (and quite an insane plan, as I now realize :rotfl:):

    Akershus, Le Cellier, Marrakesh, Les Chefs de France, Jiko and Citrico's! Ah well, these will have to wait until next time ...
     
  19. annichan

    annichan There's a platypus controlling me, he's underneath

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    The next morning, I was feeling much better (if not totally rested) and we had an ADR at the Crystal Palace at 8:15. Normally we don’t like to get up early during holidays and on weekends, but since every guidebook kept mentioning how important it was to get to the parks early, we had planned on it. Now we found that the jetlag was actually helping us get our lazy selves out of bed: When the alarm rang at 6:45, it was actually 12:45 noon back home, so it didn’t feel early at all.

    That said, it proved a bit difficult to wait that long for breakfast: By the time we left our hotel, waited forever for a bus, (we would only take the boat from then on) reached the Magic Kingdom, walked along gloriously empty Main Street to the Crystal Palace, stood in a longish line at the check-in counter and then stood around for maybe 15 minutes waiting for our name to be called, we were seriously ready for breakfast and coffee (and beginning to get really cranky, but I won’t mention that here! ;))

    As it was our first time at Crystal Palace, the lady who led us to our table offered to take our picture on the bench in the entrance with the flowers behind us – the photo turned out quite well:

    [​IMG]

    We were then sat at our table, where we found a confetti heart waiting to greet us honeymooners. Aww!

    [​IMG]

    This was our first ever character breakfast (we had been to Disneyland Paris before, but hadn’t done any character meals) so we just quickly darted off to the buffet to get some food and get back to our table as soon as possible, so as not to miss a visit from our favorite characters: Pooh and friends!

    So DH and I both grabbed some eggs and bacon and fruit; we both had to acclimatize slowly to American breakfasts, since they are nothing like what we usually have for breakfast at home (me: oatmeal with milk, DH: black bread with margarine and cheese, or somesuch). Eggs and bacon is a “safe” choice since that is what we have when we go and have breakfast in a restaurant on Sundays, but all the rest was very new to us for breakfast (potatoes, waffles, pancakes and such).

    The eggs and fruit were very nice, but we both found the bacon quite greasy and not crisp and salty enough for our taste. Maybe just another difference between German and American breakfast preferences? Not sure.

    Now I must confess that I still wasn’t taking pictures of the food – I will get there at later meals, I promise! But since this was all new to me, I was totally busy taking pictures of the characters.
    I had seated myself in a corner where I couldn’t so easily get out of (and I wasn’t yet used to just asking the characters to wait so I could position myself for another photo), which is why most pictures don’t have me but DH in them.

    So along came Tigger and gave DH a big hug – and it was so sweet to see my husband react to him! He was so happy! Let me explain that in our family, I am the Disney enthusiast and he is rather the one who goes along and has fun but is not as crazy about Disney as I am.
    But I guess it doesn’t really matter how grown-up and rational you are – if a big smiling tiger or teddybear comes up to you to give you a big hug, you can’t help but be totally happy!

    Before the other characters came to our table, we went and got some more food, but as I don’t have pictures of it and was so excited about the characters, I couldn’t really say what it was, sorry.

    The next to arrive was Pooh – and after having his picture taken with DH, he saw our buttons! At first I didn’t know what he was up to, because I wasn’t yet too fluent in Disney character sign language :)

    But then he wandered off into the kitchen and started first beckoning and then even dragging a server out of the kitchen and over to our table – as it turned out, to take a picture of the two of us together! So this is why we have this cute picture:

    [​IMG]

    DH then took a picture of me with a banana, because we found the “100% fat-free” sticker on it so funny. I mean, how could a banana be anything other than fat-free? Anyway, at least this picture gives us a hint what else I had on my plate since I keep forgetting to take good pictures of it ;):

    [​IMG]

    After that, we still had Eeyore and Piglet coming round to visit, and then it was time to head out into adventure: Our first day at the Magic Kingdom! (My first in 27 years, DH’s first ever …)

    Coming up next: Lunch at the Plaza, in illustrious company.
     
  20. annichan

    annichan There's a platypus controlling me, he's underneath

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    After exploring the Magic Kingdom all morning, it was time for our ADR at The Plaza Restaurant on Main Street, U.S.A. at 12:25.

    [​IMG]

    This is where we were given our first pager, but we hardly had time to walk away from the entrance when it lit up already and we could be seated.

    [​IMG]

    I loved the interior of this place – it was small, cozy, and beautiful with all the glass and the chandeliers. It was not too full, either – had it been full, I can imagine that it might be really loud. Once again, we found some confetti / pixie dust on our table, just not in a heart shape this time, bus sprinkled freely on the table – which meant I could play around with it a little:

    [​IMG]

    We were then shown the beautiful menu …

    [​IMG]

    … and decided on what we wanted. I had read so many good things about the Chicken Strawberry Salad that I knew at once I wanted to try it. Before that, however, came the starter: the Soup of the Day, which was a very nice, thick and creamy Tomato Bisque with Croutons, with just the right amount of saltiness. At first the serving size looked rather small, but it was really filling and I ended up letting DH have the rest of it. (I am so glad that DH can eat more food than I can, otherwise I would have felt so sorry about all that food I couldn’t finish!). For drinks, we ordered iced tea and Perrier water to go with our meal.

    [​IMG]

    DH had the tossed salad with ranch dressing for starters which he said was just the perfect amount of food when you know there are two more courses to come ;)

    [​IMG]

    As entrée course, the Chicken Strawberry Salad came and was much nicer than the picture could do it justice. Fresh, with crisp salad leaves, a slightly sweet dressing, crunchy croutons and fresh strawberries, it was just as perfect as I had hoped for it to be. I don’t usually like to eat salads as often as I should, since they don’t give me the feeling of really eating something truly nice and yummy but rather something “only healthy”. This one was different, and it certainly didn’t leave me feeling hungry afterwards either, as some salads tend to do!

    [​IMG]

    DH went with the Angus Chuck Cheeseburger, medium grilled, with bacon, grilled mushrooms, onions and american cheese. With it came really gorgeous tasty fries (not the flabby almost tasteless stuff you get here at home at our local takeout), and according to DH, everything was really yummy.

    [​IMG]

    Just as were eating our main courses, the door opened and the town mayor came in (of whom we failed to take a picture, unfortunately), with this beautiful lady by his side.

    [​IMG]

    It seemed they had come to congratulate a couple who were celebrating their 19th wedding anniversary – we all sang for them and they were given a present of bride and groom ears. After that, our illustrious guests proceeded around the tables and congratulated every one who was celebrating a birthday, and also us as we were wearing our honeymoon buttons. Finally, they also congratulated a lady server who had her 38th anniversary working at that restaurant (which I realized later she must have been there since the park opened in ’71, imagine that!) and left.

    This left us, in turn, to contemplate whether we felt up to dessert … As far as DH was concerned, the answer turned out to be a very firm “No”. So here we were, only on Day 2 of our vacation, and already skipping stuff on the Deluxe Dining Plan! :scared1::scared1::scared1:

    We just couldn’t help it, we were so full. DH asked the waitress if he could have coffee instead of dessert, and fortunately that was no problem. I was rather full myself, but I still had to try the New York Style Strawberry Cheesecake, which turned out to be huge:

    [​IMG]

    I only had about a third of it, and it still left me feeling that I might have been better off not eating it at all ...

    Coming up next: The bug is back … with a vengeance! :sick::headache:
     
  21. poohangel

    poohangel DIS Veteran

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    Nice reviews. Keep it up your doing great.
     
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