A week of Disney and Universal Dining (All in one post)

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by bean bunny, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. bean bunny

    bean bunny Mouseketeer

    Jul 5, 2010
    My husband and I traveled to Disney and Universal for a week. I normally take tons of photos but this time I was in full relaxation mode and left my camera in the room 99% of the time so these are text only reviews!

    1/5/13 -
    Yacht Club CL Snacks

    Shortly after arriving and checking out our room (with a FANTASTIC view) we stopped in the club level lounge for snacks. Along with soda, lemonade, water, coffee, trail mix, swedish fish, and similar snacks were homemade potato chips and garlic dip as well as soft, delicious sugar cookies and chocolate chip cookies. Both the potato chips and cookies got rave reviews from us! At around 2:00 p.m. we were the only people in the lounge and enjoyed the few minutes of relaxation after our early morning of travel.

    Beaches & Cream Carry Out $9.36

    A vanilla milkshake and vanilla ice cream in a cup were enjoyed here! My husband actually ordered a chocolate milkshake and the server made vanilla instead. She was more than willing to remake and was just giving him the accidental shake in addition to his order, but he decided vanilla would be great and we were on our way. ($ )I made plans to return and order the chocolate chip ice cream sandwich during our trip as that looked delicious as well!

    Yacht Club Room Service (I paid for this in advance via my credit card but it’s still not on my account - I’m sure it’ll show up eventually - it was around $45 I think.)

    The week before our trip I ordered a white chocolate Mickey Mouse with four chocolate covered strawberries to be delivered to our room. This is a tradition on every trip. My husband loves the Mickey but not the strawberries - this works out nicely for me because I love them!

    Fulton’s Crab House ($156.95)

    We visited Fulton’s on our last trip and loved it. I have been looking forward to this restaurant for a year! We showed up about an hour early for our reservation but we were seated very quickly as a party of two. We were seated upstairs in a room full of windows where we could look out on the water. I started with a Brandy Old Fashioned and while this wasn’t actually a Brandy Old Fashioned, it was really good. Now looking at the receipt it’s listed as a Brandy Martini. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t that either - I’m only sad I can’t order another one since I don’t know what in the world it was!

    Fulton’s provides bread service and a crab dip with crackers. Both are very good - especially the dip. Our server (Tom - who was wonderful!) suggested spreading the dip on the bread and he was right - it was fantastic!

    After reviewing the menu we opted for a crab cake appetizer to share. My husband ordered a filet mignon which came with mashed potatoes, and I ordered the cowboy ribeye with a chimichurri sauce and a sea salt baked potato. Now it might seem odd to come to a seafood restaurant which has fresh seafood brought in daily, specifically to order steaks but on our last visit we had great steaks so we wanted to repeat that experience.

    The crab cake appetizer include a roasted corn mague choux and a fried green tomato. This appetizer was delicious. The crab cake was tender and full of crab, we ate every kernel of delicious corn and the fried green tomato was crisp and tangy. This was a big hit and is also offered as an entree which I would definitely recommend.

    My ribeye was cooked perfectly, and the chimichurri sauce was full of flavor and really took the steak to another level. The baked potato came with butter and sour cream and was really good - I am baked potato challenged I think, I cook a lot and I would say I’m a pretty good cook but my baked potatoes are not as good as Fulton’s or similar restaurants so I always enjoy ordering them.

    My husband liked his filet mignon - it was cooked perfectly as well and the mashed potatoes were a huge hit with him. He loved his steak until he had a bite of mine and he said I easily won with my entree. Lucky for him, my steak was huge and he got about half, which made him very happy!

    We left Fulton’s stuffed and happy!


    Writer’s Stop - Hollywood Studios ($5.10)

    The coffee at Disney is notoriously awful but my husband needs his morning caffeine fix so he forced down as much as he could. *The muffin was huge, but not particularly flavorful and half of it went in the trash. *Despite the disappointing eating experience, this still ranks as one of my husband's favorite spots, mainly because no one seems to be aware of its existence. We think it is because of the many building facades in this area. Many guests probably do not even realize it is a real building open for business. Even on crowded days in the past we have been able to duck in here for a quick rest and a blast of cool air conditioned air. *Another small complaint was that even though there are only a few tables in this shop and fewer patrons in at the time, I found it annoying that the three cast members working there couldn't find the time to clean off the debris and wipe off the tables of these few tables. *

    Pretzel Stand outside of Great Movie Ride

    Here we picked up a soda and Mickey pretzel. The pretzel was awful and after two bites it went in the trash. I remember loving the pretzels at Disney (and Universal) but this trip despite several tries I just didn’t like them at all. We have season tickets to our city’s NBA team, and I think the arena’s pretzels are so good they have spoiled me because these didn’t compare.

    The Beverly Sunset ($?)

    I picked up a peanut butter cookie and a lemonade goofy glacier (frozen lemonade). This is my favorite spot for frozen lemonade even though I know there are others with the same machine. This cookie was one of the best cookies I’ve had on Disney property. I looked at every bakery we went to in parks, resorts, etc. the rest of the trip and none of them looked the same. It was giant, soft, and chewy - just perfect!

    Yacht Club CL Snacks

    Chips & Dip + Cookies were enjoyed again this afternoon and were once again great!

    Yacht Club CL Appetizers

    The lounge offered a variety of appetizers each night. This evening included a cheese platter, crackers and bread, crudite platter, chicken skewers, pot stickers with a sweet chili dip. There were other offerings but these are the ones I remember! I should have taken notes!

    Yachtsman Steakhouse ($214.32)
    This was our first visit to Yachtsman and we were really looking forward to it. We checked in early (accidentally as I thought my reservation was at 8:00 and it was 8:30.) At check in we requested a seat by the windows overlooking the pool. We had a short wait and spent that time at the small table in the alcove between the Crew Cup and the Yachtsman. It was interesting watching the butcher work as we waited.

    As we were seated the hostess gave us an overview of the restaurant, explained the steak options and what the most popular dishes were. As requested we had a seat by the water and our hostess mentioned we were in luck as Oscar would be our server and he was the best server in the restaurant. Our night was definitely starting out well!

    I started with a brandy old fashioned (this one was actually an old fashioned :) ) and my husband had the truffle martini. The drinks were great and they quickly brought out rolls and roasted garlic. I have heard people are nuts for the onion rolls - I thought they were ok but the roasted garlic on the other rolls was amazing. We asked for more rolls and they quickly obliged!

    Oscar was our server as I previously mentioned and our hostess was exactly right. WOW! He was really fantastic. He quickly suggested a few things on the menu and made us feel very comfortable. My husband was passing on an appetizer and I ordered the caesar salad, Oscar offered to bring an extra plate so we could share and laughed that he’d given away part of my appetizer. When it arrived I saw exactly why - it was huge! We shared it and bought thought it was very good!

    For our entree we both selected the NY Strip which came with gratin potatoes. The steaks were cooked just as we liked and we couldn’t decide what was better the potatoes or the steak. Each bite was better than the last. We also ordered a side of mushrooms which was fantastic. I had a glass of pinot noir with our main course and Oscar provided an extra large pour for me from a fresh bottle. It was delicious!

    Now I want to note that we hardly ever have dessert. Usually we are so stuffed it’s not even an option but I knew I wanted the pressed pot of coffee, and it made sense to have dessert as well. The pacing at this restaurant is really so well done and I think that’s why we had room to fit in just one more thing! :)

    My husband and I are go go people. While we appreciate relaxing and tried to do it a lot on this trip we are often on to the next thing and Oscar seemed to sense this. He told us early on in the meal to sit back, relax and enjoy the experience. He was exactly right and this two hour dinner was phenomenal due to excellent service, food, atmosphere, and company! We were even able to see a few of the Epcot fireworks during dinner.

    For dessert we shared both the pressed pot of coffee and the creme brulee. Both were wonderful. Somehow this was my husband’s first creme brulee and he was a huge fan of this dessert. I’m going to have to attempt making at home soon I think.

    All in all this was a wonderful experience and it is such a treat to have such a nice dinner in your resort. To be able to walk down five minutes before your reservation is really nice. We will definitely be back and will cross our fingers for Oscar. I know the topic of clothing comes up and I will say that we saw everything on this evening. People who were obviously straight from the theme park, and people who had dressed up for a nice dinner out. The restaurant was comfortable for all and I honestly only looked around myself to make sure we were appropriately dressed! The total for this dinner was $ including tip for the greatest server we’ve ever had - Oscar!


    Gaston’s Tavern ($20.75)

    We stopped in to try the LeFou’s brew and decided to also have the pork shank. I should add this was about 10:00 a.m. and we were the only people eating a pork shank in the restaurant :) at this hour! The pork was very good and the LeFou’s brew - OH I would love to have one right now. My husband is crazy about butterbeer but this is head and shoulders above that for me - so yummy!

    Sleepy Hollow Refreshments ($10.63)

    After seeing many posts about waffle sandwiches and hearing the podcast team mention how great they were I wanted to try one as well. I also picked up a large Coke. My husband’s response was, “no thank you.” I ordered the ham and swiss waffle sandwich and after he took a bite he was sold. This sandwich is HUGE. We barely finished it but we both thought it was very good. For so many years our lunch was always Casey’s Corner but after they switched to the wheat buns we have had to take them off the list - they are just awful so it was nice to find another option we can enjoy for a quick lunch.

    Main Street Bakery ($5.64)

    I’m glad I got to sneak in one visit before this beloved spot changes. While my husband was getting a Mickey Bar from a cart I came in for a chocolate chip ice cream sandwich. WOW! These are so good but they are massive. It took both of us to make a dent in it and I think I’m spoiled for any of the options in the grocery freezer case in the future. I can’t wait to recreate these at home this summer.

    YC CL Appetizers

    I know there were the usual cheese, crudite, crackers, etc. but I’m completely drawing a blank on the main hot appetizers on this particular night - I know each night they had two dishes of warm appetizers.

    Flipper’s Pizza (around $25)

    We ordered a pizza and breadsticks for dinner. We had Flipper’s several trips ago and remember it being very good. While the service was quick and pretty inexpensive for pizza it wasn’t very good. Serviceable but nothing fantastic. I don’t know if this was an off night or what but I don’t know that we would order another pizza from Flipper’s. It was very much just standard fast food pizza.


    Cape May Cafe ($58.23)

    This was our second trip to Cape May Cafe for breakfast. Our first visit wasn’t very good and it had been a few years so we thought we’d try again. This is definitely our last trip there - at least for breakfast. The characters are great and came around several times in the short time we were there. The food was o.k. Nothing was great and we didn’t think there was a lot of variety with hot dishes which is really what we were there to enjoy since there were plenty cereal and pastry options on CL.

    Additionally our server was pretty awful. My husband ordered milk and it arrived near the end of our meal. She actually mentioned it twice when walking by that she “hadn’t forgotten it and would bring it soon.” When it did arrive she apologized and said it was because of a large party next to us and their checks which took her a while. In my opinion, at a buffet restaurant that is unacceptable. It also took a while to get our check, receive our receipt, etc.

    From here we move over to Universal here’s a link to those reviews but did manage to squeeze in one more trip to Fulton’s Crab House on our last night!

    *I should note we have Universal Studios Annual Passes so we receive a 10% discount throughout the park including City Walk. We remembered to use it 99% of the time so prices do reflect this.

    Royal Pacific Club Level Appetizers

    Cheese and cracker platter, crudite, fried rice, and sesame chicken. Wine and beer were available as well as soda and coffee. Everything was delicious and very substantial. We were usually in the lounge early in the evening so I’m not sure if they replenish throughout the evening or it’s a “when it’s gone, it’s gone” type of offering. Having just come from Yacht Club CL I couldn’t help but compare. I would say the main appetizer was much better and a more filling option. The cheese at the YC I liked better - they had more “fancy” cheese options while Royal Pacific had your usual cheddar and pepper jack. I love the crackers at Royal Pacific - the seeded crackers are really yummy! Crudite was similar and I really like the tortilla chips that they usually have for evening appetizers with salsa and sour cream.

    NBA Cafe - ($85.14)

    We had dinner here after a short wait - I forgot to mention we were resort guests which helps you get moved higher up the wait list but the wait was only about 20 minutes. We requested only that we be seated near a smaller tv so that we could watch our local NBA game. We knew the large screens would be covering LA, Miami, and Orlando. They accommodated us no problem and we were able to watch most of the game during dinner and it was a fun experience for us as basketball fans. My husband really loves this restaurant. I think it’s o.k. but I’ve definitely had some bad meals here over the years. I’ve tried jambalaya there and it was awful. We had drinks here including a bloody mary and two cuba libres. We started with their tomato mozzarella appetizer with chicken and it was good. We both went with burgers - I had a cheeseburger and my husband had the bacon cheese burger. The burgers came with a pickle and fries. Our server here was a very sweet guy named Joe who went out of his way to talk basketball and make sure we had what we needed. We finished by splitting the Chocolate Bomb -this was yummy! Chocolate cake with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream.

    They have an odd system for handling payments here. You “authorize” them to run your credit card for the specific amount which includes your tip and sign the bill. You don’t sign anything further, you just receive a final receipt. This is different from every other restaurant I’ve been to where they bring your bill, authorize your card, and then you add the tip to the final amount and sign. I’m not sure why they are doing it this way but it was a new one for me.


    Snacks at Islands of Adventure

    Frozen Lemonade - There are a couple of stands that sell frozen lemonade in Islands of Adventure and they are super good. It’s always my first snack at IOA.

    Butterbeer - My husband spends a lot of time between trips thinking about butterbeer. We even occasionally make it at home based on a recipe I found online. We purchased the first butterbeer of the trip at the cart just outside of Zonkos. The first of many (I won’t document each one - just suffice it to say there were a lot of them.)

    Cookies in Seuss Landing - We purchased cookies at the small bakery at the end of the High in the Sky Trolley Ride - peanut butter for me and ultimate chocolate chip for him. They were both good (though not as good as the Hollywood Studios one!)

    Royal Pacific Club Level

    Tonight the lounge offered a mexican theme for the main entree and salad including a taco casserole type dish with beans, ground beef, and tortilla chips. This was very good and was served alongside the usual offerings of cheese, crackers, and chips.

    Orchid Lounge Sushi ($45.42)

    My husband isn’t a huge sushi fan so tonight I got take out sushi while he ordered room service. I had a rainbow roll and mexican roll. Both were great and the sushi lounge has a wonderful atmosphere. There were only two other parties and the view of the pool from the windows surrounding the lounge remind you that you are in a beautiful paradise, steps from a theme park. I enjoyed an old fashioned while waiting on my order which came out fairly quickly.

    Royal Pacific Room Service ($38.98)

    My husband ordered a cheeseburger, fries, and ice cream from the room service all day menu. The service was excellent, I find the room service staff always so accommodating and helpful. They go out of their way to provide excellent service. The food for this particular order was only what my husband described as “o.k.” In the past we’ve had chicken fingers that were really good - I’d suggest those over the hamburger based on his experience. A 22% tip is included as a $3.00 delivery charge.


    Islands of Adventure Snacks

    Hogshead Brew ($12.05)

    We stopped in for drinks and a quick lunch. I ordered a cocktail called Apple Jack which included their special apple cider and Jack Daniel’s. My husband had a frozen butterbeer. We also ordered a turkey leg and potato wedges ($13.41) from Three Broomsticks to share. We came in only for drinks but the food coming out of Three Broomsticks aroma was too much! Both the turkey leg and wedges were really good. The potato wedges in particular had a great seasoning. The line at Three Broomsticks did move pretty slowly considering it was mid afternoon and there was only one person ahead of me. I can’t imagine what it’s like when it’s super busy at lunchtime.

    Royal Pacific Bula Bar ($49)

    On the way back from the parks we noticed that on this beautiful day the pool tables near the bar were empty so we took the opportunity to play and enjoy a few drinks. The Bula Bar offers a hurricane glass for $15 with the Royal Pacific logo that can be refilled for the rest of your stay for $10. Between the two of us we tried the Appleton V/X Mai Tai, Skyy Vodka Lemonade, and the Pacific Paradise. The Pacific Paradise was definitely our favorite. Gratuity is included on every drink here and the staff are very quick to share that information so you don’t tip twice.

    Royal Pacific Club Level

    Tonight along with the cheese tray, crackers, chips, salsa, and sour cream there was also a pasta and chicken dish and a salad that was very good.

    Royal Pacific Room Service ($26.58)

    We waited a little too late to eat on this particular night so our options were more limited. We opted for pizza from room service. We actually thought this was pretty good. Not fantastic but better than the pizza we had several nights before. This pizza deal included two sodas and again service was outstanding.


    Royal Pacific Bula Bar ($25.11)

    We slept in and had an early lunch by the pool to try the nachos at the pool bar that we noticed the afternoon before. This is the best value I’ve ever seen at any resort/theme park. The enormous platter of nachos was $10 and very good! We couldn’t finish it in spite of a valiant effort. Like the drinks, the gratuity is included and the server was again sure to make sure we knew. They do provide an opportunity on the receipt for additional gratuity if you prefer a higher percentage which we did, our server was wonderful.

    Islands of Adventure Snacks ($5.43)

    We grabbed a waffle cone with a mix of vanilla and chocolate at a stand in Marvel Superhero Island. It was very refreshing on a beautiful, sunny afternoon.

    Royal Pacific Club Level

    The food again tonight was very good. We enjoyed spaghetti and meatballs and salad along with the standards. I was impressed throughout our trip by the quality and substance of the evening offerings on club level especially as compared to the Yacht Club.

    Fulton’s Crab House ($145)

    I requested another visit to Fulton’s for dinner before we returned home. We had a reservation for 8:30 but again we were almost an hour early. I stopped by the bar for an old fashioned (the theme cocktail of this trip!) and we were seated shortly thereafter. We had the good fortune to again be seated in a new area for us. We were seated in a small hallway along the back of the boat. There are about six tables in this area and they offer a beautiful view of the Marketplace and the water.

    I enjoyed a repeat of my dinner on our first night with the cowboy ribeye and baked potato. My husband opted for the mahi-mahi with a side order of mashed potatoes. We again received the delicious bread and seafood dip with crackers. Our server tonight wasn’t as good as the night before. We needed to remind him to bring bread and crackers, etc. but he was very nice. He seemed a few steps behind the entire night.
    Our total included a soda for my husband and an additional old fashioned for me.

    We had some wonderful meals that we are still talking about and we are counting the days till our Halloween trip so we can repeat some of our favorites! Any questions, please feel free to ask. Thank you for reading!

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