Chunkymonkey's Year of Disney Dining Reviews Dec 2016 - COMPLETED 1/5/17!!

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by chunkymonkey, Dec 13, 2016.

  1. chunkymonkey

    chunkymonkey DIS Veteran

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    That lemon chicken was really tasty as was the beef brawat. We enjoyed our meal there. I also can't wait for our dinner at California Grill. The sushi is good but I wouldn't go there just for sushi, it was a limited selection but what they had was good. I saw tuna, yellowtail and salmon sushi, california roll and I think a tempura roll. I think the snacking all day is a good idea. I kinda prefer that too since a lot of time is spent on eating. Although it if's so crowded there I think spending your time eating and not waiting in line is probably a good thing. Hope you enjoy Via Napoli! Just posted my review.

    Hi Kari! I was just thinking about you as I was writing up my review of Via Napoli. Your suggestion of arugula on the carciofi pizza is spot on. It was yummy! Thanks!! The CG brunch was better than I expected but I definitely thought it was too pricey. I can't believe kids are 50 bucks. That is waaay to much!
     
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  2. soniam

    soniam Wooden leg named Smith...

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    I can't believe you have never tried the avocado margaritas from La Cava. They are really good. Actually, I haven't had a margarita there yet that I didn't like. We get at least one, or a few, every time we visit:rotfl2: Three Kings Bread is supposed to be sort of like a blander coffee cake or King Cake. Kind of a cinnamon sugar bread. Sometimes the icing does get hard, since it's just powdered sugar and water. However, it sounds like this one was particularly bad:( Sorry you didn't get into the Star Wars thing. It was hard to tell if it was cool or not. Yachtsman looks really good. We will have to try it sometime.
     
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  3. BlondeAppetit

    BlondeAppetit DIS Veteran

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    Following!

    Loving your report! Thanks for sharing!

    Looks like a magical trip! So curious about California Grill brunch! Love the pics!
     
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  5. kastoney

    kastoney Disney foodie served with a side of sarcasm

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    Thanks for the shout-out :-) So glad to hear you loved the Carciofi with the arugula. You are totally right that the arugula really does help break up the creaminess. And I'm with ya on the crispy crust.

    I can't believe you've never had the avocado margarita before!!!! I guess better late than never :drinking1

    Yachtsman looks oh so good. I'll have to try that calamari sometime, love all things squid and avocado. And your steaks. Yum!!!!!!! YSH is definitely pretty close to steakhouse perfection
     
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  6. disneyAndi14

    disneyAndi14 DIS Veteran

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    We love Via Napoli, I travel with my teen daughter so it is always pepperoni pizza! The basic pepperoni is delicious there. I also have never tried the avocado margarita, it looks very good in the picture.

    I would have loved to see SE become the Deathstar. I am a huge SW fan as well. Did you see Rogue One? I am waiting for my son to come home from college next week so we can go together. I taught him well, he loves everything SW's lol.

    Yachtsman dinner looks so awesome, maybe someday I will get there. Traveling with a teen makes the signatures out of my reach, she is so picky and hates steak, can you imagine! So I love the review. We will be at WDW from 2/16-2/23. Our last day will be your first day
     
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  7. jakenjess

    jakenjess DIS Veteran

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    Everything looks so yummy! We have still not made it to Yachtsman, but it's definitely on my places to try list!
    But we never miss getting a margarita at La Cava ;-) I'm stuck on the blood orange one, it's so good!
     
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  8. chunkymonkey

    chunkymonkey DIS Veteran

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    Me too, can't believe I waited this long. I think most of the time I rarely drink during the day although that changed earlier this year at F and G. But I really liked those Grey Goose margaritas! I think once I tried to find the avocado margarita but thought it was outside and not inside the pavilion so obviously didn't find it. Most of the time I am really just too full to consume anything else.
    The Three Kings bread was just sad...I've had king cake and it's wasn't even close. It's like someone took all the 3-day old stale bread rolls from restaurants on Disney Property, iced it and passed it off as this.
    I don't think any "regular" people got into the Death Star thing. Only 400 or so people were chosen and I heard it was mostly the bloggers and castmember friends n family. :(

    Thank you for reading! I'm so happy to share our experiences as we always have such a great time at WDW!

    It was really good! Can't wait to have it again although I would like to try other things there!


    I know! I'm so late to the game. But it won't be my last! I was late too in getting those grey goose slushies. I had my first one last year!

    It is! Soooo good! I love how you can pick your sides even though each steak is listed with a particular side. They let you pick anything you want.

    It's very good pizza, and I'm from NYC so I am picky about pizza!
    The avocado margarita is delicious! I was really surprised by it. It was like a slushie but alcoholic. It was creamy but not too creamy, sweet but not too sweet. And very refreshing!


    I saw Rogue One twice already! Going for the 3rd time today with some of DH's work buddies. I loved it.
    You guys will have a great time watching the movie, definitely one for Star Wars fans.
    I think I have a picture of the SE Death Star somewhere. I had to take a screenshot form my ipaid. :(


    Wow, she hates steak?!? Actually that is not uncommon. I never ate steak until college, and I'm still not a huge red meat eater. I prefer fish and chicken overall but now but I do enjoy a good steak, burger, and prime rib. Maybe she'll grow into it!

    Yachtsman is really good! It's basically like a fine steakhouse not unlike Morton's or Capital Grille, just with some Disney touches, which make it even better!
    I'll have to try that blood orange one one day! It sounds really yummy!
     
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  9. rndmr2

    rndmr2 DIS Veteran

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    Found your Dining Review the other day but didn't have time to respond. Looks like a fun trip! I love it there at Christmas time, you had some great meals. That California Grill Brunch looked good but I agree, I'm not sure it would be worth that particular price. Looking forward to seeing more.
     
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  10. chunkymonkey

    chunkymonkey DIS Veteran

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    Hi Danielle! Great to see you here! It was a quick but really fun trip. I'm glad we got to try brunch but definitely for special occasions, or maybe we'll go again since we have the TIW card this year, without it I don't think it's worth it.
     
  11. chunkymonkey

    chunkymonkey DIS Veteran

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    BTW this is a picture of the Death Star Spaceship Earth that we had to watch from our ipad! :sad::sad::sad:

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    It looked cool and i would have loved to have been there in person!!

    Anyways, back to the Dining Review...(warning to @bcwife76 there is a Jawa in this post!)

    December 6th: Hollywood Brown Derby, Jingle Bell Jingle Bam Dessert Party, Epcot EMH.

    We spent our day at DHS. Unfortunately this was a rainy day. I guess it was too good to be true to have perfect weather EVERY day on a Disney trip. It didn't rain for the entire day thank goodness but there were periods where it was coming down HARD. Our Indiana Jones show was cut short due to rain and possible lightning so we kinda had some extra time. We completed all our FP+, watched the Stormtroopers march with Captain Phasma, toured Launch Bay, and I got a pic with a Jawa!

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    Hollywood Brown Derby

    I made a same day ADR at Hollywood Brown Derby because I wanted somewhere to sit down and eat especially because I didn't want to be wet anymore. I also didn't really have breakfast aside from my Starbucks and I needed sustenance. There wasn't anything available at other restaurants like 50's Prime Time or Sci Fi which are my two usual DHS haunts, so I thought we'd give Hollywood Brown Derby another go. We ate here many years ago, you can see it in my very first TR from 2009! I did actually like the food back then but I have read many reviews that also witnessed it's decline since so it has sort of dropped from my radar of to-dos. We'll see if it's still as good as it was back then...

    We entered a surprisingly packed waiting area of the restaurant but realized it was people just waiting to get out of the rain and they weren't exactly eating here, so we were shown to our table very quickly. I would say the restaurant was 50% full.

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    It was nice to be out of the dampness outside and the space was very warm and inviting.

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    Our server came by with waters, and I ordered an iced tea and DH a diet Coke. We were then brought some warm crusty rolls. These rolls were great! I thoroughly enjoyed them.

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    You can see we had 5 rolls in the picture above and I believe I ate about 4 of them. I kid you not. There wasn't any bread left after lunch and my DH does not eat that much bread before a meal, unlike me. :rolleyes1

    It was served with a nice whipped butter. I can't turn down warm rolls and butter!

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    We ordered and I decided on a combo of the Famous Cobb Salad: with Finely Chopped Greens, Turkey Breast, Bacon, Egg, Tomatoes, Crumbled Blue Cheese, Avocado, Chives, and Cobb Dressing, and a soup that sounded really interesting, Oyster Brie Soup: Oyster Beignets, Lemon Aïoli, Chive Batonnets

    Here's the salad:

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    I remember I had this before and really enjoyed it, but here's the issue this time around. It was way too out of proportion. Too much ingredients, not enough "greens" and too much dressing. I should have gotten the dressing on the side. I forgot I guess, but a good chopped salad doesn't need one to gauge how much dressing to put in on their own, it should come perfectly dressed. I felt once mixed, the salad got very soggy and was mostly ham, cheese, and dressing so after a while the greens got too soggy. I think each ingredient needs to stand on it's own better. I was disappointed in the proportions of the cobb salad even though each individual ingredient was fine.

    Here's my soup:

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    I thought this was delicious. It was unlike any soup I've had. The brie flavor was very subtle and not in your face. It was creamy and rich but not too overpowering. The oyster beignets were kinda like little fried oyster fritters but they didn't have much oyster flavor in them. It was ok though as the soup really stood out for me. I enjoyed this and would order it again. The portion size was good as any more would have been too rich. I would get this again.

    DH got himself a Grilled Wagyu Beef Burger Gruyère Cheese, Pastrami, Heirloom Tomato, Avocado, Fried Egg, Toasted Brioche, Cognac-Mustard Aïoli, Hand-cut Steak Fries. It sounds like a really good burger!

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    I thought it looked better than it tasted. The bun was not toasted and it would have been better if it were. The burger was ok, I think the pastrami makes it a bit too meaty. I like the addition of the egg, and the fries were pretty good, but overall it was an ok burger. The bun totally needs to be toasted and be softer for this to be a better burger. We saw this was a popular choice with diners though as servers seemed to be bringing this to every table. I wonder what they thought of the burger.

    Overall, thought HBD could do better, especially since it's touted as a finer dining spot. They need to work on proportions and ensure everything comes together as a whole better instead of individual ingredients just assembled together. Their rolls and soup definitely saved lunch!

    We didn't bother with dessert since we had the dessert party later that night!

    I wanted to give a shout out to my DISboard friend, Dee @natebenma who has a specific comer right outside Starring Rolls bakery, called Dee's corner! I took a picture of it and got weird stares as it was like I was taking a picture of nothing. I pretended like I'm interested in the bakers in the window!

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    Dee's Corner

    Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam Dessert Party

    The location of the party is actually insde the area where they had the Disney Jr. stage show. I'm not sure if this is where Club Villain is as well? The party started check in at 5:45pm and we arrived closer to 6pm. Not sure what we were doing before that made us a little late but oh well. The party was actually in full swing when we arrived. All the tables were full! I got started with getting some desserts.

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    Sorry everything is going to be blue in the dessert party pics. It was just so dark!

    Here's that nitrogen flash-frozen whipped cream balls that were a hit at the Star Wars dessert party in Feb:

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    The chef takes the cream, flash freezes it, then cracks it open on a plate before adding some sauce.

    OK it really doesn't look like much once the little ball is cracked open and sauced, but it was quite yummy!

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    Here's pictures of the dessert tables:

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    These lemon meringue tarts were actually really good! And I don't even like lemon meringue regularly:

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    Drink lines were long at the beginning of the party, but they tapered off as people started heading to the reserved viewing location.

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    There was wine, beer and two specialty cocktails:

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    I got the Gingerbread Martini, and it was sooo good! And strong, very strong. But too good to pass up so I had another one! It's kinda like a spiced White Russian which I think most of us feel how did we ever like a drink like that but after taking a sip I know why, it's just creamy and good!

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    We thankfully found a spot to sit after a gracious couple offered to let us share their table with them. They were really nice and had these cute Star Wars ugly Christmas sweaters on. They too enjoyed food and we found ourselves talking about the places we ate at on our trip.

    There was also a hot food station which I greatly appreciated. There were these meatballs in a zesty sweet n sour sauce, and some spinach artichoke dip served with pita. There were also these salad cones of antipasti salad and kale salad. I much prefered the kale.

    Sorry, bad and blurry pic, as it was so dark I could barely see what I was taking!

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    The meatballs were really good and I'm glad we had a mini-dinner along with dessert!

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    As the time for the show grew closer (7pm), everyone started heading out. At the exit Santa Goofy was handing out gingerbread cookies. Santa Goofy was also walking around inside but he was kinda all over the place so didn't manage to get a picture indoors.

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    Sorry blurry pic again! We grabbed coffees on the way out so we could drink them during the fireworks.

    The viewing area for JBJB was packed. We managed to get a spot though and had a nice view of the show. It's a good show but I am biased because I like, live and breathe Star Wars so I would have much preferred the Star Wars Galactic Spectacular. As I mentioned in my PTR, I thought the show relied more on projections and lasers rather than true fireworks. There were enough to entertain but it was nothing like Symphony in the Stars which I've had the pleasure of attending twice, both time with dessert parties. It was very cute though and we had a good time. Thankfully the rain held up that night although there was a dampness in the air. Didn't affect the show though.

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    At the end of the show they made it snow, which was pretty cool and would have been better if it wasn't so damp out already!

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    After JBJB, we headed over the Epcot for EMH! It was a lot of fun, the lines were not that long at most rides aside from Frozen Ever After, which was consistently an hour or over. Soarin' was only 20 minutes so we went on that a few times!

    After a few rides we went up to World Showcase. We caught some Illuminations on the way, after that true EMH was happening so the park cleared out. We met Anna and Elsa with a 15 minute wait! To see more pics from this day click here for the post on my PTR.

    As we neared Japan, I decided I was really hungry so we went to Katsura Grill. It was empty for EMH but I'm really happy all the QS places are open until EMH ended.

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    I got a beef udon. I've had this before here and it was yummy but I thought the portion was a little small.

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    I thought I could still eat more, so we walked on while we decide what to eat next.

    I decided to get a Grey Goose Slushie and shop in France a bit.

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    To be honest I am not a huge fan of lemony things (hence my surprise with the lemon meringue pie at the dessert party) but I really like this slushie!

    We ended up at UK, and decided on some Fish n Chips from Yorkshire County Fish Shop. We ate in the dark on the patio with tables next to the stall. They really need some lights here!

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    It was quite delicious especially with some salt and malt vinegar. It's been a while since I've had fish n chips from here so I was glad to have them again. DH and I shared this and I think I was finally full after that. Whew! :rotfl:

    Despite the moments of rain and an OK lunch, it was a great day!

    Coming up, our last day at WDW...Garden Grill for lunch!

     
  12. bcwife76

    bcwife76 DisneyMomma

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    Haha, thanks for the jawa warning, I read this with my hand over my eyes, peeking through my fingers :rotfl2: God am I going to have to spend the entire Star Wars cruise with one hand over my face??:rotfl: I'll fall off the ship!

    I'm so behind in my TR reading (not to mention I still need to finish my mini-TR from our last Disneyland trip!) so I'm just going to put a blanket YUM!!!! For the start of this report. Spectacular fireworks photos as well!
     
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  13. Raeven

    Raeven Happiest Haunt

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    I got the waygu burger from HBD too and I agree it was better looking than it was tasting. I ordered mine without the pastrami. But it was very average tasting and mine was a tad overcooked. It also completely fell apart almost right away and it was hard to keep the egg and cheese inside. I did enjoy the cobb salad though.

    I can't tell if that's the same place as Club Villain is held, I don't think it is but I'm not sure what building is the old Disney jr show so it could be. (Club Villain was very dark too so they look similar in pictures!) Club Villain is held in a building that's in the corner past RnRC.

    I'm also not a fan of lemony flavored things.
     
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  14. disneyAndi14

    disneyAndi14 DIS Veteran

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    We have never tried HBD, I have seen a billion pictures of the Cobb Salad and every time I think it looks overdressed and the greens are hard to find! The dessert party looked nice with a variety of options. We did the SW fireworks in October and I loved them. My non SW fan (DD) Andi thought it was to long and Wishes way better oh well! I did send video to my son Jack and he loved it.

    We love the fish and chips at Yorkshire kiosk. The beef udon looks really tasty as well. We are preparing for a winter storm here on Christmas so we will be eating, baking, and watching SW's for sure. Have a Merry Christmas!
     
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  15. ThreeBoyMama

    ThreeBoyMama Mouseketeer

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    Why do I read dining reports when I'm hungry?! Everything looks great but especially those steaks at Yachtsman. I think DH and I are going to need to have an adults-only meal there next time we go to WDW!
     
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  16. kastoney

    kastoney Disney foodie served with a side of sarcasm

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    Thanks for sharing. We had a horrible experience at HBD a few months back and I was thinking about giving it a try for lunch one day just for the salad and burger, but think we'll pass for now. That definitely looks like too much dressing and for over $20 my burger better be darn perfect.

    Love all the jingle jam bam or whatever it is called offerings. Of course I'm a fan of all things free alcohol, but its great they had some savory options as well.
     
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  17. soniam

    soniam Wooden leg named Smith...

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    That's two stories now about too much salad dressing at HBD on the cobb. We got it in the Lounge in July, and it was really good. It had the right mix of ingredients. It's a shame, because it really is a good salad. The party looks like it made up for lunch though. Just a few days now before I will be there.
     
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  18. ArielSRL

    ArielSRL DIS Veteran

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    Love the Via Napoli lunch review. We will be eating there for the first time in June bc of all the good reviews. I am looking at both white pizzas...the one you ordered and there is one more (don't have menu with me). So yum!

    I'm going to have to check out La Cava as I love me a good margarita, but after hearing the description from several Disers, I think I'll skip the avocado.

    Hoping to maybe do Yatchsman as a special meal on a future trip. Maybe a couples trip if I can get there with the hubs one day without kids! Both of us love a good steak!
     
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  19. ArielSRL

    ArielSRL DIS Veteran

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    I was under the impression that JBJB was held in the courtyard in front of GMR but maybe they moved it due to weather. And that's right that you guys haven't seen the new Star Wars show. I haven't either. I was lucky enough to see the old one right before they changed it. It was incredible! The new one is more projections like JBJB. I'm sure it's fine but I'm so glad I saw the old one!

    The bread and soup look good at HBD. Sorry that I really it didn't meet expectations. I've eaten there before but it's been awhile. I don't remember being overly impressed, though.

    Grey Goose Slushie looks good. I haven't had one since 2012. Will have to remedy that in June. Fish and chips looks good, too! I love a good piece of fried fish! This is part of the reason I will never, ever be a skinny Minnie!
     
  20. Disneyhayes

    Disneyhayes DIS Veteran

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    Excited to follow your eating adventures!
     
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  21. chunkymonkey

    chunkymonkey DIS Veteran

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    Haha I thought you might care for the warning! I'm not sure what you're going to do on the SW cruise, they are everywhere in the Atrium and that's where all the action was, LOL . I will say I saw them more on the 2nd floor of the atrium than the first, but they will show up there too.

    Yeah I wish the burger was better. Glad you had better luck with the salad! It had all the right flavors but just too much of the dressing and toppings.

    I think it's in a different location as we were right next to Launch Bay. I think it may have been the rain location since it was raining all day and they wanted to be safe. I think it's normally held outside.

    I like fresh lemon flavor just not anything artificially lemon-y. Too dishwater-like for me, but I do enjoy this slushie!

    I thnk HBD is overrated and I would have rather eaten at a quick service. If it weren't raining so hard and we wanted a spot to relax we'd have gone someplace else. I'm dying to see the SW fireworks! We have the 7-hour SW guided tour booked for Feb! It includes the SW dessert party too, yay!

    Thank you!! Merry Christmas to you too and Happy New Year! I really enjoy eating at Epcot as there are so many different cuisines to choose from. I've always liked Fish n Chips and it's been a while so I was craving it. The beef udon is yummy at Japan but a little but salty IMO.

    We are all gluttons for punishment. I'm always hungry. I don't need dining reports for that lol. Yachtsman is sooo good! I don't think we can fit it in our Feb trip but am thinking of doing it again in May!

    Yup too overpriced for what they were offering and i would skip it again until they maybe make some changes. Better stuff to eat in DHS although most of it is very basic food..burgers, chicken, pizza, pasta. I think DHS needs more interesting food.

    Haha "free alcohol" haha. :rotfl: You mean we had paid 69 dollars extra for just cakes and cookies and a place to stand? LOL. I sure drank more than i wanted to so hopefully made up for the price. After that I realize I did drink about a pint of half n half though and the thought of it made me a little queasy...:laughing:

    I'm glad you got a better experience with the cobb salad. I thought all the flavors were there, it just wasn't proportioned right. Maybe different day, different chef/salad prep? Probably accounts for all the inconsistent reviews.

    BTW I hope you're having fun in WDW. How are the crowds? You will need to report back! I'm so tempted to do this next year before our AP expire!

    It was a delicious lunch of yummy pizza, salad and drinks. Pizza (but good pizza only) makes me a happy camper.

    If you do not like avocado then you may not like this. Although it is a unique flavor and no strong avocado taste. A little creamy but more refreshing.

    Yes, it would be the perfect places for a date night :)

    I think you are right because the earlier pictures I saw of the show had outdoor seating at JBJB, so it was probably a rain location. I guess that's why it felt a little cramped overall not too bad though.

    I saw the fireworks before they changed it too. It was the best thing I've seen!!! I was hoping they would keep that but now it's a lot of projections which I think is cool and all but people want to see more fireworks!! Well I do at least lol.

    It's ok, I probably won' return to HBD but I'm always willing to give places another try, maybe in a few trips...

    The Grey Goose Slushie has been a must do for me each of my last 3 trips! Now I have to add on that avocado margarita. Although it does make me super sleepy...maybe I should only drink this at night.

    I'm Chunkymonkey for a reason!! nuff said. Haha. :rotfl:

    Thank you for reading!!! Welcome!
     
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