Dining Review - March 2024

I love your dining reports! I enjoy your relaxed way of touring and food and drinks looks so good!
You have me craving those filet sliders. Sitting out at the dockside bar and having those with some fries is just perfection. Really love the 2-hour cancellation policy - it allows so much more flexibility. Boathouse will do the lobster roll "Connecticut style" (hot with butter) if you'd prefer that preparation.
LOL - now I’m craving them too. I’m going to have to try the lobster roll “Connecticut Style” next time; I never knew they could do that. It’s that mayo-like sauce that turns me off them normally.
I love your dining reports! I enjoy your relaxed way of touring and food and drinks looks so good!
Thank you. We used to be commando’s from park open to close, but have definitely slowed down our touring now to enjoy what we are doing more as we’re doing it and not rushing around. The longer trips and the annual pass make it easier. We also enjoy having a nice meal and recapping our day/planning other days/just hanging out.
Real Life Update
One of my birthday gifts was a new waffle maker, the flip kind like they had in the hotel to make your own waffles. Not industrial sized, but how cute is this.

I made my first waffle with it; I burnt it a bit and didn’t put enough batter, but it’s a great first try in this new waffle maker.

My old waffle maker wasn’t a flip kind, you just poured the batter in, closed it, and it cooked.
Friday 3/15/24
We started the drive home today and left about 4:20am (just 20 minutes later than our goal of 4am).

We stopped at a 7-11 near the resort since Scott wanted coffee, but they didn’t have it made yet so we just started driving. Starbucks wasn’t open this early either.

Near Daytona FL, Scott saw a sign for 7-11 so exited planning to get his coffee there. I saw a sign for Buc-ees so suggested we go there instead.

Scott got his coffee and also breakfast. He had a sausage egg biscuit and a brisket taco. He said both were really good and he was glad I suggested we stop at Buc-ees.

I wasn’t hungry yet, but when I was I ate my Kodiak pancake with blueberries that Scott made for me yesterday and we packed up for me to eat in the car

We stopped in Fredericksburg, Virginia around 6:30pm. We booked the Residence Inn Fredericksburg when we were pretty close and ready to stop for the night (it is so convenient to do this from your phone).

Rather than going out to dinner, we ordered food from Vita Felice Italian using Uber Eats. This is the first time I’ve used Uber Eats, they delivered it right to our room. The front desk recommended the restaurant and we saw they delivered so did that instead of going out.

We ordered Mozzarella sticks. I had to position the sauce dipping cups to look like a hidden Mickey :)

We ordered an Allegra pizza: New York style pizza with grilled chicken, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, roasted peppers and garlic.

The food was good. We ate watching NCIS (the original episodes) with cans of coke at the table in the room.

We shared the Glazed donut from Everglazed for dessert. This is a great donut.

This was a nice relaxing change for us to just have dinner in the room.
Saturday 3/16/24
We left about 6am to finish the drive home. The hotel breakfast didn’t start until 7 so we skipped it in favor of getting on the road early.

We stopped at Starbucks for breakfast sandwiches and beverages around 9:45.

We were home about 12:45 after a quick stop at Stop & Shop (local grocery store) for a few groceries.

The cats were very happy to see us. It was nice to be home this early to start some of the post vacation errands.

That night we ordered a chicken parmigiana hero and had it delivered from a local pizza place for dinner. I forgot to take a picture but it was very good. I think we shared one of the donuts tonight for dessert.
Sunday 3/17/24
Keeping the vacation vibe going, we went out to dinner at Biagio’s, a casual Italian restaurant in Paramus, New Jersey (maybe 25/30 minutes from home). We come here regularly, sit at the bar, know many of the employees and some of the customers so it’s always a good time.

Scott had Maker’s Bourbon and I had a White Sangria (they made the best white sangria’s here).

Their bread is great so it’s hard not to fill up on it.

We started with fried calamari which is perfectly crispy and not greasy.

We both have our favorite dishes we usually order but it was St Patrick’s Day and we ordered some of the specials instead.

Stuffed Jumbo Shrimp: Shrimp & lump crabmeat stuffing, spinach, saffron lobster sauce, served over pasta. This was very good.

Shepherd’s Pie. This was just OK, I wasn’t that thrilled with it, but Scott thought it was good.

We skipped dessert at Biagio’s and I think we shared a Summer House Cookie when we got home.
Random thoughts and some ranking
While we made reservations 60 days out for each night other than the first night we arrived in Disney, we made a lot of changes to our dining plans as we went. I booked dinners for 13 nights starting Saturday 3/2 (we arrived Friday 3/1) through and including Thursday 3/14. I booked 1 lunch reservation. I checked back to what I originally booked and compared that to where we actually ate and the only dinner reservations that we kept as originally booked were: Narcoossee’s 3/2, Yachtsman Steakhouse 3/4, and California Grill 3/10. We kept our 1 lunch reservation at Yak & Yeti on 3/5. All the other meals we cancelled the original reservations and booked new ones as we went; availability would change constantly. A few of the meals we walked in without a reservation. I wanted to compare to what I originally booked more as a reminder to myself not to stress if I can’t get certain reservations when I’m looking 60 days out since availability changes (even for popular restaurants) and we can make changes on the fly. This worked well for us. I don’t think I would go without booking dinner reservations in advance but knowing I can change them as we go makes it less stressful.

As we were driving home we started talking about the different meals we had and ranking them. We had a little notebook with us in the car and I started making lists; I know it’s a bit old fashioned but it was fun to do it.

When we thought about the restaurants overall that we enjoyed the most we came up with these as our top ranked 4 restaurants:
1 - The Boathouse at Disney Springs
2 - Trattoria Al Forno at the Boardwalk
3 - Flying Fish at the Boardwalk
4 - Narcoossee’s at the Grand Floridian

We started with the various desserts since who doesn’t like dessert. Our top ranked desserts:
1 - White Chocolate Cherry Crème Brûlée at California Grill
2 - Almond Crusted Cheesecake at Narcoossee’s
3 - Carrot Cake at Saltgrass Steakhouse
4 - Bread Pudding at Sebastian’s Bistro
5 - Key Lime Cake at Flying Fish
6 - Key Lime Pie at the Boathouse

Our top ranked appetizers:
1 - Sea of Cortez Shrimp at the Boathouse
2 - Pork Belly at Flying Fish
3 - Octopus at Flying Fish
4 - Pork Belly at Topolino’s Terrace
5 - Polpette (Meatball) at Trattoria Al Forno
6 - Shrimp Cocktail at Yachtsman’s Steakhouse

Our top ranked entrees:
1 - Redfish at Narcoossee’s
2 - Filet Mignon Sliders at the Boathouse
3 - Chilean SeaBass at Flying Fish
4 - Butter Poached Lobster Tail enhancement at Narcoossee’s
5 - Plancha-seared Scallops and Parisian Gnocchi at Narcoossee’s

Scott wanted me to include his thoughts on hot dogs since he was happy he was able to enjoy hot dogs at Disney. His favorite hot dog at Disney was the hot dog at Casey’s in Magic Kingdom.

We tried to rank the various snacks/treats.
Scott had a standout favorite: The Mickey shaped cookie with chocolate dipped ears from the Confectionary at Magic Kingdom. Surprisingly, I didn’t have a favorite.

While Scott’s normal beverage didn’t vary much since he usually stuck to either Bourbon or Gin, he didn’t rank his drinks, Since I tried various cocktails I ranked my favorites:
1 - Hoodunit’s Punch at Abracadabar
2 - Key Lime Pie Martini at the Crews Cup Lounge (near Yachtsman Steakhouse)
3 - Duck Duck Razz at the Boathouse

We enjoyed thinking through and ranking the various meals from this trip.
Final Thoughts
This was a great trip. We really enjoy Disney World.

We tried some new restaurants and still have some favorites. Some prior favorites weren’t as good as they used to be; hopefully just a fluke. All places can have an off night.

While I know I’ll start booking reservations 60 days in advance of our next trip, I will try not to stress if I don’t get all the restaurants I want since we can change our plans as we go and availability changes constantly.

If you have any questions or comments, please reply. I love talking about Disney.

Fun wrap-up. I agree that the new(ish) 2-hour cancelation policy has opened up a lot of opportunities. For sure I'd still recommend booking must-do's at 60-days out but, if you're flexible, there's so much available day-of. Trattoria Al Forno ranking so high has me definitely resolving to try it soon. When's your next trip?
Fun wrap-up. I agree that the new(ish) 2-hour cancelation policy has opened up a lot of opportunities. For sure I'd still recommend booking must-do's at 60-days out but, if you're flexible, there's so much available day-of. Trattoria Al Forno ranking so high has me definitely resolving to try it soon. When's your next trip?
Thank you. I agree the cancellation policy is very flexible. Definitely give Trattoria Al Forno a try; it’s not fancy, but we found it a solid enjoyable meal. And that Hoodunit’s Punch at Abracadabar is a must try if you like fruity drinks. Our next trip should be in the fall.
Thank you very much for your wonderfully detailed dining reviews. Due to caring for an elderly mother, we haven’t been back to WDW and its restaurants since May 2019. You munched your way through some of our firm favourites, such as Flying Fish and Narcoossee’s. The descriptions and photos definitely made my tummy rumble on more than one occasion. That can be a little trying, though, if you’re reading these reviews while on a train that’s taking you to work! *sigh* It was worth every nostalgic minute! Thank you!
Thank you so much for your report! I always enjoy them and appreciate you taking the time to write them. Scott and I are kindred spirit in terms of cocktails- I am a martini and Manhattan girl!
Enjoyed all your dining reviews and pictures!
I definitely want to try the Key Lime Martini at YC, sounds delicious!
We took a break from Gideon’s Bakehouse on our last trip and tried Summer House cookies and really enjoyed them!
Thank you for another delicious dining report!
Wednesday 3/13/24 Continued
Later that night we drove to the Boardwalk for dinner at Trattoria Al Forno.

We went a bit early for pre-dinner cocktails at Abracadabar. The bar was packed; we ordered our drinks from there but ended up sitting in the waiting area for Trattoria Al Forno since the bar was so crowded. Scott had Bombay Sapphire with Olives and I had my favorite Hoodunit’s Punch: Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, Orange Juice, Pineapple Juice, Coconut.
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We were seated on time and had the same waitress as our last visit this trip. She remembered us (or so she said).
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The bread is cute, but I prefer it with butter to the dipping oil.
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We shared one Polpette (meatball) as an appetizer. This was good.
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We shared the Braised Short Rib entree: Gremolata, Creamy Polenta, Arugula. This was another solid dish and sharing was the right amount of food.
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We haven’t had dessert here in a while, but decided to get the Tiramisu: Lady Fingers soaked with Espresso and layered with Italian Mascarpone Cream. This was really good; suprisingly good.
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Trattoria Al Forno continues to be a solid restaurant choice we both enjoy.
I agree. We've never had a bad meal at TAF. I really enjoy your reviews!
Thank you for your wonderful reports! We are going next week. Just curious. Do the restaurants frown at sharing entrees? We are from NY and sometimes they charge to do that. Is that the case at WDW? Thanks!
I really enjoying reading your reports. My husband and I are doing two trips this fall, Disneyland in October, and the week before Christmas at Disney World. Our style has changed over the years and we really enjoy the restaurants and trying new foods. It's a more relaxed way to Disney...Looking forward to your next trip. Have you been on a Disney Cruise?
Just discovered and enjoyed your report! I have two trips coming up in June (one for work and one for fun) and will definitely use your recommendations. We are staying at Beach Club on the fun trip so a Hoodunit’s punch is definitely in my future!


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