More Than a Few Thoughts on Dining 8/15 - 8/23! - WCC, BB, and Narcoossee's Added

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by goodeats, Aug 30, 2018.

  1. goodeats

    goodeats DIS Veteran

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    We had an amazing trip to the World last week. Sad to be back and done with planning!

    The Players -
    ME - Semi-frequent traveler to WDW, likes most foods (sans kalamata olives and certain strong cheeses), loves wine and other adult beverages
    DH - Watcher of budget, has already said this is a one and done WDW trip for him, loves seeing his dds have a great time at Disney, particular about service, will eat anything except squash in all forms.
    DD9 - Less picky than she used to be, but still loves cheeseburgers, nuggets, pizza etc.
    DD6 - The pickiest of them all! She will load up on foods she likes and then not eat at the next meal.

    We did not have a dining plan. The way we ate was somewhere between the DDP and the DxDP. We ended up eating 21 meal credits (over 8 nights) and hardly any snacks. Our total cost out of pocket was a little over $2,400 ($300/nt) including tips so we may have been able to save money with a dining plan, but would have had to tweak what we ate and when. I like having the flexibility to go anywhere we want/order anything we want. Plus we got a killer deal on the room/tickets. I collected disney gift cards at a discount to help save a little bit. I kept telling DH it was free since we had a gift card, but he didn't really buy that!

    Day 0
    Travelling from the West Coast we didn't arrive to the Wilderness Lodge until 8pm. DH and I had packed sandwiches and snacks for the girls because we wanted them to go to bed at a decent time and adjust to the time change. After having our Amazon Prime Now delivery sent up and getting our luggage in they probably went to bed around 9. DH and I each took turns going downstairs to have a minute to ourselves and to get some real food.

    I bought refillable mugs for DH and myself. This was the first time I've done this and I really enjoyed it. The pods for coffee don't really work for us (too weak and we drink a lot) so it was easy enough to just go down at 6am and fill up our mugs to have coffee while we got ready. With 8 nights, even one cup of coffee a day made sense to get the mugs! I walked around a bit to check out Geyser Point, but frankly I was confused at how it worked and didn't want to sit at a table by myself. Lol. I ended up at Territory Lounge. This might be one of my favorite places on Disney property. A nice waitress asked me why I looked wrecked (but in a nice way!). I explained I had been up since 4am Pacific time and was so tired. Turns out she was from a nearby city in Southern California and we talked about that for a bit. I ordered the Ani Tuna Tataki and a glass of Pinot Gris. The wine was very good, but the tuna bowl was a little odd. The ratio of tuna to rice was low (a lot of rice) and the sauce was... interesting. Not bad, but not what you would expect. The fish was good quality though. I left a lot of the rice in the bowl, I was more tired than hungry so it was fine. I asked for the check and explained my DH still had to eat. She said their kitchen was closing but I could take a glass of wine in a to go cup for him. He doesn't drink, so I got one for me! I got a chardonnay that was not as good as the Pinot Gris, but nice to have on our balcony. Dh ended up at Geyser Point (I think the QS section?) and had a salad with salmon. He said it was tasty, but small and wished he had ordered something else too.

    Costs
    Mugs - $40.45
    Territory Lounge with tip - $47.47
    Geyser Point - $17.42

    More to come....
     
  2. goodeats

    goodeats DIS Veteran

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    Day 1

    We all woke up early, DH because he wanted to do some work in the lobby before we started our day :worried:o_O, and the girls and I because we were too excited to sleep! I got coffee a little after 6 and we got ready pretty quickly. I felt comfortable leaving the girls for a short period of time like that, but wouldn't for any longer. DH came back to the room and we were down to Roaring Forks a little after 7:00. We didn't love the menu at Roaring Forks - DH and I eat fairly low carb generally so it felt there weren't a ton of healthy options. We both ordered the breakfast platter and it was just OK. We don't have the love for Disney bacon as some do. The sausage was a little greasy. I did like the potatoes, but didn't want to eat a ton. We both gave the biscuit to the girls. The girls had the mickey waffles with the weird bacon. I did like how it came with grapes and the yogurt drink for a fairly well rounded meal. I think we were all on West Coast time still because they both picked at their food and didn't eat a lot. Overall this meal was kind of a bust and we decided to have breakfast in the room most days after this.

    We went to MK and had a busy morning and hadn't eaten much at RF, so by 10:30 or so the girls and I were hungry. DH didn't want us snacking through the trip on junk, but we somehow ended up in Big Top Treats. DD1 saw the prebagged caramel corn and DH and I said it probably wasn't very good and had probably sat there a month and that we'd get some fresh popcorn later in the trip. A CM behind the counter overheard us and gave us a 3/4 bag full of fresh caramel corn for free! Disney magic! You'd think DH would be swayed to the magic side by things like this, but not so much. The caramel corn hit the spot and we all had a little bit. It definitely made you thirsty though.

    When we got in line for our third FP for Splash Mountain I built a mobile order at Pecos Bill, and placed it when we were about to unload. We got a text that it was ready when we were walking over. I LOVED mobile ordering. :worship: Only downside was that we couldn't use the gift cards I had collected before the trip. Fine with me! The girls had the kids burger and they were both disappointed it didn't come with cheese. Maybe there was cheese on the fixins bar? It wouldn't have been how they liked it though. We got the younger one to try ketchup on hers and she ate a little bit more. I can't remember now if the kids meals came with fries, but I think it was an option? DH and I both had the Southwest salad, his with beef and mine with chicken, and a side of guacamole to split and I had a diet coke. These hit the spot. I think we were really hungry because I'm sure they weren't as good as we thought they were, kwim? The salsa on the fixins bar wasn't especially great, but it was nice to have. The restaurant was very crowded and lots of people "prowling" for an inside table. I didn't love that the seats didn't have backs though.

    We swam at the pool in the afternoon. Besides having lemonade in our mugs we didn't have any snacks. There was one pool server and it was inconvenient/ difficult to catch him so I only ended up with a pool drink once on the trip. Last time I stayed at the Wilderness Lodge there was a pool bar right near the main pool (Trout Pass Pool Bar I believe). They changed the building into a salon, which I don't feel is a good trade?:sad2: Oh well, less unnecessary calories for me then.

    We went back to the Magic Kindgom for our 6:00 ADR at Tony's Town Square. We walked into the lobby where you check in for TTS and my heart dropped - it was just a madhouse and a mass of humanity. And after an August day in the MK this mass of humanity was not smelling so hot! Luckily it only took about 15 minutes or so after we checked in to be called so I think most of this group were attempting to walk in. This was our first TS meal at Disney and I wanted to leave a good impression on DH. Maybe I shouldn't have led with Tony's, but it fit our schedule! Plus with my kids I know pizza is a slam dunk. It's their vacation too!

    We were led to a nice corner table in the air conditioned sun room. I noticed later during our meal they started seating people outside on the patio, which I think in a different month would be nice for people watching. Coming from a drier climate I found the idea of eating outside not at all appealing! Our server was Alfie and he was very good, but I think he had several tables so sometimes service was slow. DH and I started with an order of calamari and I had a Quartino of some sort of red wine. A quartino is about 1 1/2 glasses of wine, which is just about perfect for me. I wish more places offered a quartino! The calamari was not the best we'd ever had, but decent. The breading was pretty heavy and the cocktail sauce was middling to standard though. Alfie also had bread sent over. DH's big pet peeve at restaurants is when the table is too small for the dishes. The bread plate was huge and so was the calamari plate so things got crowded quickly. We were seated at a 4 top, but it felt like a small 4 top. We kept moving stuff to a counter next to our table!

    When it was time to order I asked Alfie if I could have double the vegetables with the chicken parm instead of the side of spaghetti. I'm not sure if he didn't understand what I meant or if he was trying to get me a "deal" but he suggested I order the vegetable gnocchi and top it with the chicken parm so that's what I did. He didn't charge me extra as far as I can tell but basically I got two entrees in one?! The chicken parm was fine, but the cheese on top felt like a lower quality (rubbery - relatively tasteless), the vegetables were lovely but the gnocchi was not what I wanted. The overall serving was very large and I did not eat more than half the plate. The texture of the gnocchi were nice though. DH had the grilled jumbo shrimp, which I think he liked but commented on that it was small. He did have some of my veggies that I didn't finish. The girls both had the kids cheese pizza, which had the same low quality cheese. They both got the fruit cup with it and the kids cupcake. I like that their kid meal came with dessert. Dh and I split the tiramisu, which was excellent and he got a coffee. With three courses and a little wait when we checked in we were out of there before 7:30. Not too bad. Overall I have a soft spot for Tony's theme even though I know it's not the best Italian fare in WDW. I will probably skip next trip, but I still think others shouldn't turn their noses up at it.

    Costs
    Roaring Forks Bfast - $35.11
    Big Top Treats - FREE
    Pecos Bill - $46.92
    Tony's - $157.37
     
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  4. goodeats

    goodeats DIS Veteran

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    Day 2

    After yesterday's breakfast at RF we decided to just eat in the room and grab a snack at Epcot when we got hungry. I had ordered yogurt, berries, bananas, apple slices and some various bars (cereal, protein, chewy) to satisfy our motley crew. With our "free" coffee I has pretty happy with this as it's definitely faster and no doubt cheaper. We easily got to Epcot for rope drop and rode Soarin. With the bottle neck crowds and the slow loading of this attraction we weren't off until 9:30. My little one decided she was hungry and DH had a work call so we decided to hang out in the Land pavillion and grab something at Sunshine Seasons Food Court. I actually wasn't that hungry, so we got the girls a bagel to split and a cup of watermelon. The watermelon was excellent, but the bagel was a standard Disney bagel (one step above hockey puck!). They were satisfied though. DH finished his call and had a platter of just scrambled eggs, sausage, and bacon. He was happy about this because they gave him extra eggs to make up for not getting potatoes or the biscuit. We visited Nemo and then used our FP for Spaceship Earth and Livin with the Land in quick succession. By now I was really feeling the heat and was pretty sure we weren't going to make it to World Showcase for lunch. Everyone decided that after our Test Track FP we would go back to the hotel for lunch and swim.

    By 1:00 we were eating at Roaring Forks. DH and I both got the market salad that had apples, cheese, chicken, and walnuts over greens. This was fairly light, but hit the spot on such a hot day. DH didn't eat the croutons, but I enjoyed them - they were like a pumpernickel so it added an interesting flavor. DD1 had the nugget meal - standard fare, but I do enjoy that Disney allows all the sides and drink options. DD2 didn't see anything she liked so I got her the adult pepperoni flatbread without pepperoni (you get a small discount). She ate most of this, but said it wasn't real pizza. I filled my mug with diet coke and we filled DH's with light lemonade for the girls.

    At the pool I finally snagged the server who gave me a Geyser Point menu and first tried the Huckleberry Punch. I almost spit it out - it was sooo sweet. It was basically Welch's grape juice with a little vodka. The server came back and was nice enough to offer to switch it out to a Mai Tai. This was much better! He even voided out my first order and charged me for the cheaper Mai Tai, which saved me a dollar! Nice!

    Up next first timers at Biergarten!

    Costs
    SSFC - $21.69
    RF - $38.09
    Pool Drink - $13.95
     
  5. goodeats

    goodeats DIS Veteran

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    When I went through the restaurants in World Showcase I considered Teppan Edo, Via Napoli, and Chefs De France. I didn't love VN when I tried it in 2015 plus it's very similar to a restaurant at Disneyland's DTD. I wasn't sure how much my kids would eat at TE and CDF, so somehow I picked Biergarten - my DH loves sausages, we don't have any German restaurants near us, and my kids are still at kid pricing for buffets so I thought we'd give it a shot.

    We had a 6:30 ADR and we checked in close to or just after that time. I love how they have young people from Germany working the check in desk. I don't know if we were extra hot and tired, but this felt like our longest wait at check-in. It was probably only 10 minutes or so. I was about to take my kids to check out the toy shop when our buzzer went off. A waitress with an Australian(?) accent showed us around and took our drink orders. The girls had lemonade, DH stuck with water, and I regrettably had a half liter of the Schofferhofer Grapefruit Beer. I've had this before and thought I liked it, but paired with the heavy German food it felt way too sweet and cloying. I probably should have asked to switch it out, but I dealt with it. The Octoberfest beer on the menu probably would have been a better choice. The waitress gave us a quick tour of the buffet and explained it was too identical lines with the carving station in the middle. It really was pretty in there and like San Angel Inn, I find the nighttime scene very refreshing when it's so hot out.

    Dh and I each took a girl and helped them make their plates. They both really liked the pretzel bread and the pork schnitzel (although we told them it was chicken!). One liked the mac n cheese and the other liked the hot dogs. I wish there was more fruit on the buffet for them but apparently it was by the desserts so we didn't see it until the end. Dh and I each went to town. I tried a little of everything. The meatballs, pork schnitzel with gravy, and the carved pork roast were standouts. I'm still drooling about the pork roast, and would make plans to go back because of it. The vegetable sides were not my favorite, but I guess that's standard with German food. I was disappointed by the pork dumplings (which I remember loving at the Hofbrau haus in Munich), but these had a strange taste. I stuck with the apple strudel with drool worthy vanilla sauce for dessert. Sooo good! I tasted some of the girls' desserts - the chocolate roulade was also very good.

    We saw one set of the Ooompah band. They were fun and added a little something to the meal, but I think the food was better than the entertinment. We were in the middle of the second tier so it was difficult for my kids to get out and dance, but they did by the last song. I'm glad we were seated and got our food before they started. So the 6:30 time is perfect.

    The communal tables were not a big deal at all for us. I was thinking it was long benches for seating, but they are individual chairs, which makes getting up and down much easier. We never really spoke to the people next to us. I guess I could see if you were a party of two sat next to another party of two that would feel a little odd. Next trip (in 3-5 years, or 5-7 years if you ask my husband) I will have at least one Disney Adult. Unless their palates and appetites greatly expand by then I doubt we'll eat at Biergarten, but DH and I really enjoyed the food here and I would go back. We were able to use the Disney Visa discount and paid with our Rewards Card, which was nice. Total with tip and my beer was $156.16. We paid at 7:30 so we were there just under an hour.
     
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  6. goodeats

    goodeats DIS Veteran

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    We woke up early the next day and ate in our room again to make EMH at Hollywood Studios. We got there right at 7am and were able to ride TSM and SDD with minimal waits. We got a lot done this morning (2 rides each on TOT and RNRC, Disney Junior characters, Disney Jr show, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Star Tours) that I became a big believer in EMH and wish we had scheduled more. At some point we got a frosted donut and a frozen cappuccino from a Joffries cart. I do not recommend either (donut was stale and melty and the frozen cappuccino was very milky), but they hit the spot. We got a 20% discount with our Disney Visa card (paid with the rewards card).

    We were starving by our 10:55 ADR at Sci-Fi Dine-in. We checked in and noted the lobby was full of people waiting (this seemed to be par for the course this trip) and the lady checking in before us had an 11:30 ADR and was trying to check in early. The huffy hostess told them they would have a walk-in picnic table and not a car so they decided to wait. We were sat pretty quickly and was surprised to see the Dine-in only half full despite all the people waiting in the lobby.

    I have never been here before and was excited to try it. Again like Biergarten it's a night-time scene so it's kind of automatically a nice quiet, cool respite. We were sat in one of the three row cars - kids in the front, DH and I in the middle, and two hitchhikers in the back. It was little weird to eavesdrop on their conversation. I had to stop myself from joining in! We had a very good, for the most part, server. I want to say her name was Toni, but I don't have my receipt anymore. She kept the girls loaded up with ice water, which I really appreciated. The girls each had a milk shake - one oreo and one chocolate. The serving sizes of these weren't totally outrageous and the oreo was much better than the chocolate. They both ordered the cheeseburger. I really enjoyed how the girls were sat separate from us - it was a nice break after all the togetherness - lol!

    DH ordered the fried pickles to start. I tried one or two and they weren't bad but not really my thing. He has had them else where and said they weren't that great. I had a beer and the prime rib sandwich with a said of onion rings. DH had the BBQ lunch plate. I was really impressed with my food. Very fresh and very high quality. The servings were huge though. I could only manage half the sandwich and a few onion rings. I would have liked to get a different appetizer and split the entree with DH, but he has a bigger appetite than I do. DH liked his lunch plate and ate most if not all of it. He did not love that the table was pretty small. It's a fairly narrow table in the car and it did feel tight in there.

    We were way too full for dessert and our waitress disappeared for a LONG time when it was time to pay. This also bothered DH. When she finally reappeared she blamed it on her two allergy tables she had (?). Regardless she was still a decent server and got us out of there pretty quickly. She also managed to send me on my way with a second beer in a to-go cup! Oh those up sellers. We had a nice experience at Sci Fi, but I'm pretty sure we were there for over 1 1/2 hours, We watched the movie loop at least 1-2 times. I would definitely go back for lunch - I don't think it's good dinner food though.

    Costs
    Joffries cart - $8.42
    Sci Fi with tip - $128.15
     
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  7. dolewhipandpixiedust

    dolewhipandpixiedust Mouseketeer

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    I’m glad to hear about Sci-Fi we’re headed there on our honeymoon next May! I also like Tony’s but definitely don’t expect authentic Italian
     
  8. goodeats

    goodeats DIS Veteran

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    We went back to WL and the girls and I swam for a bit while DH napped. The second beer in the heat was not making me feel so great so I chugged a lot of ice water. DH and I had both brought a stainless steel hydroflask that we filled up in Roaring Forks with ice water often. We used the refrigerated bottles purchased from PrimeNow in the camelbak. I guess we could have gotten away with not ordering the water, but it was still nice to have. After showering, we somehow decided to walk over to Fort Wilderness for our 5:35pm ADR at Trails End. It was still hotter than heck out, but for some reason we wanted to walk. The trail is mostly shaded and it was really interesting to see the Floridian flora and fauna. I wouldn't recommend it at night though - there's no lights! The trail ends up by the stables and we got a little confused where to go, but we followed the signs to Pioneer Hall and found our way.

    There was a Hoop Dee Do show checking in at the same time so the area was very busy as was the Trails End hostess stand. Of course when our name was called my little one had to go to the bathroom - I was surprised to see that it was all the way at the end of the building. In a restaurant I'm comfortable sending my daughters to the bathroom by themselves, but if they have to leave the restaurant I prefer to go with them. Just an FYI. We were eventually sat close to the buffet. I was shocked at how crowded the restaurant was. I guess it was a Saturday night, but last time I ate there (on a MNSSHP night in Oct 2015) it was fairly empty. I mentioned the crowds to our server, Randall, and he said it had to do with free dining. There also seemed to be a lot of people going in an out of the QS location (with the mug refill) that was just next to the front door. I guess the resort was packed. We ordered our drinks and got up to do the buffet.

    We did our first pass at the buffet with a little bit of a line. I was very impressed with the salad section of the buffet. There was a nice kale salad and an arugula option too. I might have said out loud "oooh kale!" and the lady next to me laughed. What can I say, after a few days of travelling I was missing some roughage! The salads did not disappoint. My daughters enjoyed the pizza of course and DH and I enjoyed the chicken and the ribs. There was also salmon and some sort of creamy pasta that my daughter did not like. We tried to get my little one to try the fried chicken, but she was not a fan. It really was delicious though. There was a carving station with some sort of beef. It was really tender and I ate too much of it! Each time we went back to the buffet there was a long line so we had to wait until we went for dessert. I was way too full to get much, but my daughter's made ice cream bowls. I wanted to try the banana pudding but I was too full.

    Randall let us use the remaining balance of our Disney Visa Rewards card and put the rest on our mickey band, but he gave us the 10% off the entire bill. Our total (with two glasses of wine) was still around $130 with tip. I know this is supposed to be a "budget" meal, but I still find that expensive. The quality of the food is very good though, and you can fill up on ribs. Adults were $30, which I guess is less than you'd pay for a drink, entrée, and dessert and most WDW TS restaurants. Kids were $17 though, which feels higher. I will have at least one Disney Adult child next time I go to the World, so I imagine we will not do a lot of buffets. Regardless, I still recommend Trails End. I really want to try it for breakfast at some point, but unless we were staying at WL or maybe one of the monorail resorts I doubt I'd make the trek over.

    Afterwards we walked around the shop they have at FW that really did have some unique merchandise and let the girls play on the playground near the beach. It was a beautiful night with a nice wind blowing. We took a boat back to the lodge and enjoyed the scenery. The natural beauty of the Bay Lake area is one of my favorite parts of WDW.

    Costs
    Trails End $130.27
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
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  9. goodeats

    goodeats DIS Veteran

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    The next day we headed out early to make our 8:05amADR at Tusker House. We arrived at AK by 7:40 and got in the right line to the left of gates. There were a lot of people already queued to the right for the Pandora opening. They let the two dining lines in first and we headed back to Tusker House. My goal was to be out of the restaurant by 9:00 to be one of the first on the safari, but Tusker House had a very slow opening procedure. We were stopped on the bridge to Africa and there were a few "suits" looking over the bridge into the water. Not sure if there was an alligator or what. There was a fairly large group now waiting at the rope for someone to come. Eventually one lone CM came with her ipad and checked to make sure we had a reservation. Of course she was taking people from the left and we were way to the right. Eventually we got through this bottleneck and waited in a another(!) queue to check in at the hostess podium at Tusker House. It didn't take long to be seated at all, but the procedure took longer than I anticipated. I have done PPO ADRs before and I don't remember having to check in three times!

    We had a great server, Luis, who showed us the buffet, brought our coffee, juice, and milk quickly, and recommended we wait for Donald until we got up. We were the first table that met him! That was exciting. We all got up to go to the buffet, which was nicely empty compared to our experience at Trails End the night before. The girls had the usual Mickey Waffles, fruit, and fruit loops! I was like, $25 for the kids buffet and you want to eat fruit loops?! Oh well. DH and I had some wonderful African dishes - the bobotie was especially good. DH also got his money's worth on lox. I find it hard to get my money's worth at a buffet and also eat fairly healthfully. I did have some salads and fruit, but I get full so quickly. I wanted to try some of the yummy looking pastries but there was not way without getting sick. Next trip I don't think I will go to any buffets - especially character buffets which are overpriced to begin with. Regardless, the quality of the food at Tusker House was very good. There was also a ham carving station, but I am not a fan of ham (One of my pregnancy aversions that I never got back. Same with asparagus! True story!). The characters made their way around quickly and Luis was great about taking family pictures. Besides Donald, we also met Mickey, Daisy, and Goofy. The character interaction was really good, this was one of the better character buffets I've been too. There was a little parade around the restaurant that my six year old almost missed when I took her to the bathroom. They give all the kids these shakers and she almost missed out, but somehow she got some. Luis got us checked out quickly and showed us the best exit to get to the safari. We were shocked to see the running of the bulls (tourists) heading there already, but we got on one of the first or second trucks out.

    Total cost of Tusker House was $162.71 with tip. Value is subjective of course, but $42 for an adult breakfast and $25 for a child's breakfast is hard to swallow. I know we're a captive audience and I know it saves you time waiting for characters later, but I can never more than one or two character meals a trip. Maybe these meals used to be slightly more reasonable before the dining plan? It still wasn't a bad experience, I just probably would have been happier with a plated meal for half the price. I see why people do the 10:30 brunch ADR here though. You probably can easily make it to dinner because we did not need lunch until 2:30 this day!
     
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  10. flowergirl45

    flowergirl45 Mouseketeer

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    Thank you for the reviews. Love your writing style!
     
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  11. goodeats

    goodeats DIS Veteran

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    Thank you! Writing the reviews are helping me relive our trip!
     
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  12. Tina1

    Tina1 DIS Veteran

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    Thank you for the wonderful reviews❤️
     
  13. goodeats

    goodeats DIS Veteran

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    After safari we toured AK including EE twice, Dinosaur, Primevil Whirl and KRR. KRR is one I can skip from now on. We barely got wet, and besides the one drop I would basically describe it as boring. We had a 2:00 FP for FOP so we ended up kind of stuck waiting around for it. I wanted to see FOtLK, but we weren't able to fit it in. We ended up doing both trails back to back in the hottest part of the day and all the animals were either sleeping or hiding in the shade. Whomp whomp. DH and both girls were not thrilled and DH was trying to talk me into skipping our FOP FP so we could go back to WL. No way Jose! I explained to him it was unthinkable to do that and he basically rolled his eyes at me. No one wanted lunch after our breakfast (and the heat), but after the Tiger trail we got the girls ice cream. DD1 had the frozen lemonade and DD2 had the Mickey ice cream sandwich. Both were obviously a hit. After the gorilla trail (where DH told me he would have been happy to be a sleeping gorilla in the shade) we finally headed to Pandora to check it out and ride FOP! I was extremely nervous about this as I hate Star Tours and also get anxiety from certain type of restraints. I even tried to keep the back restraint loose, but the CM fixed it for me. It wasn't too bad, but it took a long while before the movie started. Once the movie started I was in love. My six year old next to me kept shouting This is so fun! and I love this! It was a great memory. Debbie Downer Dh did not love it and said it made him dizzy. It was my turn to roll my eyes at him!

    We discussed heading back to WL for lunch or to eat at AK. I told everyone I was too hungry to wait so I placed a mobile order for us at Satuli Canteen. Dh and I both had the sliced beef bowl over hearty greens. DD1 had the kids cheeseburger pod and DD2 had the hot dog meal. Both kids meals came with kettle chips that were slightly overcooked but a nice change from the usual tasteless fries. DH and I both LOVED our bowls. They were so refreshing and light on a hot day, but still filling. I wouldn't even say it was good for theme park food. It was just good. Like if I went to a restaurant at home I would have been thrilled with the meal. DD1 did not like the cheeseburger pod due to the pickle taste. I had a few bites and was amazed how close to a McDonald's cheeseburger it tasted, but it wasn't a "plain" cheeseburger that she usually gets at home. I would still recommend though. DD2 really liked her hot dog and ate it all. It was wrapped in a sort of cooked biscuit. Overall we loved Satuli Canteen even though we had to buy DD1 a nugget meal at RF when we got back. The value for the quality was quite good. I also liked how the CM wouldn't let you find a seat in the indoor, air conditioned seating until you actually had your food. It was much easier to find a table this way. My only complaint was that the seating area seemed a little unkempt and they needed more CMs to clean and clear the tables.

    Costs
    Ice Cream cart - $9.75
    Bottle of water when we finished our camelback - $3.00
    Santuli Canteen - $46.41
    Roaring Forks Nugget Meal - $7.77
     
  14. goodeats

    goodeats DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Messages:
    2,494
    After swimming and showering we headed to Geyser Point for dinner. We had originally planned to head back to AK and have dinner at Yak N Yeti, but storms were predicted and DH and DD2 were overdone and needed to go to bed early. Geyser Point is a weird set-up and I'm sure will be reimagined soon. There's a QS window next to the bar, but I'm pretty sure you aren't allowed to eat at the tables with that food. Regardless, we checked in with a host who sat us at the tables. It was a slightly weird encounter. He was like "you want to eat here?!" I don't know if it was because we had the kids with us or what but we assured him that we did and he took us to a table. The restaurant wasn't that full, but all the waterside tables were taken. Our server here was very "green" for lack of a better word. She may have been a College Program CM, but I'm not sure. In general service was slow and she was not as quick to anticipate our needs as a more experienced server. I had to flag her down for another glass of wine and we needed to request refills of the girls' lemonades. We were brought two menus - one I think was from the QS and one was from the bar. Either way I find the prices here very reasonable and almost absurdly low for a Disney table service restaurant. Especially with the view I feel they could charge a lot of money, but DH and I both had salad with salmon (for me) and steak (for him) and they were $16 and $17 respectively. I mean, I think our salad at lunch was $13 so this was fairly comparable. I will say portions were on the small side though. Our salads were fine, but not much to write home about. My salmon was not overcooked but I could tell it was Atlantic farmed salmon. We usually eat wild Alaskan/WA at home. The girls had the kids meal cheeseburgers with wonderful criss cut French fries. Overall I love the atmosphere at Geyser Point, but we probably should have just ordered bar type food and been happier. With two glasses of wine and gratuity our total was only $83.27. That's incredibly reasonable for a Disney TS dinner!

    We went back to our room and I asked older DD if she wanted to go back to AK to ride Dinosaur again and maybe Primevil Whirl - she did of course. I grabbed a Dinosaur FP. DH told me I had to tell DD2 and that he would blame me when DD1 was too tired the next day. Oh, DH the Disney Gestapo. DD2 was not happy about this, but I know she needed the sleep so I was the bad guy. DD1 and I donned our Amazon ponchos and got on the next bus to AK. This was a pretty short wait as I recall. The skies were pretty orange - almost like a tornado was coming, not that I have a ton of experience with tornados, but the sky looked nasty! It was pouring when we got to Animal Kingdom and tons and tons of people were exiting the park. Most attractions were down in the rain so DD and I sloshed our way to Dinosaur. We rode twice (they make you take off your ponchos) and when we were done the skies were clear again and we walked on PW. She loves this, but frankly I felt like we were taking our life into our own hands with the slick track. We wanted to see if lines were short in Pandora. Navi River Journey said 15 minutes, but was a walk on. FOP said 90 minutes and I asked the CM and she said it was in fact 90 minutes. There were people leaving the queue so I'm guessing it was quite long. We didn't try it. We had Fast Passes for River of Light from our breakfast at Tusker House but decided to skip it. To make this more apropos for a dining report - we looked for ice cream on the way out (like the kind they serve next to the Plaza on Main Street) and we didn't see any at all. I think all Disney theme parks should have sundae options near the exit, but I guess they don't! We took the bus back to the hotel and were back by 9:20. Not too shabby.

    I was not done for the night so after depositing DD in the room and sending her to bed I went back down to the Territory Lounge. This is such a great spot and in one of the reasons I love staying at WL. There were a few tables occupied but pretty quiet overall. I sat in a cushy chair and ordered the Pinot Noir wine flight. I don't usually drink a lot of Pinots, but I enjoyed this a lot. I wanted to order a dessert, but they only had a vanilla crème brule and the berry cobbler and I was in the mood for chocolate. I walked over to Roaring Forks and ordered a chocolate mousse from behind the serving area. One of my complaints about RF is that it wasn't clear where you could get stuff. They had samples of the salads but you ordered at the register. I may have had to pay for my mousse and then go back to the serving area to pick it up with my receipt? I don't remember now, but I know it's not explained well and I don't necessarily want to ask. Anyway, I took my mousse upstairs and ate it on the balcony enjoying the view. This was delicious and just what I wanted. Nice and fudgy and chocolate-y. A sweet ending to a great day.

    Costs
    Geyser Point $83.27
    Territory Lounge $28.03 (ouch!)
    Roaring Forks $5.32
     
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  15. goodeats

    goodeats DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Messages:
    2,494
    The next morning we slept in a bit as we were going to Blizzard Beach today. DH worked again in the lobby and we decided to meet up at Whispering Canyon Cafe for breakfast at 7:30. We did not have an ADR, but it wasn't needed. I thought about telling the hostess that we wanted a quiet table as the schtick isn't really our thing, but for some reason I didn't mention it. I think our server sized us up (or sized DH up!) and figured it out. I really do need to get him a Grumpy t-shirt! Anyway, we were sat quickly and the first thing I noticed is that I think WCC is due for a make-over. I find the color scheme very garish and dated to the 90's. I guess they're going with the turquoise jewels of the Native Americans, but I just don't find it appealing. We looked over the menu and DH and I were disappointed there weren't more veggie options. We ended up both getting the ham and cheese omelet, and DH was able to add spinach to his even though it wasn't on the menu. I forget now why I didn't? The girls both got the kids waffle meal, which did not come with any fruit. I realize now that we could have ordered a fruit "appetizer" for an extra cost, but I didn't look at the kids menu at the time. Looking at our receipt we paid $8 at WCC for the exact same meal you could get at Roaring Forks for $6.50 that does include grapes. Hmmm. Our omelettes were good as were the potatoes that came with mine. DH had fruit, which he shared with the girls. I got regular toast instead of the biscuit that came with the meal. The presspot of coffee DH and I got was a little disappointing. It was a little weak and flavorless, which is disappointing when you're paying $8 for a pot. Overall we were not big fans of WCC and its menu. I feel like they could have had some more unique options - like pulled pork eggs benedict or something. In my three trips staying at WL I haven't managed to eat there for lunch or dinner. I'm willing to give it a try, but it just hasn't fit our schedule. Maybe next trip, but this breakfast doesn't make me overly enthusiastic about it. Our total bill with tip was $68.01, so it is pretty reasonable in the Disney scheme of things.

    We made it to Blizzard Beach before rope drop and had a blast. Dh was like why didn't we pay $200 for a cabana?! For some reason he thought this sounded awesome, but it was so easy to find a shady spot that I don't really see the value in it. I guess the cabana would give you a server to get your food, which could be nice. We walked over to Lottawatta Lodge and walked right up to the cashier. People didn't realize they were two sided. I ordered the chicken salad with rasberry vinagrette and a beer. DD1 ordered the adult burger (the kids meals only had chicken strips or rice bowls) which we got without the brisket and onion straw topping for a discount. DD2 ordered the cheese flatbread. DH decided to get one of the footlong hot dogs from the Avalunch place we passed on the way to the Lodge. There was some sort of backup with the food and it took awhile to get it, but we took it back to our seats to eat. DH eventually got the Barbeque Slaw Hot Dog, which I think he enjoyed for the most part, but didn't love the barbeque sauce. My salad was very good, but oddly served in a cardboard boat instead of on a plate or in a bowl. The girls ate a lot of their food, but I'm pretty sure the didn't finish since they were adult sizes. After lunch we played a little more and left around 3:00. Since we weren't going to have dinner for awhile and we were on vacation I got us a hot fudge sundae to share from the ice cream cart. This took a long time to get since the lady in the cart had to make each one individually. This was good and hit the spot, but it was soft serve ice cream and not hand scooped. The strawberry sundae looked good too though! The way the line formed I could hear everyone order and pay - every single person in front of me paid with a snack credit!

    Costs
    WCC Breakfast - $68.01
    Lottawatta Lodge - $41.76
    Avalunch - $11.71
    Ice Cream - $5.32
     
  16. goodeats

    goodeats DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
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    It look us a long time to get back from BB - I don't mind transferring at AK as long as there are a lot of buses between BB and AK, but it took a bit to wait for each bus. We should have sprung for an uber, but I guess we weren't in a hurry. We all showered and got "beautiful" as my six year old would say for our 6:15pm ADR at Narcoossee's. We took a boat to MK and then waited briefly for the launch to GF. It didn't take too long, but we were in the sun for part of our journey which was not enjoyable. We probably should have taken the monorail from Contemporary, but I have this inexplicable fear of the monorail breaking down and getting stuck for hours without air conditioning. I know it's rare, but it *does* happen. Anyway, we got to Narcoosse's just in time for our res. DDs really liked the look of the GF and called it the Princess Hotel. Narcoossee's looked a little dated inside, but still nicely light and airy. We had a brief wait and were seated on second tier in front of the bar. We still had a nice view of the water and MK. We had the best service of our trip here and DH and I were very impressed. Our server Scott came over and went over the menu with us, including the kids menu options, and took our drink options. He could tell we had a lot of sun that day and brought us lots of ice water and lemonade for older DD. I appreciated that he whispered that they had chocolate milk too! Lol, my younger DD is constantly being told that chocolate milk was only for special occasions so I told her this was a special occasion and she could have chocolate milk. For a bit I was the "good parent"! I started with a Sidecar, which was a lovely (sweet but strong!) start to my meal. DH and I contemplated the appetizer options, I kind of wanted to try the mussels to share or the shrimp and grits but he wanted the bisque. I decided to try the summer salad instead because I didn't want a whole appetizer to myself. I ordered the scallops for my entrees, and he ordered the filet and we got a side of brussels sprouts to share. The girls ordered cheeseburgers! Scott kindly asked if he should bring the girls meals with our appetizers. I thought this was such a great thing for him to offer and DH and I really appreciated it.

    DH enjoyed his bisque - I had a taste too. It did have lobster and just touch of "heat". My summer salad was out of this world. It had pickled blackberries, cornbread croutons, sliced fruit, and a lovely vinaigrette over greens. It was quite a large serving too. Hindsight being 20/20 I would have ordered this salad and then an appetizer as my entree. I finished my Sidecar with my salad and asked Scott to help me serve a glass of white wine to go with my scallops. To his credit he did not start out recommending the $20 glass, but did comment that it was very good and that I would love it. I decided to splurge and try it. I'm not positive, but looking at menus on-line I believe it was the Far Niente. I love chardonnays and this one was sublime. Nice "legs" on the glass which made the one glass I had very satisfying. The scallops dish was very heavy and I only ate about half. It had a creamy sauce that just made the usual heavy scallops even heavier. It was delicious, just not quite what I was in the mood for at the time. Dh enjoyed his steak, it was cooked perfectly, and we both devoured our brussels sprouts. They were nice and charred with some roasted lemon. The lemon made them very bright.

    When it was time to order dessert we let the girls split the Nemo cupcake. I'm glad we didn't order two - it was huge! Also, the frosting was very blue. DH and I couldn't decide on one dessert so he got the cheese plate and I ordered the crustless almond cheesecake that I had read so much about. I had a cappuccino and DH ordered a coffee. DH's cheese plate seemed small to me for the $19 price tag and I think he was disappointed in it - he did not order one again at Artist Point a couple of nights later. We also were surprised you couldn't just order a cup of coffee - you had to get a whole presspot, which at $8 is a rip-off. The cheesecake was amazing, and I see why it gets so many great reviews. The cherry sauce really sets it off too. Despite the hefty pricetag this meal was excellent and now I feel like have to go to Narcoossee's every trip! I loved how it was an unstuffy signature. It was elegant without being pretentious. I was a big fan! I will say we could have paid with the Disney Visa and saved 10% on food, but I still had a lot of gift cards left to use so we just put it on the Mickey Band. We also could have skipped my cappuccino, the cheese plate, and I probably could have dropped my entree to an app and saved a bundle, but oh well now we know.

    Cost
    $296.25 (double ouch!)
     
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  17. Mich123

    Mich123 DIS Veteran

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    Jan 12, 2009
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    694
    Thanks for the Narcoossee's review! I just made a reservation there and am trying to decide whether to keep it or not. I had been worried about the choices for my non-seafood eating DH, which you resolved with your DH's filet choice. I most appreciated your cost revelation which will make my decision: if we get any sort of dining plan we will do it, otherwise, we will hit up Trader Sam's for drinks (no kids on this trip except for us 50somethings!) and apps before Happily Ever After.
     
  18. goodeats

    goodeats DIS Veteran

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    It was a pricey meal! But like I said we totally could have had an equally great experience for significantly less if we had tweaked some of our choices.
     
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