Restaurant Rewind: Memories of more Magical Times. February 2020 Dining Report. UPDATE 1st April HEA DESSERT PARTY!

jenjersnap

yadda yadda yadda
Joined
Sep 18, 2004
Looks like a delicious list! So glad you decided to write a dining report - we need a little diversionary sunshine right now!
 


quietly

Mouseketeer
Joined
Nov 11, 2014
Firstly - thank you so much to everyone for your lovely comments and for following along to this dining report! I hope you’re all doing well - let’s get cracking!

I want to start off this post by giving a little bit of context for our dining adventures. We were doing a split stay between Animal Kingdom Lodge and Pop Century and decided to go dining plan-less for the start part and then go big with the Deluxe for our Pop stay. So lots of the sit down restaurants are towards the end but we do have a few sit downs in the start portion as well - including this one on our first day!

Despite arriving at Animal Kingdom Lodge at 1am and after 33hrs of travel - we hit the ground running on day 1. There was no way, after almost a year of dreaming and planning, that we were going to waste a single minute of this awesome adventure. So we left our beautiful room

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(Photo pre-destroying it with our luggage and junk!)

Through the fancy lobby -


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And off to the bus stop to start all the excitement!

After
a fun morning in the Magic Kingdom where I FINALLY got to ride the Main Street Vehicles (this is probably not bucket list for a lot of people but I’m a sucker for history and old transport!) and where I cried just because I was finally at home in my happy place, we headed out of the parks for a monorail ride over to the Grand Floridian Cafe for brunch!

GRAND FLORIDIAN CAFE

We arrived about 5 minutes late (I’ll blame jet lag and time zones...yep sure thing!) and we were seated around 20 minutes after our ADR time which was no problem as we got to have a cheeky peek at the fancy lobby and that cool bird cage elevator!

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Eventually we get a text to take our seat and head into the restaurant.

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We were seated at a spacious 4 top table by the window which was lovely. Although the restaurant is very dated style wise (and I don’t mean in the Victorian era elegance they’re attempting - I mean it looked the the 1990’s had claimed the room and wouldn’t give it back). The dining room had a nice atmosphere and felt well spaced in our section.

We perused the menu and pretended we hadn’t already carefully scoured it for months deciding what we wanted and then placed our order. We decided to share a starter and went with:


House-Breaded Fried Mozzarella
with Tomato jam and Artichoke relish.

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Guys, I was so excited for this but it was just a mess. The breading was course and had a strange texture and the mozzarella was overpowered by the amount of balsamic they’d put on top. The artichoke bed was soggy and managed to seep into the mozzarella breading at the back and make that soggy too. Overall it was just a confused dish and wasn’t something I would get again.

For main course Emily ordered:


Traditional Eggs Benedict:

Two poached eggs, toasted English muffin, Canadian bacon, and hollandaise served with a marinated tomato salad.

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This was a reasonable execution of this dish but a bit inconsistent. One of the eggs was cooked perfectly while the other was slightly overdone and not runny.

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Sad egg!

The English muffin was more spongy than it should have been but we’re also very fortunate to have amazing eggs benny in Australia. So while it was fine it definitely didn’t blow us away. The hollandaise was lovely and the Canadian bacon was tasty. Overall it was pretty good though if we went back I think Emily would choose something else. And if I was a betting lady I reckon that something else would definitely be the star of the meal which was my main course:


Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Waffles.

Hand breaded chicken breast and smoked bacon malted waffle with sriracha-honey drizzle.

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Oh my word this was good and the absolute star of the show. The waffle was crisp and delicious with a punch of smokey bacon in the batter. The chicken was perfectly cooked, moist on the inside with a golden crunchy exterior that was textural heaven. The siracha honey drizzle was the perfect complement to the dish - offering enough sweetness and spice but without overpowering the main flavours.

I ordered a side of maple syrup in case the drizzle was too spicy but honestly it was so well balanced and just brought the whole dish together. This was so good it even managed to convert previous chicken and waffle sceptic Emily who said she thought it was amazing.

We’d definitely consider returning to GFC in the future and give it another go but it won’t be one we’ll be putting our running shoes on for. Based on the chicken and waffles I can see that GFC has great potential but it definitely seems to be dish specific on whether or not you get a real winner. Overall it was a decent start to our culinary adventures and there was even better to come!


UP NEXT: Happily Ever After Dessert Party!
 
  • DisneySweetTooth

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 31, 2019
    I agree about the fried chicken and waffle. I think this is my favourite fried chicken and waffle I’ve ever had. That sriracha honey drizzle is perfect!
     

    nco91590

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 23, 2014
    Following along :)

    Love the shot of AK lobby. Such a gorgeous hotel.

    I share your thoughts completely about the decor of GFC....and I loved the fried chicken too!!! Can't wait for more :)
     

    kastoney

    Disney foodie served with a side of sarcasm
    Joined
    Jul 18, 2010
    Hi there! Following along. I think we all need some more magical times right about now! Loving your GFC breakfast. It is one of our favorites though for reasons that escape me we haven't tried the fried chicken and waffles. Will definitely have to fix that next time we go!
     

    quietly

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 11, 2014
    Looking forward to your report. Happy to have the distraction!
    Yay! Thanks for joining in and hope you enjoy it!

    Thanks for this...been on the boards every day as a distraction...Though we're bummed about our canceled April trip, we are busy planning for our upcoming October one! Following along...
    So sorry to hear about your cancelled trip - I hope this brings a little you and gets you through to October! Thanks for joining in!

    Excited to hear all about your culinary journey. Looks like a great list of places!
    Thanks so much!

    Joining in! So happy to see any new TR or dining report during these times and your list of where you ate looks great!
    Yay! Glad to have you here! I’m a big fan of your reports so it’s great to have you reading along!

    Thank you for sharing. I am looking forward to reading more.
    Thanks HolRae! So glad to have you here!

    Reading along
    Thanks for joining in!

    Can't wait! I will be curious to see if we were at any of these places on the same days :)
    Oooh that would be so cool! Definitely let me know if we have any that line up!
     
  • quietly

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 11, 2014
    Following
    Woo hoo! Thanks for joining in!

    Yes, please distract us with happy Disney food! Loving your report so far :goodvibes
    Thanks so much! Everyone loves some happy Disney food!

    I'm joining in, too! I'm looking forward to reading all about your Disney food adventures!
    Thanks so much! Can’t wait to share them all with you!

    Been planning my July vacation and need some food inspiration. Love the Earl , so I know you have great taste! Looking forward to your reviews!
    The Earl is SO good! We decided to sneak it in at LAX so we’d have more stomach space at Disney Springs and I’m glad we did because it was just what the doctor ordered after all that travel. Thanks for following along!

    Perfect timing for your food report!!🥰
    Yay! Thanks so much.

    From one Janelle to another, hello! We even spell it the same. Thankful for any trip or food reports right now to get us through, perfect timing :)
    Oh my god another Janelle! I’m so excited I’ve met like one other my whole life! (And she didn’t have our excellent spelling!) Glad to have you on board and hope the report brings a little joy.

    Joining! Great start!
    Thanks so much it means a lot!

    What a fun start, I’m looking forward to reading your report!
    Thank you so much!

    Following along! :wave2:
    So happy to have you!

    Following along. Looking forward to reading more. Looks like a great line up with lots of variety .
    Thanks so much! It was a long flight so we wanted to get in as much as we could!

    Wow, that is a stacked list! Can’t wait to eat vicariously 😊
    We weren’t messing around! Serious Disney eats haha! Thanks for joining in!
     
    • Like
    Reactions: DLo

    quietly

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 11, 2014
    Distract away! Looking forward to reading more about your trip!
    Thanks so much! I shall do my best!

    Looks like a delicious list! So glad you decided to write a dining report - we need a little diversionary sunshine right now!
    Thank you so much for such a nice comment. I’ll do my best to bring the sunshine and deliciousness during these dreary days!

    I agree about the fried chicken and waffle. I think this is my favourite fried chicken and waffle I’ve ever had. That sriracha honey drizzle is perfect!
    It’s so good! Glad to hear there are other fans!

    Following along :)

    Love the shot of AK lobby. Such a gorgeous hotel.

    I share your thoughts completely about the decor of GFC....and I loved the fried chicken too!!! Can't wait for more :)
    Thank you so much for the kind photo compliment - honestly that lobby does all the work itself it’s such a beauty. Glad to hear you agree about the GFC decor - hopefully they give it a well needed elegance spruce soon! And that chicken and waffle is the biz! So good! Thanks for following!

    Hi there! Following along. I think we all need some more magical times right about now! Loving your GFC breakfast. It is one of our favorites though for reasons that escape me we haven't tried the fried chicken and waffles. Will definitely have to fix that next time we go!
    I know I could definitely use some more magic so glad you agree! And you’ll definitely have to pop the chicken and waffles on the list for next time - you won’t regret it!

    Following along!!
    Glad to have you here!
     

    ariane37

    Dis veteran
    Joined
    Sep 25, 2012
    where I FINALLY got to ride the Main Street Vehicles (this is probably not bucket list for a lot of people but I’m a sucker for history and old transport!)
    I've had the chance to ride in a couple of them and I think it's a nice treat! I think some are afraid to stop and take the time as they're rushing off to follow their schedule but I will ride in one every chance I get. Glad you got your chance!
    House-Breaded Fried Mozzarella
    with Tomato jam and Artichoke relish.
    Hmm that's too bad it was disappointing because the description makes it sound so good. I had that on our one visit to GFC but it was different presentation-wise and there was no artichoke so they've obviously changed it. I loved mine and probably would have ordered again but now I'll rethink if we go back. Overall we did enjoy the food there but our service was SLOW!
     
  • Tink2Day

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 30, 2010
    Just what we all need now, food distraction. 🤣 Carry on I'll be awaiting the food anxiously, as always, nothing changing there.:rotfl2:
     

    quietly

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 11, 2014
    HAPPILY EVER AFTER DESSERT PARTY

    This review is going to be in two parts just as a heads up. Got lots of photos of the party and while I could have left some out I think people should see the variety they’re looking at getting for such an expensive event so I’m including as many as I can. I’ll add the review section in the next post and the buffet photos in this one - enjoy!

    After a fun filled afternoon which included scrubbing ourselves with all the fancy basin scrubs and some more magic kingdom time, we headed over to the main hub to get our spot for Happily Ever After!

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    Now the last time we came I was still bitterly saddened by the departure of Wishes and really didn’t give this show a good crack. Wishes was the first Disney fireworks I ever saw and you can’t blame a gal for being nostalgic for that kind of magic. We’d both done a Wishes dessert party on a previous trip so we decided to give Happily Ever After it’s best chance at winning me over we’d do it right the first night and get a great spot.

    As someone who has social anxiety, you can’t put a price on how much of a relief it is to not be squished in like sardines for 45 minutes before show time (Well, actually you can, it’s $89 per adult - but you know, you get my point). We’d also decided to do the dessert party afterwards so that we didn’t feel rushed to finish up eating as last time we were so nervous about getting a spot we felt like we really didn’t make the most of the food section.

    After an incredible fireworks show that brought me to tears, and will now admit I love, (not MORE than you, Wishes! I can love all of you equally!) we headed off to Tomorrowland Terrace to get our dessert on!

    The selection:


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    CONTINUED NEXT POST:
     

    quietly

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 11, 2014
    We hadn’t eaten since our Grand Floridian Cafe Brunch that morning so we were determined to do this right. We knew they had a selection of savouries so we hit some of them first.

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    The cheeseburger spring rolls are so yummy and a great crispy start to the party. I also loaded up on some awesome spinach dip and cheese. I’m not a massive spinach person but that dip is awesome. In fact I grabbed a second sharing plate of it later on to break up the sweetness of the desserts. The savoury options here I think are such a great addition and make it so that you can really make this your evening meal if you’re a snacky person and not have to have a savoury dinner before you go (which honestly helps justify the price for me a bit).

    But we weren’t there for dip and cheese! Oh no! We were there for Emily’s favourite part of any day - dessert. You guys need to know that where there is something sweet to consume, Emily will probably already be there - spoon in hand - having eaten half of it. In fact when I say “we” started with savoury stuff I think she might’ve already gotten a dessert plate first!

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    There were some really great options on the dessert buffet. Fun stuff for the kids like make your own cupcakes and sundaes, individual sample desserts from Cinderella’s Royal table... but the real stars for us were these:

    OOEY GOOEY TOFFEE CAKE

    Bless this delightful, rich, pudding of joy. We had eaten this before on a previous visit to liberty tree tavern so I knew this was going to be a winner - but for some reason when it’s served in the big slab like that it tastes even better. You get to pick and choose if you like the crunchy side bits or the gooey centre - overall this is an A+ for me and I’ll definitely eat it again.

    MICKEY OREO PUSHPOPS

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    These were an unexpected hit for us and we really just got them to give them a go cause they seemed like a fun novelty but they were actually super tasty. Mousse in the middle tasted a bit like the grey stuff and the texture from the little beads in it was actually really yummy. I definitely consumed more than one of these and would do so again.

    EDIBLE COOKIE DOUGH.

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    Just look at her with her sweet elegant bow and cute patty pan skirt. Not only was this completely adorable but it was delicious to boot. I mean who doesn’t love raw cookie dough topped with white chocolate? Proper winner!

    Also the chocolate covered strawberry definitely deserves a mention - they’re sweet juicy and delicious and everything you want out of fruit covered in chocolate.

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    Emily also had fun at the make your own sundae bar and loved her creation. Her only criticism is that she didn’t get more!

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    I know the inclusion of adult beverages to this party is a contentious one, so all that aside I did want to mention the options available here as there wasn’t a lot of info when we were first booking this.


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    There was a decent selection of options - nothing really spectacular but if it’s an important inclusion to you then there’s definitely some options there. There was a basic sparkling, sweet white, dry white, red (it literally just said Zolo red on the bottle so apologies if you’re a wine connoisseur!), and two beer options. We opted for the sparkling which was nice and refreshing and paired well with the desserts.

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    I also got some POG juice because I’m not about to leave an establishment with some form of that beverage without drinking it. Apologies for the lack of photos on that one but it was probably gone in about 3 seconds.

    Overall we loved our dessert party experience. We found we definitely preferred the After Fireworks combo better for us as we felt we could scope out a spot without fear of missing out on the party. This is definitely not a one and done for us and we’ll definitely do it again on our next trip. It’s the perfect end to a first day in the Magic Kingdom!

    UP NEXT: BOMA BREAKFAST!
     
    Last edited:

    KTSMOM

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2003
    Wow! I didn't realize they had added so many savory options to the dessert party. Your pics make me want to be there now! I'm going to have put that on my list of things to do next time we go..
     

    ariane37

    Dis veteran
    Joined
    Sep 25, 2012
    After an incredible fireworks show that brought me to tears, and will now admit I love, (not MORE than you, Wishes! I can love all of you equally!)
    I'm glad you enjoyed it! I LOVED Wishes and still cannot say I like HEA anywhere near as much.
    The cheeseburger spring rolls are so yummy and a great crispy start to the party.
    We keep trying to - try these from the cart in MK but either forget or get there too early! We are doing the dessert party on July 4th so hopefully they have them there.
    EDIBLE COOKIE DOUGH.
    Oh yeah, edible cookie dough :love: Hope they have this there too! We've done a few different dessert parties over the years but it's been about 3 or 4 years now since the last one and we've never seen edible cookie dough at one. Getting excited!
     



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