Better late than never. We've been home about a month and things are finally settling down so I thought I'd write quick reviews on the restaurants we tried. Me and DH -ageless DS 9 DD 3 days from being 4 We had so many reservations we didn't get to try much counter service. We did a grocery stop on the way in so had crackers, cheese, cereal, and fruit we would snack on in the room instead of doing CS. Minor disclaimer - I am not a vegetarian but I kind of played one at Disney. It just worked out that way. I think maybe because it was so hot and the salads were always cold and crisp. Mmmmmm. Anyway here goes. Monday - Chef Mickey's Dinner We loved it. Maybe because it was our arrival night and we were all primed and ready for the Disney experience. Plus we had one of the first ADR's of the evening but we had no complaints with the food, service, or anything! Donald was in the lobby greeting everyone while we were in line, after you check in you go to get your picture taken. Does anyone else feel like they are constantly getting suckered in by those pictures? You tell yourself you are not going to buy them but then the kids look so darn cute (this coming from their momma) and you tell yourself "It's a moment". Anyway I digress. I don't know if it was because it was hot but I mainly ate from the cold salad bar, DH the carnivore had no trouble find plenty of meat and potatoes, and the kids food was fine, the usual mac and cheese, pizza, nuggets. Character interaction was great. Minnie even coaxed my overexcited, overly-tired DD to eat a few bites. Will we return? In a heartbeat, but we would try to get one of the first seatings again because that line gets long! Tuesday - Garden Galley at SOG We had spent the day at AKL and were tired so just hung out at the resort for the rest of the afternoon . It was meat night or beef night, I believe, so DH was happy. There was more than enough salad fixing to satisfy me and a quite a nice selection for the kids. The only thing that sticks out was that there were only 3 choices for dessert and none were particularly kid friendly (cheesecake, lemon pie, and one of those 7 layers when we were there) but who needs dessert anyway. I don't think we were that disappointed. It just stuck out after the fantastic display at Chef Mickey. We would go back if we were staying at SOG or wanted to save money. It was quite inexpensive. Wednesday - Crystal Palace Breakfast Did I mention we did too many buffets. Goodness! The character interaction was great and its was a beautiful restaurant. My eyes were crossed from so much food at this point, but I had fruit, and a nice egg scramble that had a lot of veggies in it. The kids loved the waffles, they smelled so good and were nice and soft. Again DH did the meat and potato thing. He doesn't like fancy but there was plenty eggs, sausage, bacon etc here to satisfy him. I think we would have enjoyed this more if we had not had two buffets on the previous days. My thoughts when I made these ressies was how much the kids love getting autographs and the characters but I think one buffet every 4 to 5 days is enough. Would be go back? No reason not to. Service was excellent. Food was hot, varied, and plentiful. But kids prefer Mickey and friends so for that reason we would probably go back to Chef Mickey's first. If your kids prefer to eat with Pooh and friends this is a great place to do it. Thursday - Mama Melrose - FDP We slept in and hung around the resort until early afternoon. We spent the day eating Florida oranges (mmmm) and hanging at the pool (now that's vacations!) so were good and hungry by our dinner time. Our waitress was wonderful and very helpful. We got the salad with vinegrette dressing (I ate most of it by myself! It was so good) a 4 cheese flatbread, I didn't try it but DH and DS enjoyed it. There was also a bread that was very good that DD ate quite a bit of. I had the Veal Osso Buco, DH had Wood-grilled Chicken - tossed in pipette pasta with artichokes, peas, and roasted red peppers in a basil four cheese cream sauce. DS had the mini chicken parmesean and DD had pasta with four cheese cream. Everyone enjoyed their meals but were full so we declined dessert. I regretted that later, since our meal was at 5:00 I wish I had ordered something to take back to the room later as a snack. This will probably be our FDP of choice from now on. The atmosphere is much more relaxed and rustic than Brown Derby. We have never been to Hollywood and Vine but didn't want another buffet! Friday Hoop Dee Doo What a great time! Everyone really loved this show. It really is worth doing at least once. Foodwise there was something for everyone. Again I loved the salad! I think it was the heat but I loved the cold salad with the tangy vinegrette. Plenty of meat for carnivore DH. He was in Heaven, plus he loved the show itself. This is the man that is usually rolling his eyes at all the kiddy/corny jokes. Here he was actually participating! DD ate her weight in corn on the cob plus a little fried chicken. DS sampled a little of everything except the ribs, he doesn't like saucey meat. He was in love with the strawberry shortcake, fried chicken and corn. We would not hesitate to take a first timer there or recommend it to someone. I don't know if we wouldn't do it again by ourselves, just because there is still so much we haven't done! Part II coming up!