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Disneyworld - any recommendations?

Disneyworld - any recommendations?
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  • Post #31 - December 6th, 2017, 10:18 am
    Post #31 - December 6th, 2017, 10:18 am Post #31 - December 6th, 2017, 10:18 am
    I begrudgingly went to Disney in July 2017. My favorite restaurant was Sanaa at Animal Kindom Resort https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dinin ... ani/sanaa/
    The best quick service meal I had was at Landscape of Flavors at Art of Animation resort : House-made Vegetable Burger
    Pepper Jack, Fried Green Tomato Slice, and Lettuce on a Brioche Bun
    I also enjoyed a dole whip float,
    Ice cream https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dinin ... am-parlor/
    Lobster roll https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dinin ... use/menus/
    and an indulgent, well prepared, use all the meal points left last meal at Bongos Cuban https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dinin ... uban-cafe/
    Reading is a right. Censorship is not.
  • Post #32 - December 6th, 2017, 10:57 pm
    Post #32 - December 6th, 2017, 10:57 pm Post #32 - December 6th, 2017, 10:57 pm
    OMG. Thank you, thank you. This is the kind of stuff I was looking for. We are staying at Port Orleans Riverside. No car. Not interested in venturing too far afield, but just want to avoid any travesties and maybe swing one pretty nice dinner, as nice as it can be with a 4 and 6 yo in tow. (well behaved but not great eaters. yet. ) We do have the dining plan, which I kind of think is a mistake, but am rolling with it.

    seebee wrote:
    Marmish wrote:We're headed to Disney World in February. Any recent recommendations? We'll have a 4 and 6 year old along.


    There are tons of recommendations. Are you staying offsite or onsite, and will you have a car while you're there? Are you using the DP? I can ramble a bit about this...

    I'd suggest not paying TOO much attention to food. I mean, you can eat pretty well down there, but (assumption) your vacation is gonna be primarily for the "Disney Magic" for the kids. Traveling far away to eat well vs the price you'll be paying for park tickets and experiences vs the time you have to do it in is something to REALLY consider. I would suggest figuring out what you want to do when you are there, and then kinda narrowing down your BEST option for a meal where you will happen to be at a time you'll want a meal.

    There are a shit ton of restaurants. Quality control for the QS or CS places is all over the map. One 15.00 meal at one qs could be an absolute TRAVESTY, while one 15.00 meal at another qs will make you think they are undercharging.

    My Targets:

    Animal Kingdom: Flame Tree BBQ. SPARE RIBS. It's real smoked bbq. It's not the best bbq in the world, but, it's amusement park takeout food that is damn good for the price. Pro tip: get the onion rings.

    The Boardwalk: Ample Hills Creamery ice cream is THE TRUTH. If you are in Epcot, or staying at an epcot area resort, or will be visiting the boardwalk, make it a point to try and get there. The Boardwalk bakery is right next door to Ample Hills. Go ahead and buy something there, and remember I told you not to. It all looks so good. You'll wish you'd bought more ice cream instead.

    Magic Kingdom:
    Columbia Harbor House - You'll need to go at an off time, because everyone knows it's good, so it's crowded. Eat upstairs there.

    Pecos Bill's:
    Travesty. Everyone gushes about the free toppings bar. Sure, you can get as much guacamole as you want. Ever had Dean's dip guacamole that you can buy next to the french onion dip at a grocery store? More on this later....

    IMO, if you need to eat when you're at MAgic Kingdom, you're better off walking to the Contemporary, or hopping on the Monorail to one of the resorts.

    Hollywood:
    Take the boat to the Swan Dolphin Hotel, and eat ANYWHERE there. (no ddp tho, so only if you're paying out of pocket.) Or the Boardwalk, or one of the Epcot area resorts.

    Epcot:
    You have a shit ton of options in the World Showcase. Just remember, if you're in Chicago, you have better choices than pretty much all of the World Showcase pavillions, and probably cheaper, too. In Future World, Sunshine Seasons is pretty well reguarded. That would be my target if I were in FW. I wouldn't get sucked into the lure of awesome ethnic foods in the WS. Don't be surprised if you try something, and say to yourself, at home, I could have gotten it better and cheaper - just sayin'.


    Temper your expectations, and eat well where you can. You can eat pretty well, and you can have some great meals, but, you'll be paying premium prices to do so if you are in the parks, or in one of their hotels. I think a great way to plan meals is to figure out the best place for where you'll be at a meal time, and then decide the logistics based on that.

    2 Examples:
    1. Going to MK? Maybe Chef Mickey's makes sense. Here's why:
    It's a break from the sensory overload of the park.
    The "Fab 5" will each stop at your table, and ask if you want a picture with the kids.
    The food is fine if you know how to navigate a buffet.
    All in all, the high price tag might make sense. Those character pictures might save you a BUNCH of time if you want character pictures.

    2. Perhaps a Fantasmic package makes sense at Hollywood? You have to weigh your options. If you are going to be at Hollywood, and you'll want a meal while you're there, AND you want to see Fantasmic, if you book the package you have guaranteed best seating in the theater, and you only have to get there 30 minutes early. You are then also able to get 4th, 5th, 6th fastpasses if available instead of holding on to a fantasmic fastpass, and not being able to book more.

    So back to Pecos Bill's:
    My approach is that DW is an amusement park. If you live in a big city with tons of decent ethnic options, I wouldn't target ethnic options in DW expecting a whole bunch. DW is catering to ppl from all over the world. My idea of guacamole is not the same as someone else's. I've read countless recommendations of the fantastic food and "free" guacamole at Pecos BIll's. It was an absolute atrocity.

    Happy to try and give more opinions when you get closer to the vacation, and you try to figure out the puzzle pieces. The unofficial guide is a great book, and also their Touring Plans web site is worth every damn penny of the 15.00 membership price. There are Disney food guides/blogs all over the web. Here's a decent start: http://www.disneytouristblog.com/disney-world-restaurant-reviews/

    Have you made your adr's yet?

    Another edit:
    Some of the QS/CS meals are absolutely massive. Easily enough for two ppl to split (especially if you're trudging through 80+ degree heat and going on rides.) Honestly, some of those meals are SHOCKINGLY large.

    Try a Dole Whip at your very first opportunity to do so. If you like them, there's a chance you will obsess. They are like a sweet/sour pineapple sorbet. I prefer the Pineapple Float, which is just a dole whip with pineapple juice. There is no chance I wouldn't get a Dole Whip at every possible opportunity. I jokingly call the Alladin ride, "Alladin's Carpets And Dole WHips" since Aloha Isle, which sells dole whips, is right there.

    LOL, sorry, but another related edit:

    Do NOT rule out the Early Morning Magic offering at MK if you can swing it. You basically get the park to yourself for 90 minutes, and you can ride 7dmt, pp, and a few other things with no wait as many times as you can from 7:45 to 9am. The pictures you can get will be CRAZY if the kids comply. You will also have a major head start on the "popular" rides if you like the rides offered. The included breakfast buffet lasts until 10 am, BUT, the cm's are pretty relaxed. You'll have time to graze after 10am. So if you are early risers, and the rides offered are up your alley, don't balk at the price tag. You'll actually be hard pressed to find people that say it wasn't the highlight of their trip. The wife and I split on this one. She got to sleep in late, Jr and I hit EMM, and it was an absolute blast. It made sense, she doesn't care about rides and buffets so no reason to get her a ticket for it. She had more fun sleeping in.
  • Post #33 - December 7th, 2017, 11:31 am
    Post #33 - December 7th, 2017, 11:31 am Post #33 - December 7th, 2017, 11:31 am
    Ok, so no car, staying at POR, and you have the DP.
    WHICH DP? (QS, DDP, or DxDP)

    Your options get limited - that's not even the right word tho - maybe limited but in a good way, when you have to figure out how to use the DP without losing a bunch of money, and you won't be traveling too far with no car. POR is a quick boat ride to Disney Springs, I think? I'd think about planning a decent meal and touring excursion there. I've never been, but several hard core Disneyers I know have told me that Disney SPrings can be an absolute blast. There should be some decent restaurants there. Some notables that consistently get good reviews:
    Raglan Road
    Wolfgang Puck's
    Splistville (some form of a bowling alley with excellent food - again, never been, but I've heard the sushi is WAAAAAAY better than anyone would ever expect - go figure)

    ==
    If your trip is not gonna be too long, time will be at a premium to experience the "Disney Magic" for the kids, so using Disney Transportation for seeking food in different part of DW will be more time consuming than worth it. That's is just my opinion. I will say this tho - Uber and Lyft down there are sensational. You can schedule a pickup when you are ready to walk out of your room, and I can almost guarantee a car will be there when you get to the pickup spot. There is MUCH money to be had down there as a driver, and they are circling around like hawks EVERYWHERE.


    SO, which Dining plan, and have you made your ADR's? The dining plan and lack of car should help narrow your choices, you're inside your 180 days for making your adr's - the tough ones should already be made or figured out? The Dining plan is a little bit of work to figure out how to use it so you don't wind up losing money, and I'm guessing Walt knows this all too well. It's not some discount offering on food, it simply gives you an opportunity to average out your food costs. You can order things that are above or below that cost average, but you will still pay that average price. A lot of ppl like it because they think it makes the vacation feel "all inclusive" and they don't have to reach for their wallet during meals (except for tax and tip - tee-hee.) A lot of ppl winnd up scrambling to use up credits on their last day so they go home with 12 rice krispie treats or some stale overprice WDW sugar cookies. I'd consider that a waste of money. What happens is: Some ppl don't know how massive some of the meals can be. I'm a total eating machine, and I was overwhelmed at some of our standard qs single person meals.
    The 1 ts credit fantasmic package at Mama Melrose was an absolutely INSANE amount of food. I ordered the steak, thinking I'd get a smaller portion. I didn't even want to LOOK at the included desert. I think in 2018, they omitted the appetizer and rolled back the price by a few bucks. It was just crazy - decent food, too. SO, I think ppl underestimate how much food they are getting into with a DP, and they honestly just can't keep up. Sometimes, life happens, and you can't make a meal you've planned as well. SO, with the DP, and kids, you can maximize it by using it for character meals. This is a pretty common way to work the DP in your favor for parents with littles. If that floats your boat, it narrows down your meal choices a little more. Here's a Dining Plan Calculator to gauge if you're on the right track with not losing money with the DP:

    https://www.distripplanner.com/

    One opinion: if your kids aren't big eaters, for QS/CS meals don't be surprised if the parents can split 1 meal, and the kids can split one meal, OR, parents split one meal, and the kids get 2 kid's meals, and the parents graze on the kids' leftovers if they're still hungry after splitting the one adult meal. You don't wanna be walking around with leftovers in a bag, anyway. PPL really underestimate the size of some of these meals.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.

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