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  1. #1

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    Part 2: Preparing for October WDW Micechat Trip

    Now it is time to think about food. I know. It is a long time before our trip to WDW, but soon it will be time to make reservations. On April 26, dining reservations can be made at almost all the WDW restaurants for out October trip.

    Dining is one of the great Disney experiences of WDW. There are so many settings, themes and cuisines. I suggest that you take advantage of as many experiences as your budget can afford.

    On or after April 26, call Disney dining, 1-(407)- 939-3463, and make reservations. There is no toll free number. You will be given choices of dining times. The longer you wait, the fewer available reservations at the most popular times. If you wait too long, there might not be any available times. It is very typical for WDW restaurants to be booked solid, especially the best or most affordable.

    Keep a record of the confirmation codes that are given you. Take those numbers with you on the trip. Make sure you write down the EXACT time too. You will be expected to show up 20 minutes ahead of that time. If there is a problem, you will have the confirmation codes to verify.
    There are many resources that can explain to you the prices and types of dining available. You now have one month to ask around as to suggestions.

    Try the Exotic
    My suggestions are to try the exotic. Pick a cuisine that you don’t normally have. It is fun to explore new food choices and new settings.

    Try Buffets
    There are many reasons to stick to buffets at WDW.

    • There are a lot of them. You have many to choose from in the parks and at the resorts.
    • There is usually something there to please everybody in the group, kids, vegetarians,big eaters, and sweet lovers.
    • You can try a little bit of everything. If it is something you don’t like, then you can try something else.
    • Everything is usually included, even dessert.
    • The meal goes quicker. You don’t have to wait for service. If you are like me, I want to go back to the attractions as fast as I can.
    • The food quality is usually superior to counter service, but not that much more expensive.
    • It usually works out to be more economical since you can have a big lunch at a buffet and have a lighter dinner, saving money.
    Even if you don’t only choose buffets, they are a great choice.

    Make your reservations early
    Once you know where, then work out when. Plan which parks you want to hit what days. If you change your mind, no problem. Call back and make a change, but you will only have the available times to choose from.

    Personal favorites:

    I do have restaurants that are just the best, either because of the food or atmosphere. I plan on trying some new ones on this trip.

    1) Boma-- It has been rated 5 stars. If you have never had African, this is the place. The quality is outstanding and choices plentiful. It is at the DAK resort. It makes a wonderful dinner location for a day at DAK.

    2) Crystal Palace-- If you are a Pooh lover, this is the place. Although noisier than most locations, kids and adults will find the food excellent and characters charming.

    3) 1900 Park Fare-- Also a character meal, featuring Cinderella and friends. It is a good excuse to see the Grand Floridian resort. Great food and charming atmosphere.

    4) Hollywood and Vine-- The atmosphere is bland here, but the food is very good. I still think it is a great choice if atmosphere is not your thing.

    5) Akershus Royal Buffet-- You might not have heard of Norwegian food. It scares some people. Believe me. There is nothing frightening here. Hot food is cooked for you when you order. Cool food is available immediately. I found it a great experience.

    6) ‘Ohanas-- Hawaiian food brought to your table. Great selection with a wonderful view of the Magic Kingdom.

    7) Whispering Canyon Cafe-- Western food served by performing servers who sound like they are missing more they their six-shooters. Fun for kids and the family...

    Not buffets but still great restaurants:

    >> Restaurant Marrakesh-- A belly dancer in Disney style provide unique entertainment. A wonderful middle eastern selection is generally affordable. Most avoid this restaurant because they think the food is too spicy. In reality, it is very mild.

    >> Le Cellier-- Canadian with a strong French influence makes this mainly steak place a wonderful pick. Most enjoy this restaurant very much. Remember to try the cheese soup!

    Bon appetite!
    Jiminy Cricket Fan
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  2. #2

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    Re: Part 2: Preparing for October WDW Micechat Trip

    Thanks, marked the date down, planning on making around 3 reservations. Crystal Palace or maybe Ohana's at MK. Shutters at our Hotel. Hollywood & Vine at MGM. Not sure what days yet, but the buffets will probably be for lunch and Shutters for a nice dinner one evening.
    Mom, remember, it's not what a person is like on the outside that counts,
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    Re: Part 2: Preparing for October WDW Micechat Trip

    There are three more buffets that I did not mention but should:

    >> Chef Mickey's -- This is the place for Mice lovers! Kids will love it too! Dinner is better than breakfast, but still a "Mickey Mouse" and "Goofy" experience with good to great food! Doing a character breakfast here your first day is a great way to put you in the mood for WDW!

    >> Cape May Cafe-- For the seafood lover, this is the place. I have not dined here yet myself, but plan to on this trip. I have gone by and checked out the restaurant. Pleasant but not extraordinary atmosphere. I think it is worth a try.

    >> Trails End Buffet (Fort Wilderness)-- I have not been here, but it is supposed to be the best deal for your money. It is a little out of the way for most. I have not dined there yet myself. If you love nature, going to Fort Wilderness itself is fun!

    Other Dinner Shows:

    These are more expensive:

    Hoop Dee Doo-- This dinner show features fried chicken. It is down home cooking. The show is pleasant and funny. I don't think it is as good as Bill Hill but if you like corny jokes, this is the place. Families love this place and come back annually. It reminds me of the old Golden Horseshoe show. There is a picture taken before the show and offered for purchase at the show. It is an expensive experience, but I recommend going at least once.

    Spirit of Aloha show-- This is as close to a Luau as you are going to get. I have not been, but have read good things. It is expensive, but if the islands are calling you, this is the choice.
    Jiminy Cricket Fan
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    Re: Part 2: Preparing for October WDW Micechat Trip

    AS to Crystal Palace...

    Wolfy999 and all who wish to dine here. I suggest the earliest lunch time, 11:30 AM. I have eaten here several times and consider it a jewel of MK, but on some occasions the kids running around, screaming and crying made the meal unpleasant. I have found that if you pick the transition from breakfast to lunch then the crowds are more subdued and controlled. I think that once the kids get a taste of the sugary desserts there they go crazy. I love kids but there is a point when it becomes ridiculous. I try to go and finish my meal before that happens. So for the most pleasant experience of the Crystal Palace, I suggest the first Lunch seating of 11:30 AM.

    There is an additional benefit of doing it this way. Most of the park will go to lunch between 12:30 and 2PM. Since you will be done by then, you can take advantage of the shorter lines.
    Last edited by JiminyCricketFan; 03-27-2006 at 12:01 PM.
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    Re: Part 2: Preparing for October WDW Micechat Trip

    I personally would love to eat at one of the MGM restaurants seeing as I never have. Sci Fi, 50's Prime Time, or Brown Derby, I just think it'd be fun.

    At Epcot I really enjoy Alfredos. Ive had nothing but really great Italian food there.

    Ok now I'm hungry!

  6. #6

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    Re: Part 2: Preparing for October WDW Micechat Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympicnut
    I personally would love to eat at one of the MGM restaurants seeing as I never have. Sci Fi, 50's Prime Time, or Brown Derby, I just think it'd be fun.

    At Epcot I really enjoy Alfredos. Ive had nothing but really great Italian food there.

    Ok now I'm hungry!
    I have eaten at all three of the MGM choices before. All were worthwhile. Sci Fi Dine In was fun because of the "trailers" on the screen overhead. It is not the place to have a conversation, but I liked the food and would do it again.

    50's Prime Time was a hoot! You have to be with a group who enjoy interaction, silliness and humiliations! The food is nothing to write home about. The fun was with the atmosphere! Again I would do it again with the right group of people.

    Brown Derby was a much more sophisticated atmosphere. Probably not so fun for kids. The delicious food is upscale and the price matches. If you enjoy the golden age of Hollywood, this is the place for nostalgia.

    As to Alfredos... Wonderful restaurant! I loved the food and conversing with my Italian waiter. I got to go to Italy a couple years ago and learned a few words of Italian. It was fun. I do have one warning... The food is truly "European" Italian and not as spicy and uses less "tomato" than American Italian restaurants. If people are looking for a New York Pizza, they will not find it there. I still loved it. Kids probably would not have that much fun there. Mama Melrose at Disney/MGM would be a better choice for families.
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    Re: Part 2: Preparing for October WDW Micechat Trip

    Maybe the Sci-Fi would be better than Hollywood & Dine at MGM, forgot about that one! Thanks O-nut, the idea of sitting in a Drive-In to eat might be fun!
    Mom, remember, it's not what a person is like on the outside that counts,
    it's what they are like in their HEART!


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  8. #8

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    Re: Part 2: Preparing for October WDW Micechat Trip

    Jimmie and I have made two trips to WDW and have eaten at a few of their establishments. For quick meals in the parks (burgers, etc.) we liked Cosmic Ray's in TL-MK and Electric Umbrella in Epcot. Nothing special except for extensive toppings bars similar to Taste Pilots in DCA.

    We ate at the steakhouse in the Yacht Club, Cape May's in the Beach Club, and Spoodles at the Boardwalk. Of those three, I prefer Spoodles. Between the Yacht and Beach Club is Beaches and Cream. It's very much like a traditional soda fountain with burgers, fries, and the like. Great lunch stop. They can also rustle up a quick and easy breakfast.

    In Epcot we also ate in Mexico, Morocco, Norway, and Japan. Morocco and Japan are definitely repeatable. We also give props to the Liberty Tree in MK. I wouldn't want to miss that one.

    But probably the best and most memorable meal was at the California Grill at the top of the Contemporary. We were celebrating my older son's 17th birthday. The food was outstanding, as was the service, and the place was both informal and classy at the same time. Plus we watched the fireworks from our table. OK, it was pricey, but it was well worth it.
    Have bicycle, will ride. Finished 2012 with 10,089 miles, 683 hours, and 482,000 feet of elevation gain.
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy999
    Maybe the Sci-Fi would be better than Hollywood & Dine at MGM, forgot about that one! Thanks O-nut, the idea of sitting in a Drive-In to eat might be fun!
    The Sci-Fi is great but the Prime Time is amazing! For a large group Hollywood & Vine might be one the easiest options as far as space and the table set up. Many of the restaurants at Disney-MGM also work for the F! package if you are at all looking into that.

    As for other locations I would have to agree that Ohana's (at the Poly) is AMAZING! I can't wait to go back there.

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    Re: Part 2: Preparing for October WDW Micechat Trip

    One more thought... We will be going during the Food and Wine festival. While it might seem like a good idea to "snack" your way around Epcot, I have to caution against it. The serving sizes are small and expensive. You could easily stop at a couple places and spend as much as you would at a restaurant.

    I would advise to budget some money and see the offerings around Epcot as "snacks." I would do a few of them. It is fun, but I was surprised when I was there a few years ago how expensive they get.

    Also if anyone has any other suggestions or reviews of restaurants, feel free to post them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JiminyCricketFan
    One more thought... We will be going during the Food and Wine festival. While it might seem like a good idea to "snack" your way around Epcot, I have to caution against it. The serving sizes are small and expensive. You could easily stop at a couple places and spend as much as you would at a restaurant.

    I would advise to budget some money and see the offerings around Epcot as "snacks." I would do a few of them. It is fun, but I was surprised when I was there a few years ago how expensive they get.

    Also if anyone has any other suggestions or reviews of restaurants, feel free to post them.
    Yes! I agree. Which is why I'd save up now.

    Or limit yourself to a certain number (not $ amount) each day/night. That's what I did. But considering your days are more limited than mine were.. pack an extra few dollars out of your coffee budget now or something for the extra muchies.

  12. #12

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    Re: Part 2: Preparing for October WDW Micechat Trip

    I think I remember reading in an article by Kevin Yee that they'd dropped the prices on the booth offerings last year - so here's hoping they keep them dropped for this year.

    When my sister and I were at the Fest, we found we'd spend about $50 total in a 'session' at the booths - and generally need something a little more substantial (i.e., split some chicken fingers from a counter service) part way through. The only time I can think of that we bought two of something (one for each of us) was the creme brulee, since she knows I wouldn't have been a very good "sharer" on that.

    Table service restaurants I've tried that I'd repeat (no order):
    • Jiko
    • Boma
    • Tony's (though I've read mixed reviews of that one - it was a good lunch)
    • Le Cellier
    • Artist's Point (though I'm not sure if the STILL don't have a chocolate and hazelnut dessert - which they so desperately need if they're going to represent the Pacific Northwest!)
    • Alfredo's
    • California Grill (try to time it with fireworks - awesome!)
    • Kona Cafe (TONGA TOAST!)
    • Mama Melrose's (had the food on a tour - would like to try off the 'regular menu' some time)
    • 50's Prime Time Diner
    Have tried, and would go again, after I get a few new ones tried:
    • San Angelo's (food wasn't quite what we were expecting from 'authentic' Mexican - maybe it was TOO authentic, though?)
    • Coral Reef
    • Narcoossee's (thought the vibe of the restaurant was too 'fancy' for the decor)
    • Boatwrights (at POR - would eat there again if staying there or POFQ)
    • Luau (though we went before they changed it)
    On my list (including those that I have ADRs for May):
    • Chefs de France
    • Brown Derby
    • Citrcos (spelling off)
    • Biergarten (if with a good group that could get into Oompah-ing)
    • 'Ohana (if with a group of meat-eaters)
    • Probably something at Beach, Yacht, or Boardwalk area -- I haven't 'studied' the choices there to know where I'd try first.
    Probably won't go again:
    • Cindy's (it's now 'all character' - not my cup of tea)
    • ESPN Zone - unless in the mood for wings
    I also REALLY enjoyed the Food and Wine Pairings at the F&W Fest. 3 or 4 restaurants have them - you get (generally) three small courses with three paired wines. It's a light meal, and I'm not sure how/if it works with the dining plan - but it's probably not a good use of the plan if it's available. These will likely go on sale in late July/early August (strictly a guess) - and the popular restaurants will book up early.

    I've also heard that the Party for the Senses is fun with a group - though that and the Lunch and Learns are a bit more spendy.

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    Re: Part 2: Preparing for October WDW Micechat Trip

    i've actually had 4/26 on my calendar for awhile.

    i'm a big planner, but i feel really overwhelmed trying to figure out a whole week. i guess i'm not sure which parks to go to which days, which makes it hard to plan meals. i was also toying with the idea of the dining plan, but i've heard mixed opinions about it. i think i need to get a couple of books!
    <o>

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    Re: Part 2: Preparing for October WDW Micechat Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by pixie chick
    i've actually had 4/26 on my calendar for awhile.

    i'm a big planner, but i feel really overwhelmed trying to figure out a whole week. i guess i'm not sure which parks to go to which days, which makes it hard to plan meals. i was also toying with the idea of the dining plan, but i've heard mixed opinions about it. i think i need to get a couple of books!
    I always start with the evenings, and then go from there.

    The Oct hours are out on DLs website. Because of the Halloween Party, there will be limited nights you can see Spectromagic and Wishes (fireworks) at the MK. Also, decide which night you'll want to do the Halloween party. Right there, you've got two nights figured out. Then decide if/when you want to see Fantasmic! (A lot of DL-ers aren't too enamoured with the show in the Studios), and when you'll see Illuminations - and if you're going to do any other 'night-time' fun things (like Pleasure Island or the Party for the Senses).

    The only 'mixed' I've heard on the dining plan are people like me who won't eat that much food - but if there's more than one of you, and you can do some careful 'sharing' and paying for some entrees at Table Service with cash, you can enjoy some of the signature options (which take 2 credits). And I'm presuming you can use the snack option at the F&W Fest booths, too.

    The Passporter is a great book to help you plan and keep things organized - the Unofficial guide if you want to OD on information (ok, that's probably a bit of an exaggeration!)
    </IMG></IMG>

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    Re: Part 2: Preparing for October WDW Micechat Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by pixie chick
    i've actually had 4/26 on my calendar for awhile.

    i'm a big planner, but i feel really overwhelmed trying to figure out a whole week. i guess i'm not sure which parks to go to which days, which makes it hard to plan meals. i was also toying with the idea of the dining plan, but i've heard mixed opinions about it. i think i need to get a couple of books!
    If you are a planner, then the Passporter is the best choice. I love it and have purchased it for several years. I think that you do need to decided what parks you want to be in to make the reservations. Right now I would get a "TOP 10 List" of the places all over that you want to dine at. Then eliminate either because of price or reviews. Then with what is left, find out if there is better times, like lunch or dinner. With that process done so that when the group decided which parks for what days, you are ready to make the reservations. Remember you can always change them later, but the best times go fast.
    Jiminy Cricket Fan
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