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  1. #1

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    7 days of dining at WDW?!? I'm gonna need some help with this.

    Planning vacations is almost as fun for me as the vacations themselves. I've literally been spending 2-3 hours a night on blogs and message boards planning this trip. I've locked down my dates (12/2-12/9 2014) and we're going to do 5-day hoppers with one free day for hotel hopping, shopping and slugging around in the Disney Bubble. I've decided on VWL and David's vacation club rentals has assured me that I should get a 1bdrm for my dates. So the next logical step is deciding on dining destinations. I have a good 5 months before I hit the 180 day mark so I have some time to decide. Looks like the firework and parade schedules go up about 6 months in advance, how accurate is it 180 days in out?

    We'll have the kitchen in the villa so we'll likely save on bfast by keeping some stuff in the room, and maybe even some lunches. I'm traveling with a 1 year old and a 3.5 year old so if any of these options are inappropriate to take one or both of the kiddos please let me know, we will have people there with us to stay with the kid or kids a couple of nights, but it's a family vacation so we want most meals to be with the whole fam.

    1. California Grill for dinner during fireworks (likely only with our older son).

    2. Victoria and Alberts for a Mamma and Dada only dinner.

    3. Be our guest for an early dinner with both kids.

    4. Le Cellier (both kids?)

    5. Chef Mickeys (probably late Bfast or lunch). Mostly for an easy way to get some cute pics of the boys with Mickey!

    6. My wife has fond memories of eating at whispering canyon in her childhood trips to WDW. Is it worth a visit? We'll probably end up here regardless of what people say ;-)

    7. Ohana during fireworks.

    Are Jiko or Boma worth a visit? Would also give us a reason to check out the holiday display at AKL.

    Should we do a Candlelight Processional dinner package? I think my wife and I would love it, but I'm wondering if my boys will sit through it? If yes, which restaurant? Maybe Hacienda San Miguel or biergarten?

    Should we do more than one character meal? Seems unnecessary, but the kids could really love it. What have been other people's experiences?

    Do I really need to be on the phone at 7am 180 days before our check-in date?

    Any other restos that we should consider for either great food or a memorable experience...or both?

    Thanks in advance. This board has been lots of help already!

    Aman

  2. #2

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    Re: 7 days of dining at WDW?!? I'm gonna need some help with this.

    1) jiko is definitely worth a visit but it might be tough with little ones, I would go Boma for that definitely as there is similar quality with a less fine dining atmosphere more suitable for young families

    2) le celier might be a bit much for the young ones. plus I would stick with something with illuminations viewing if they can handle fireworks for extra excitement I.E. cantina san angel in mexico or rose and crown pub in U.K.

    3) I would go with roaring forks over whispering canyon for the kids but thats just me

    4) other restauarnts that might be cool to try would be 50's prime time at DHS, coral reef cafe at epcot, fultons at DTD, or beaches and cream at beach club (not really best for dinner but amazing for ice cream and can be accessed right through the epcot world showcase entrance

    hope this helped!

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    Re: 7 days of dining at WDW?!? I'm gonna need some help with this.

    Every bit of info helps!

    The older one LOVES fireworks so dinners with fire works views would e awesome! I'll search for some of those places and maybe take Cellier off the list. I've heard that for prime parade and fire work viewing seats one should make a reservation 1 hr before scheduled shows start and request a table with a view and be willing to wait. Is that still the best way to go about it?

    Thanks!

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    Re: 7 days of dining at WDW?!? I'm gonna need some help with this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amahal420 View Post
    Looks like the firework and parade schedules go up about 6 months in advance, how accurate is it 180 days in out?
    Very much. WDW it very consistent on when shows are done and park hours. There is only a very rare change they will change.

    1. California Grill for dinner during fireworks (likely only with our older son).
    When you make a reservation you can request a table with a good view,. But when you check in you have to reiterate this and may have to wait for that table. So make a reservation for well before the fireworks start so in case you wait 30 minutes, for a table by the window, which is what you really want, you will be seated before they go off.

    That will be the toughest reservation to get, because everyone has the same idea.

    2. Victoria and Alberts for a Mamma and Dada only dinner.
    Perfect, I do suggest bringing a special outfit just for that. It has a dress code, dress, slacks+jacket.

    3. Be our guest for an early dinner with both kids.
    Sounds good.


    4. Le Cellier (both kids?)
    Sure.

    While Goofy Donald has a fine point those other places have lots of tables and you may have trouble getting one by the window just like I mentioned for California Grill.

    The Catalina is counter service, the problem is tons of people sit there in the good view seats, which all seats are not. Rose and Crown has good view on their outside seating. The San Angel Hacienda has very good views, because it was designed recently with an Illuminations view in mind, and it takes reservations.

    5. Chef Mickeys (probably late Bfast or lunch). Mostly for an easy way to get some cute pics of the boys with Mickey!
    I would do this on a MK day, as it is easy to take a resort launch, or the monorail, or a ten minute walk to get there. Instead of a late breakfast when you could be enjoying the park, eat here early. Or a late lunch when the park crowds are peaking.


    6. My wife has fond memories of eating at whispering canyon in her childhood trips to WDW. Is it worth a visit? We'll probably end up here regardless of what people say ;-)
    I would eat there, when the kids are fresh.

    7. Ohana during fireworks.
    What is better is to eat dinner and then go out to the lagoon. Watch the Electical Water Pageant, a parade of lighted floats on the water which also goes by the WL, then the fireworks.

    Are Jiko or Boma worth a visit? Would also give us a reason to check out the holiday display at AKL.
    I really like Boma but it is a little exotic. It has a couple kid friendly items, but the rest of the food is flavorful.

    Should we do a Candlelight Processional dinner package? I think my wife and I would love it, but I'm wondering if my boys will sit through it? If yes, which restaurant? Maybe Hacienda San Miguel or biergarten?
    Maybe, but I would skip the kids for this. But here is the thing, with the dinner package you sit to eat like 4 hours before the show and go and watch the show later. So you could make two reservation, all eat together and the parents watch the Processional later.

    I do like Beirgarten myself as I enjoy the food, beer, music and don't mind the group tables, you may sit with another party.

    But Goffy Donalds suggestion for Coral Reef may be better, as the kids will enjoy watching the fish. His suggestion for SciFi Drive In in DHS is also a very good choice for your group.

    Should we do more than one character meal? Seems unnecessary, but the kids could really love it. What have been other people's experiences?
    Maybe. They really are for the kids and can take a long time. Although if you consider waiting 15 minutes to see each of 4 characters and 45 minutes to eat. A Character meal for a full hour where each character comes to your table is the simple way to go. I don't know if your 1yo will like characters, but these meals are like crack for a 3.5yo.

    Do I really need to be on the phone at 7am 180 days before our check-in date?
    No, that idea has so much exaggeration in it, but you don't want to delay. Just try to call in that 6th month out, and have a plan b and c for times.
    Be Cool Stay in School!
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  5. #5

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    Re: 7 days of dining at WDW?!? I'm gonna need some help with this.

    Wow! Great info!


    Quote Originally Posted by swampymarsh View Post
    What is better is to eat dinner and then go out to the lagoon. Watch the Electical Water Pageant, a parade of lighted floats on the water which also goes by the WL, then the fireworks.
    Haven't heard of the Electric Water Pageant. Will look this up for sure.


    Quote Originally Posted by swampymarsh View Post
    I really like Boma but it is a little exotic. It has a couple kid friendly items, but the rest of the food is flavorful.

    My son is a very adventurous eater and has an unusually high spice tolerance (especially for a 2.5 year old), he'll try anything once and has ended up really liking some surprising dishes. So we might give it a go if it's the better of the two options.


    Quote Originally Posted by swampymarsh View Post
    I would skip the kids for this. But here is the thing, with the dinner package you sit to eat like 4 hours before the show and go and watch the show later. So you could make two reservation, all eat together and the parents watch the Processional later.

    We'll probably follow your advice on this one. Haven't looked up Coral Reef yet but we'll put it on our radar, especially if it qualifies with the Candlelight Procession deal.


    Quote Originally Posted by swampymarsh View Post
    They really are for the kids and can take a long time. I don't know if your 1yo will like characters, but these meals are like crack for a 3.5yo.

    The main purpose for the trip is keeping a giant smile in the older ones face, little guy will mostly be along for the ride. So I'll look into another character meal. Maybe the Winnie the Pooh one, crystal something? I don't supposed we'd be lucky enough to find a Cars, Monsters or Toy Story themed meal? Any suggestions?


    Quote Originally Posted by swampymarsh View Post
    No, that idea has so much exaggeration in it, but you don't want to delay. Just try to call in that 6th month out, and have a plan b and c for times.

    Great. But given how much I enjoy planning, I'll still be on first thing in the morning on the 180th day...I might just sleep in and forget about setting the 4am PST alarm :-)

    Thanks again for the great info!
    Last edited by Amahal420; 12-31-2013 at 07:44 PM.

  6. #6

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    Re: 7 days of dining at WDW?!? I'm gonna need some help with this.

    .
    Last edited by swampymarsh; 12-31-2013 at 08:42 PM.
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    Re: 7 days of dining at WDW?!? I'm gonna need some help with this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amahal420 View Post
    The main purpose for the trip is keeping a giant smile in the older ones face, little guy will mostly be along for the ride. So I'll look into another character meal. Maybe the Winnie the Pooh one, crystal something? I don't supposed we'd be lucky enough to find a Cars, Monsters or Toy Story themed meal? Any suggestions?
    There is a pizza planet in DHS. Mainly pizza with some arcade games.


    The meals tend to be, princesses or classic characters. The only exception is Ohana which has Lilo and Stitch, and I can not thing of another as long as Pooh and friends are classics. In DHS, Hollywood and Vine which is just to the left after you go down the Main Street, has characters from Disney Junior, not sure which ones except for Jake. The other tend to have the big 5.


    Since you bring up breakfast at the Crystal Palace, let me share a tip. If you make a very early in the morning reservation you can enter the park early, before it's open. You are guided along the direct path but can get some wonderful photos when the paths are not crowded. Epcot has a Princess Breakfast by the way in Norway.

    The Crystal Palace is right on the hub, and their is also a princess breakfast in the Castle so more people are going into MK.
    Last edited by swampymarsh; 12-31-2013 at 08:50 PM.
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    Re: 7 days of dining at WDW?!? I'm gonna need some help with this.

    Strange, you don't even mention most of my favorite restaurants at WDW: Germany's "Biergarten", Mexico's new restaurant out on the lagoon (forgot the name), The restaurant in Cinderella's Castle (Formerly King Stephan's), Canada's "Le Cellier", 50s Prime Time Cafe & Hollywood Brown Derby at DHS, and the new restaurant in the Beauty & the Beast Castle. ...but don't make reservations for it. Just go at lunch! Show up at 11 am and you can almost walk in. Lastly, if you really want to spend $500 on dinner then go right ahead to Victoria & Albert's. It's an experience for sure, but a VERY EXPENSIVE ONE. I've done it, but frankly, I think it's the biggest rip-off at WDW. It's the only time I've ever walked out of a restaurant with the feeling: "they're in there laughing at me right now, counting my money."

  9. #9

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    Re: 7 days of dining at WDW?!? I'm gonna need some help with this.

    My personal favorite restaurants include 50s Prime Time Diner, and Sci-Fi Dine-in, both at the studios. They are very fun restaurants, and child friendly. Also, if you're looking to save some money, lunch is generally cheaper than dinner. Get reservations at odd times and you can take advantage of the meal time rush for slightly shorter lines.

    Also, character meals can be time consuming and expensive, so I'd only do one. I'd rather spend my time at attractions, rather than restaurants.

  10. #10

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    Re: 7 days of dining at WDW?!? I'm gonna need some help with this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Whatsthegoodword View Post
    Strange, you don't even mention most of my favorite restaurants at WDW: Germany's "Biergarten", Mexico's new restaurant out on the lagoon (forgot the name), The restaurant in Cinderella's Castle (Formerly King Stephan's), Canada's "Le Cellier", 50s Prime Time Cafe & Hollywood Brown Derby at DHS, and the new restaurant in the Beauty & the Beast Castle. ...but don't make reservations for it. Just go at lunch! Show up at 11 am and you can almost walk in. Lastly, if you really want to spend $500 on dinner then go right ahead to Victoria & Albert's. It's an experience for sure, but a VERY EXPENSIVE ONE. I've done it, but frankly, I think it's the biggest rip-off at WDW. It's the only time I've ever walked out of a restaurant with the feeling: "they're in there laughing at me right now, counting my money."

    I think you missed my OP as I asked about most of your favs :-). Thanks for your opinion of V&A's, it's definitely pricey and a big "maybe" at this point. Some people do speak(write) very highly of it. I've rarely found $150 plus/person dinners (food only) to have been "worth it". Nobu, before it became a glorified chain restaurant, is a rare exception IMO. Mostly I find them a bit pretentious, but there's always one or two stand out dishes and its a typically a nice, albeit expensive, night out. Plus, ever since we stopped drinking, or at least substantially reduced our intake (we sometimes share a glass of wine), we've found that the bill is always much much lower, even at the very expensive places. Thanks again for your input!

  11. #11

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    Re: 7 days of dining at WDW?!? I'm gonna need some help with this.

    As a former culinary CM of the Biergarten, I highly recommend it as a choice for the Candlelight Processional Dining package. If you enjoy Germany food, or are at least willing to try some interesting new foods, it's probably the best option for price/amount of food.

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