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  1. #1

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    WDW Restaurant Shortlist -- Suggestions?

    Hi All,

    We're off to WDW in late September on the dining plan deal! Who said there's no such thing as a free lunch?

    Anyway, this will be a great chance for us to try lots of WDW restaurants, many of which I've never set foot in!

    So far I've drawn up the following shortlist:

    Sci-Fi Diner
    50s Prime-Time Cafe
    Biergarten
    Marrakesh
    San Angel
    Mitsukoshi Teppanyaki
    Tony's Town Square
    'Ohana
    Rose & Crown Pub and Dining Room
    Concourse Steak House
    California Grill
    (We're all booked for Royal Table Character Breakfast the first morning too)

    Was wondering if you guys could think of any other must-eats (so to speak).

    Tips and advice much appreciated! Anything to watch out for on the dining plan (apart from our collective waist-lines )?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Re: WDW Restaurant Shortlist -- Suggestions?

    Sci Fi n' Dine over at MGM is Amazing I'v ealso heard very good things about The California Grill & 'Ohana's.

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  3. #3

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    Re: WDW Restaurant Shortlist -- Suggestions?

    You forgot Le Celier.... best restraunt there.
    -Tim

  4. #4

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    Re: WDW Restaurant Shortlist -- Suggestions?

    I'd opt for The Hollywood Brown Derby in MGM, maybe replace Sci Fi or 50s to do it. At the Brown Derby, I have had excellent service and food consistently. Try the Cobb Salad, Grapefruit Cake, or any of the cocktails!! Sci Fi is mainly atmosphere...do lunch there, but not dinner. I have no experience with 50s, but a lot of people really enjoy it.

    I see nothing on your list for the AK area of WDW. Jiko and Boma I'd recommend in the AKL. I give the slight edge to Jiko, but Boma is a good buffet from what I remember. In the park itself, Flame Tree and Tusker House are counterservice options that are pretty good. I prefer Tusker House. AK is such a hot park, that you may welcome Tusker Hosue because it is totally inside and air conditioned.

    Thanks for spelling 'Ohana correctly! However, I'm in the minority and do not care for the menu changes that got implemented last year. This is a fun atmosphere. There is a Stitch character breakfast here.

    If you time 'Ohana or CA Grill just right, you can watch Wishes and/or the Electrical Water Pageant from your restaurant.

    I haven't been to Tony's, and I have access to excellent Italian food at home. However, I haven't heard too many good things about this place. You may want to consider Crystal Palace (all characters for B, L, and D) or Liberty Tree Tavern (characters at D only) in the MK.

    Have a wonderful time!
    Amanda
    Just remember without a well written Disney Villain, there would be no point in the Heroes and the Princesses. Have you hugged a Disney Villain today?

  5. #5

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    Re: WDW Restaurant Shortlist -- Suggestions?

    I'd recommend Sci Fi for lunch over dinner also, the atmosphere makes it worth eating there, but the food quality leaves a lot to be desired. 50s Prime Time is a lot of fun. I feel pretty much the same way about San Angel Inn. Great atmosphere, but the food at the Cantina on World Showcase Lagoon is better. I'd recommend Alfredos or Le Cellier also. For steak, I'd replace Concourse Steakhouse with either Le Cellier or Yachtsman Steakhouse. Concourse isn't bad, it just isn't anything special. I'd also suggest Boma. Beaches & Cream has the best burgers at Disney World. And Whispering Canyon Cafe is fun for breakfast or dinner. Their breakfast is one of the least expensive all you can eat breakfasts at WDW.

  6. #6

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    Re: WDW Restaurant Shortlist -- Suggestions?

    Thanks guys, you're making me go back to the drawing (planning?) board!

    What are some of the better counter service restaurants at MGM? We may pop over on our first evening.

    Thanks for all your comments so far!

  7. #7

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    Re: WDW Restaurant Shortlist -- Suggestions?

    The only counter service I'd reccomend would be Pecos Bill's (for the hamburger topping bar) and Cosmic Ray's (for the rotisseree chicken meal -- one of the best and cheapest meals for several people in the park). Both at MK. Oh, and Flame Tree BBQ. I usually eat at the table service any other time.
    -Tim

  8. #8

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    Re: WDW Restaurant Shortlist -- Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bender Rodriguez
    Thanks guys, you're making me go back to the drawing (planning?) board!
    Well remember, taste is an individual thing. You may prefer things I or someone else may not care for. I generally recommend (to anyone) if you have cuisine X at home that is really good, then try cuisine Y when you are travelling that you cannot get at home.

    I'm doing my best to get to every restaurant on property!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bender Rodriguez
    What are some of the better counter service restaurants at MGM? We may pop over on our first evening.
    Hmm....MGM is a park I prefer table service. My DH is turkey leg fiend, so we frequently make a trip to Toluca Legs on Sunset for him. Next to Toluca is a place to get pizza, chicken fingers, etc. I really enjoy the mediterranean influence of the Studio Catering Company, which is located near the LMA Stunt Show and Backlot Tour...I think. However, I think the prices don't match the amount of tasty food they give you....think pricey.
    ABC Commissary...never done, but it is inside. I have heard nothing good about Pizza Planet.

    I totally agree about San Angel Inn vs. Cantina. Inside San Angel Inn, I had the most bland Mexican food in my life! oy. And, I'm not even from the South West part of the USA!! The Cantina faired a bit better. If you want to enjoy the atmosphere of San Angel Inn, just go inside and do the boat ride!

    Also...will you be spending any time at Downtown Disney or the Water Parks? And which resort will you be staying at? I was thinking a monorail resort since your original list had 3 restaurants on the monorail.

    Have you browsed the menus on Deb's site?
    http://allearsnet.com/menu/menus.htm
    Amanda
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  9. #9

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    Re: WDW Restaurant Shortlist -- Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bender Rodriguez
    Thanks guys, you're making me go back to the drawing (planning?) board!

    What are some of the better counter service restaurants at MGM? We may pop over on our first evening.

    Thanks for all your comments so far!
    I would recommend the ABC Commisary, they have some decent food and good theming. If you like the TV show "Lost", they have some "Planet Hollywood" esque items in the entry way.

    Here are some photos for you:

    http://community.webshots.com/photo/...33443741JDSfiu

    http://community.webshots.com/photo/...33443741Evgxrx

    http://community.webshots.com/photo/...33443741rOMBvf

    http://community.webshots.com/photo/...33443741zPKgVI

    http://community.webshots.com/photo/...33443741jTkrIV

    http://community.webshots.com/photo/...33443741TTqXgE

    http://community.webshots.com/photo/...33443741qYvxbJ

    http://community.webshots.com/photo/...33443741aVXkAB

  10. #10

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    Re: WDW Restaurant Shortlist -- Suggestions?

    I too will be there for free dining! September 16-23rd. Here are our plans:

    California Grill
    Kona Cafe
    Beaches 'n' Cream
    La Cellier
    Whispering Canyon Cafe
    Crystal Palace breakfast

    We ate at Sci-Fi 2 years ago and enjoyed the experience and the decent food. We HATED San Angel Inn and felt it was a huge dissappointment!

    Make those ADRs soon!

  11. #11

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    Re: WDW Restaurant Shortlist -- Suggestions?

    If you are looking for sit-downs:
    The 50s Prime Time is a must.
    Oktoberfest is excellent.
    Chef Mickeys is great, breakfast or dinner,
    and 1900 Park Fare is great fun for breakfast.
    Want the best burger ever served with cold Coca-Cola in a glass bottle? Go to Beaches & Cream.

  12. #12

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    Re: WDW Restaurant Shortlist -- Suggestions?

    Wow, what a response. Great stuff.

    I'll try and reply as best I can! Thank you all!

    iluvstitch and MandaBella: the California Grill and Hollywood Brown Derby sound really great for the food as well as perks (the view and theming respectively). However, both 'eat up' two sit-down meals on the dining plan, which I may have to negotiate with the members of our party .

    FrumiousBoojum and Neon Cactus: clearly the Councourse Steakhouse is out, and Le Cellier is in! Needless to say I kind of overlooked the latter. I have mended my ways.

    MandaBella and Neon Cactus: I have heard many times now that Sci-Fi is great theming but so-so food. I'd be more than happy to swap dinner for a lunch, but it makes no difference on the dining plan -- both are sit-down meals. Perhaps we should pay for lunch here, and use that extra sit-down meal for a Brown Derby, for example?

    Neon Cactus: Beaches and Cream was on my list but I just don't know how to fit it into the schedule! Too much to do, too little time...

    MandaBella: Not sure if AKL dining is on the cards. How long a walk is it from the AKL to AK? It might make sense to dine there at the end of an EMH evening at AK? As for the MK restaurants, the Liberty Tree Tavern menu didn't excite me too much -- how's the setting?

    And then, I agree wholeheartedly with trying out different cuisine from what you eat at home. Mostly I am trying to balance everyone's tastes, with making the most of the dining plan by eating in as many different places as possible.

    We'll be spending some time at DD and I've earmarked Wolfgang Puck Cafe for our meal before Cirque. And, you assume wrong! We're not staying at a monorail resort, though we'd love to! We'll be in Pop Century for a week, then in Port Orleans FQ for 4 nights. But how much time will really be spending in our rooms anyway? Collapsing. About 5 mins a day.

    SummerInFl: Thanks so much for your photos. They're great! It's the ABC Commissary or Flatbread Grill at the moment... I'll leave to my four fellow diners to pick, I think (they deserve a little bit of say, but only so much!).

    And last but not least: San Angel Inn is OUT! Too many bad things said about it.

    I'd better get booking!

    Thanks!

  13. #13

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    Re: WDW Restaurant Shortlist -- Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bender Rodriguez
    iluvstitch and MandaBella: the California Grill and Hollywood Brown Derby sound really great for the food as well as perks (the view and theming respectively). However, both 'eat up' two sit-down meals on the dining plan, which I may have to negotiate with the members of our party .
    Since you are planning on sampling as many places in WDW, I'd include at least one signature dining place. CA Grill, Brown Derby, and Jiko are my three favorites so far. I keep forgetting my favorite places are 2 credits on the DDP. I have never used DDP, I've been using DDE the last 3 trips.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bender Rodriguez
    MandaBella: Not sure if AKL dining is on the cards. How long a walk is it from the AKL to AK? It might make sense to dine there at the end of an EMH evening at AK? As for the MK restaurants, the Liberty Tree Tavern menu didn't excite me too much -- how's the setting?
    Well don't forget AK has counterservice options for when you are in the park. No, you cannot walk from AK to AKL...at least I'm fairly certain you cannot. I can definitely see dining there after you leave AK. You could take a bus to AKL, dine there, and then a bus to DTD and transfer, or take a cab back to your resort.

    The reason I like LTT it is one of the best places for character interaction. (Chef Mickey's also has wonderful character interaction, but the breakfast food and the service the day we went was horrible!) I always have a wonderful time interacting with the charactes at LTT. It does not have the best food by any means, the food is what I'd call basic comfort food. Nothing fancy at all. I personally love the setting. It reminds me of home. I don't live too far away from Philly and Williamsburg is one of my favorite places to visit, so I love the colonial theming of LTT. I enjoy eating here on nights I do MNSSHP or MVMCP. This is all for the character dinner. I heard the food is actually better during the non-character lunch where you order off a menu vs. family style at dinner.
    Amanda
    Just remember without a well written Disney Villain, there would be no point in the Heroes and the Princesses. Have you hugged a Disney Villain today?

  14. #14

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    Re: WDW Restaurant Shortlist -- Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bender Rodriguez
    As for the MK restaurants, the Liberty Tree Tavern menu didn't excite me too much -- how's the setting?
    LTT food isn't very exotic, but it's pretty good. I find that in the middle of my week after lots of exciting food, I'm ready for something "simpler". This kind of fills that gap. LTT is a character meal, however, and that may not be what you are looking for. The restaurant is colonial themed and the characters are colonial dressed. Chip, Dale, Minnie, Goofy, and Pluto visit your table at least once. Since this is a hot spot for kids, it can get pretty loud in there. I usually haven't had a problem with the noise, but this last trip we were seated by a large group with several loud, screaming children. It's not a very relaxing atmosphere, to say the least. However, it's a good opportunity to get character pictures without waiting in line and the food is simple, but good.
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  15. #15

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    Re: WDW Restaurant Shortlist -- Suggestions?

    My main recommendation would be Chef Mickeys (dinner). 1900s Park Fair (Grand Floridian) also has very good dinner. And if you like meats and food that is not the norm, Bomas is very good. As for counter-service in DMGM, ABC Comissary is the best. Unlike Backlot Express & the other counter-service places, the Comissary has different food (ie, not just hamburgers and chicken wings). Plus, the fact that it is inside in actual booths doesn't hurt.
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