Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Disney World Restaurant Reviews and Info

I thought I would share with you some info about the places we ate and what we thought about them. There are a lot of restaurants in Disney World and so this is just a list of the places we ate at.

Our first night at Disney World we ate at Cinderella’s Royal Table. This is located inside the Magic Kingdom in the castle. You have to make reservations for this meal far in advance as it is one of the most popular dinners there, possibly the most popular one. We made our reservation about 2 months in advance and the only reason we were able to get them that close is because it was a slow season for Disney World because it was the end of January and kids were in school. If you do this meal I highly suggest you bring a princess dress for your daughters to wear because every other little girl will be in their favorite princesses costumes. You can also buy these dresses at Disney World, they are sold everywhere in the parks and the hotels. Emme Claire was dressed as Rapunzel, I bought her dress at the Disney Store in The Woodlands Mall back in November. She looked adorable in it!!! Dress code is casual but I wouldn’t go looking slouchy. I believe the princesses change from time to time so you won’t know exactly who you will see but you will definitely see Cinderella. She is outside the restaurant doing a meet and greet and taking photos with you before you enter. Emme LOVED her!!! She didn’t want to leave her side. Inside the restaurant we met Sleeping Beauty, Belle, Ariel and Snow White. You go sit down and begin ordering your food as the princesses are making their way around the room. They each stop by your table to visit and take photos with you while you are having dinner. We personally love all the character meals because it is the easiest and fastest way to meet the characters. Plus you are killing two birds with one stone. Food and characters at the same time instead of just eating and then having to stand in line at multiple places in the parks to meet the characters. We did one character meal everyday and I think we will do that again the next time we go. Actually we might do more than one character meal a day somedays. As far as the food goes, it wasn’t bad but it was far from the best meal I’ve ever had. Brian and I knew before we went that you don’t go to Disney World for fabulous food, you are going to have fun! Which we did have a lot of FUN! And maybe you might get a good meal here or there if you are lucky. So we weren’t very disappointed when the food wasn’t great. Almost forgot, during the meal they bring you a print of the photo of your child with Cinderella that was taken before you came in. It’s a set of maybe a 5x7 and four 4x6’s plus a photo of the castle. These photos are included with the price of your meal. Some of the other restaurants with character meals (1900 Park Fare and Chef Mickey's) also took your picture before going in but those pics were not included in the price of the meal and to buy them was about $30. This restaurant is more expensive than the average place in Disney. All the restaurants we went to were fairly expensive though, which is to be expected for a theme park. We had purchased the Deluxe Dining Plan and to each here it takes 2 meal points per person instead of one point.

The next morning we had breakfast at Chef Mickey’s inside the Contemporary Resort. This was a breakfast buffet. The characters were Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto and Donald. They each came by our table while we ate breakfast. Emme Claire loved this breakfast because she loves all the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse characters so much. I highly suggest doing this character meal if your child also loves Mickey and friends. The food was good. We found that all the breakfasts we had were good because the food is generally the same traditional stuff you are used to. Bacon, eggs, biscuits, pancakes, fruit etc. We enjoyed it. Emme wore a dress I made her that was very similar to Minnie Mouse’s dress. She looked so cute! Advance reservations are a must here as well.

We spent our first full day at Animal Kingdom and I did not make reservations for lunch that day. I figured we would just grab something somewhere in the park. We ended up eating at Tusker House and it was a lunch buffet. It was good but not great. Due to the time of year we went the park wasn’t very busy and we were able to get a table right away with very little wait.

That night we ate dinner at O’hana in the Polynesian Resort. This restaurant is similar to a buffet but they bring the food to you. They bring big bowls of salad and side dishes to your table to share family style and then men walk around with different meats that have been grilled on skewers, like chicken, pork, steak and shrimp. Sort of the way they do it at a Brazilian restaurant, if you have even been to one of those. The food was pretty good here. The atmosphere was nice. There was a Hawaiian lady entering the crowd and she had the young kids up doing the limbo and other games. We had a good time here and Emme got two flower lei’s given to her before we left. This is a popular restaurant so I suggest making reservations as soon as possible. We made ours about 2 months in advance.

The next morning we slept late and skipped breakfast. We went to Magic Kingdom and had another character meal for lunch. This time at The Crystal Palace with Pooh, Tigger, Eyeore and Piglet. Emme loves those characters because one of her favorite cartoons is My Friends Tigger and Pooh. This was a lunch buffet and the characters all came by our table during our meal. The buffet was pretty good but again it wasn’t outstanding. You must also make advance reservations for this restaurant.

Friday night we had dinner at The Plaza Restaurant inside Magic Kingdom. We had reservations here that I made only about a week in advance. The food was pretty good. They had sandwiches, burgers, salads etc. You might be able to get in here without a reservation but you might have to wait a while.

Saturday morning we had a character buffet breakfast at our hotel the Grand Floridian Resort in the restaurant 1900 Park Fare. The characters were Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter, Pooh and Tigger. Emme liked everyone except the Mad Hatter, he had a weird looking nose and she just looked at him and started waving and saying “Bye! Bye!” lol This was a really good breakfast with traditional breakfast choices. We made these reservations 2 months in advance but I would suggest making them as early as possible.

We spent Saturday at Epcot and had lunch at the Coral Reef restaurant which is in Future World inside the Nemo building. I booked this restaurant because I figured they served seafood which we really hadn’t had yet. Plus there is a huge aquarium in the restaurant and it said online that sometimes you will see divers in the water which I thought would be neat. Well, it would have been neat if they hadn’t seated us at the back of the restaurant. Brian and I could see the water okay because the tables are elevated like a movie theater but Emme couldn’t see it and that aggravated me. Also the menu didn’t have much seafood on it. I ended up ordering pork tenderloin. Go figure! The food was not bad but the waitress we had could have been friendlier. She was only one of a couple of employees that we had interaction with on vacation who were not spreading the Disney spirit. I would say 95% of the employees at Disney are super friendly and helpful. I guess there are always going be a few bad eggs. Haha! We had reservations here but I’m not sure how hard it is to get in. I guess when in doubt make reservations.

Saturday night we ate at Nine Dragons in Epcot China. We had reservations but I think we could have gotten in without them. The food here was very good as long as you like Chinese food, which we do.

Sunday we had another character breakfast buffet. This time in Hollywood Studios at Hollywood & Vine. The characters were June and Leo from The Little Einstein’s, Handy Manny and Special Agent OSO. This breakfast was good also and served traditional breakfast food. The characters and a few cast members did some singing and dancing to entertain the crowd. We enjoyed ourselves. We made reservations here 2 months in advance.

For dinner we ate at 50’s Prime Time CafĂ© inside Hollywood Studios. This was a very good meal! I had the pot roast with mashed potatoes and gravy and it was wonderful! The waiter we had was great too! The restaurant was decorated like a house in the 50’s so it was really cute. We made reservations for this 2 months in advance.

Monday morning we ate breakfast (not buffet) at a restaurant in our hotel called the Grand Floridian Cafe. We did not have reservations and had no trouble getting in. The food was excellent!!!

Monday for lunch we just snacked on stuff in the Magic Kingdom and that evening when we went back to our hotel we ate at the Grand Floridian Cafe again and again it was a great meal!

Main thing I can say is if you are wanting character meals book those as soon as you can. And try to plan your meals around the parks you will be at. I had to switch around some of my ressies so that it would be more convenient. For example, you don't want to have breakfast in Magic Kingdom, lunch in Animal Kingdom and dinner in Magic Kingdom. You would spend too much time traveling from park to park.

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