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Dining Discuss Dining question and looking for suggestions... in the Vacation Planning forums; When we go back to WDW in September of this year, we'll once again be taking advantage of the DDP. In fact, when I made our reservations in December, the ...
  1. #1
    GoofyDad's Avatar
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    Dining question and looking for suggestions...

    When we go back to WDW in September of this year, we'll once again be taking advantage of the DDP. In fact, when I made our reservations in December, the promotion was for free dining.

    We'll be staying for 6 days / 5 nights, which entitles each of us to 5 table service, 5 quick service, and 5 snacks. There will be 4 of us: me, my wife, and our sons (ages 9 and 7 when we go.)

    So far, we've decided upon the following table service restaurants:

    - Crystal Palace (dinner) reason: we did this last time and enjoyed it very much + character dining
    - Garden Grill (dinner) reason: new restaurant for us, character dining
    - 50's Prime Time Cafe (lunch?) reason: we've heard very good things about it
    - Chef Mickey's (breakfast) reason: character breakfast

    We were originally going to have dinner at the Yak and Yeti (we did this last time, and enjoyed it) but as the Animal Kingdom will close at 5pm, we're not sure if it really fits our schedule that well for dinner, and we don't typically like large lunches.

    So, my questions are as follows -

    First, what additional table service restaurant would you suggest, and why? I'm open to almost anything, but keep in mind we will have a 9 year old and a 7 year old with us, so places such as Le Cellier really aren't practical for us. We thought of returning to Donald's Safari Breakfast.. but that would make 4 character meals for this trip, which may be a bit much (or maybe not). If any of the options I've listed above aren't worth the visit feel free to share your opinons there as well.

    Second, I have a question of dining etiquette. One of the reasons we wanted to return to the Yak and Yeti were the appetizers and the desserts. Would it be a waste of our server's time for us to make reservations for an afternoon at the Yak and Yeti in order to simply order a few appetizers and a few desserts? I would of course pay out of pocket rather than using a my DDP, but I'm not sure how the staff would react to this type of arrangement. Have you ever done this? We've done this at Planet Hollywood and Hard Rock Cafe before (places that typically have good appetizers and desserts, but a lacking menu otherwise) but since we're talking about Disney... well, I just want to be respectful.

    Thanks for any suggestions and input you are willing to share!
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  2. #2
    SnwhtNdwrfs's Avatar
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    Re: Dining question and looking for suggestions...

    I don't think they would mind you doing that at all. It shouldn't matter to them what you decide to get. Now there may be a few who would be upset but I don't think that it is up to them what you do with your own money. I think it is a great idea.

    We took our youngest kids when they were 5 and 6. They loved Le Cellier and all. I wouldn't just strike something off because of their ages. They also liked Teppan Edo. That keeps them very entertained. They might like Whispering Canyon. That is a very fun restaurant. Look at some of the hotels for idea. There are some really wonderful choices.

    Have fun!


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    Re: Dining question and looking for suggestions...

    Many resort restaurants are far better than park restaurants. I 2nd Whispering Canyon...very good food, and very convenient if you go for lunch; I'd suggest it for lunch over dinner. Also, a great place for dinner is the Captain's Grille in the Yacht Club. Captains Grille is definitely one of my favorite restaurants on property. If your 2 sons would be interested, the EPSN Club at the Boardwalk is a good lunch place with a good sport-themed atmosphere.

    The ones that you have already decided on are some great choices, though (the Crystal Palace is my favorite character-themed buffet).
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    Re: Dining question and looking for suggestions...

    Quote Originally Posted by SnwhtNdwrfs View Post
    We took our youngest kids when they were 5 and 6. They loved Le Cellier and all. I wouldn't just strike something off because of their ages. They also liked Teppan Edo. That keeps them very entertained. They might like Whispering Canyon. That is a very fun restaurant. Look at some of the hotels for idea. There are some really wonderful choices.

    Have fun!
    One thing to remember with Le Celliernow though. As of March 1st, Le Cellier is now a Signature Restaurant for dinner and each meal will cost 2 Disney Dining credits. Also, even if you pay cash, the new dinner menu prices are markedly higher than before.
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    Re: Dining question and looking for suggestions...

    I'd check out Kona if the Yak & Yeti menu appeals to you.

    And if you want to go just for apps & desserts, just do it. If anyone gives you a hard time, they're the one with the problem, not you!

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    Re: Dining question and looking for suggestions...

    Have a great trip and I don't see any problem with your Yak & Yeti plan.

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    Re: Dining question and looking for suggestions...

    i dont see any issue with your yak and yetti.. i really liked liberty tavern.. and i'm forsure going to hit kona on this trip
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    Re: Dining question and looking for suggestions...

    Just returned from Disney World. We decided to try the Plaza restaurant. We didn't have a reservation and were told it would be at least thirty minutes, which turned out to be less than seven. Peter the gentleman that sat us was fantastic! Our waitress Donna was fantastic! The food was fantastic! The desert was fantastic! Best food I have ever eaten at the park! I would eat there again, and again, and again.

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    Re: Dining question and looking for suggestions...

    I'm a fan of the Sci-Fi Dine In Theatre - I love the food, the decor and the B-movie and cartoon reel.

    I'd also second (or is it third?) the suggestion for The Whispering Canyon. Again each time I have been has been spotless. My friend originally suggeted it and he'd been half a dozen times before and has been half a dozen times since it's that good.

    I order appertisers as my main meal or appertiser and desserts all the time and never had an issue from loads of different restaurants inside and out of Disney. I think the servers understand that the portions for the main selection can be too big especially for a lunch time but the appertisers are just right.
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    Re: Dining question and looking for suggestions...

    Thanks everybody for great input. As it ends up, we didn't stray too far from where I thought we were headed meal-wise. Our 180 day window opened up this past Tuesday, and I was at the computer at rollover time (6am) to enter our reservations. Here's what we ended up with:

    Our WDW vacation starts on a Sunday, but we'll be in Orlando about mid-day Saturday. We'll likely stay Saturday night at Buena Vista Suites as it appear to be nice, and very close to WDW. We'll commit a few hours Saturday to that 'other' park.. and only to see the 'Wizard' (I know.. shameful)

    Sunday (arrival day) - leaving our hotel early and attempting to check in at WDW as early as 8am to get our tickets (the room can wait) Heading straight to the Magic Kingdom to get there as close to rope drop as possible. Dinner will be at the Crystal Palace at 6pm. We love seeing Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet, and especially Tigger.

    Monday - Spending the day at EPCOT, having dinner at 7pm at the Garden Grill with Chip, Dale, and anyone else who is there.

    Tuesday - Starting our day at the Animal Kingdom at Donald's Safari Breakfast at 8:30, with a 3pm reservation at Yak & Yeti for a 'snack' of appetizers and desserts. (not using DDP for Y&Y). AK closes at 5pm, we'll take a short rest and then head to MK for Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween party. Long day.. .hope its not too hot!

    Wednesday -Hollywood Studios all day. Lunch at the 50's Prime Time Cafe at 1pm. Park closes at 7pm, and we'll need the rest of that evening to recover from our first few days and prepare for the next.

    Thursday (busy day) - breakfast at Chef Mickey's at 8:30am, then catching the monorail to EPCOT in order to hit a few favorites again (Soarin, Test Track) and also to finish the World Showcase. After lunch we'll catch the ferry from the back of World Showcase and ride it to Hollywood Studios, where we have an early dinner at 4pm at Hollywood and Vine with the Fantasmic Dinner package. We'll catch a ride or two and then enjoy Fantasmic in our reserved section at 8:30pm. (note: for those who want to do a Fantasmic dinner package, it wasn't available online, but when I called (407) WDW-DINE they were able to make them for me. - remember this if you need to do this!)

    Friday (last day) - No DDP reservations this day, and we'll choose a park based on what we've missed or what we want to do again. We can either leave Orlando at lunchtime or stay all day if we want. Our home is 12 hours from Orlando, so I'm in no rush to leave WDW.

    I'm a little concerned that Thursday may end up being more eating and running than relaxing, but that's the one day we can do Fantasmic. You never know, we may end up not going to EPCOT that day... after all we will be on vacation!

    Something to note... that's FOUR, yes count them FOUR character meals. At first I was like "whoa! too many!" but then my wife helped me realize the benefit when she told me "think of the time we'll save NOT standing in line for autographs". Smart lady!

    One last question... how is it we can sit down and plan out our vacations like this, but not manage to get the lawn mowed or the house vacuumed? If only our time management skills were this good all year long!
    Last edited by GoofyDad; 03-26-2011 at 08:52 AM.
    JUN 2010 - Caribbean Beach Resort (Star Wars Weekends)
    SEP 2011 - Animal Kingdom Lodge
    MAY 2012 - Offsite single night and DHS
    DEC 2012 - Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas - Jambo House

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    Chrissy&Tayen's Avatar
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    Re: Dining question and looking for suggestions...

    when are you going in sept? were going the 10th thru the 16th
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    OneLuckyLady's Avatar
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    Re: Dining question and looking for suggestions...

    It all sounds wonderful to me ! I also learned something new. I wasn't going to dot eh fantasmic dinner package b/c I thought there was no way we could hold off until say 7 to eat dinner...but your section stays reserved? Do tell Also the 180 day wondow...how big is the window. i was going to call exactly 180 days prior to the day of our planned visit. For example we want to eat CInderealls's Royal Table 9/28 so I can call for that 4/1. But for the princess dining at Epcot we are going there for dinner (hopefully) 9/27 so I was going to call 3/31. We'll be there from 9/27 - 10/1. When are you going again?


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    GoofyDad's Avatar
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    Re: Dining question and looking for suggestions...

    Our dates at WDW are from September 18th - 23rd. Looks like I'm going to be there between the dates that you folks are!

    The thing I learned about the Fantasmic dinner package is that most of the dining times for that package are pretty early, mainly to ensure you aren't rushed to the show afterwards. They told us most that most of the dinner times were in the 3-5pm range.

    There are 2 sections at the Fantasmic show that are reserved for folks who are on the dinner package. The show is at 8:30pm, and they say you should be at the gate to go in (there is a separate entrance for folks with the package) about 45 minutes before the show. From what I've read, they open up the 'reserved section' to anyone about 30 minutes before the show, so we'll go about an hour early I think.

    For the 180 day window on dining, you can make dining reservations 180 days before the date you wish to dine. HOWEVER, if you are staying on property you can make reservations 180 days before your arrival for up to the first 10 days of your trip (so actually our reservations for the end of the week I was allowed to book the tables more than 180 days in advance...)
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    SEP 2011 - Animal Kingdom Lodge
    MAY 2012 - Offsite single night and DHS
    DEC 2012 - Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas - Jambo House

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    Re: Dining question and looking for suggestions...

    Quote Originally Posted by GoofyDad View Post
    From what I've read, they open up the 'reserved section' to anyone about 30 minutes before the show, so we'll go about an hour early I think.

    HOWEVER, if you are staying on property you can make reservations 180 days before your arrival for up to the first 10 days of your trip (so actually our reservations for the end of the week I was allowed to book the tables more than 180 days in advance...)
    Good to know. They say to get there 90 minutes early so all the package saves you then is 30 mnutes. This was one of the dinners we were going to pay oop for so it may not be worth it for us.

    AND YAY!!!!! I can call 3/31


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    Chrissy&Tayen's Avatar
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    Re: Dining question and looking for suggestions...

    well i was going to do this dinner too.. but know i dont know.. if you still have to be in line for a hour it really isnt worth it. when we went to the show we just walked right in
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