Which dining experiences can I not miss?
Come march, I am going on my very first non-family, longer than 2 day stay at WDW. I will be there 8 days actually. I'm going with my girlfriend who is a CM, as well as my roommate from school. Anyway, seeing as it's been a while since I've stayed at Disney for more than a day or two, I really have very limited exposure to the nicer side of dining in the parks, and almost no exposure at all to most of the resorts. Myself and my roommate are hoping to do plenty of exploring of the resorts and probably taking part in some meals out there. My gf has insisted that she doesn't want to have to leave the parks to eat with the exception of maybe once or twice, but I figure that seeing as she will still be working for part of the week, I can eat outside the parks for some of the meals she wont be with us for.
I am on a bit of a limited budget, so I'm trying to be moderate on my spending. I plan on getting by for the most part on counter service and bagged lunches, like normal, but I do want to do some nicer dining. I've observed that Disney uses the $, $$, $$$, and $$$$ symbols as a key to the average bill per person at each dining facility. I plan on using mostly $ (under $14... aka counter service) and maybe a small handfull of $$ ($15-25) restaurants from time to time. I would also like to try one or two slight more pricy ($$$) places, but that depends on what the rest of my food budget looks like.
What i myself am most interested in when it comes to Disney Dining is the the experience, not the food itself. So I don't care how famous or scrumptious the prime rib or the catfish might be at a stiff, upper-class kinda restaurant, I would prefer to have a decent meal and an excellent time. So, what I'd like from you guys is a list of some of your favorite $$ places to dine, both in and out of the parks, and then one or two of your "can't miss this" $$$ suggestions.
I've got a couple ideas for the $$$ ones, but I'm not set in stone on them yet. I want to do the Hoop-Dee-Doo over at FW (I remember laughing my head off at that as a kid), and I've never been to the Coral Reef, but the pictures I've seen of the tables by the huge aquarium windows looks like it would make for an amazing dining experience. Like I said, those aren't set in stone yet, and so if you have other suggestions, let me have 'em!