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Dining Discuss Which dining experiences can I not miss? in the Vacation Planning forums; 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 ...
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    MainStreet, USA's Avatar
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    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 $$$ ones, but I'm not set in stone on them yet. I want to do the Hoop-Dee-Doo over at FW (I remember laughing my head off at that as a kid), and I've never been to the Coral Reef, but the pictures I've seen of the tables by the huge aquarium windows looks like it would make for an amazing dining experience. Like I said, those aren't set in stone yet, and so if you have other suggestions, let me have 'em!
    -Don-
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  2. #2
    SnwhtNdwrfs's Avatar
    SnwhtNdwrfs is offline Dancing with the dwarfs!
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    I really enjoyed the Coral Reef. I liked the Garden Grill and Artist Point. You might want to try Le Cellier which was excellent also. Chef Mickey's was enjoyable also. I honestly don't know $$$$ wise or anything but these might be fun to look into.


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    vixen101485's Avatar
    vixen101485 is offline Queen of the Swaps, bow before me
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    Pecos Bill's salad with chicken is awesome....huge serving and the dressing is to die for. Plus if you get a burger they have the fixin's bar so you can pretty much load up on lettuce and tomatoes and stuff there on the side WALLA! instant salad.

    If you skip Whispering Canyon at the Wilderness Lodge we will have to hurt you. Besides being SOOO much fun, the family style buffet is really good BBQ meat and chicken. I really liked the potatoes. When you ask for more you can just get whichever food appeals to you most.
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    GaRain's Avatar
    GaRain is offline I love a guy who can make me laugh!
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    I will second that recommendation for the Whispering Canyon. Go for lunch and the prices are cheaper. Then you can pig out on the skillet (all you can eat) and skip dinner!!! But the food is good and it is entertaining without being overly so....
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    I LOVE the Hoop-Dee-Do Revue, but it may not fit into you budget(by the way it's the some show you saw years ago it hasn't changed). The WCC is also a load of fun and if you are in it more for the atmosphere than the food it is probably your best bet(not that there is a thing wrong with the food). Order the family style skillet and you get to try several very tasty things and can get more of just the ones you want.
    Maggie

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    SaraTheGreat's Avatar
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    Good thing to know about the hoop-dee-doo, your gf the cm can get an awesome discount on the 9:00 showing at certain times of year. I'm not sure if it is all the time but when I went as a cm it was only $20 instead of about $50, so call and ask. In addition to that I love Le Cellier, I think it's the best restaurant on property. You can't beat the view from the California Grill at the Contemporary. Oh and my bf and I ate at Cinderellas Royal Table during Wishes and it was an amazing and unique view. Oh and drag cm gf with you wherever you can and take advantage of that wonderful Disney Discount, it's usually about 20% but call the restaurants ahead of time because some of them only offer the discount at certain times.

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    disneydame2004's Avatar
    disneydame2004 is offline Celebrate Everyday!
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    For the experience, 50's Prime Time Diner is a lot of fun, especially if you don't mind being embarrassed a little.
    Teppanyaki is fun at Epcot, and Coral Reef is good too.
    MK - Pinocchio's Village Haus - sit by the windows overlooking It's a Small World and see how many people you can get to do the wave in their boats (trust me, it's fun!)
    AK - Tusker House is fascinating

    The idea of going at lunch to the pricier places is a good one - you can save a few dollars and still have a great meal. Don't forget all the menus are available on AllEarsNet.com!
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    MainStreet, USA's Avatar
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    Thanks for everything so far, Ladies. The Whispering Canyon was definitely on my list of possibilities, and between rave reviews from all you folks here as well as my roommate who's been there... I'm pretty certain that will be one we get to.

    Sara, we had already heard of the CM discount off the late showing of Hoop-Dee-Doo, and that was really the only reason we were considering going. I've been twice to the HDD, once when I was like 7, and again when I was around 12 or 13. But I remember little of it, only that it was funny, and neither my roomie nor my gf have ever attended. So we're going to look into that discount, and if we can get it, it WILL be one of our few $$$ dinners. Otherwise, we'll probably pass it up for something else a bit more reasonable.

    We also talked about doing one character dining experience, and although the gf wants to do Cindy's Table, that is the only one that's $$$, while all the others are of course $$ (Snow, this includes Chef Mickey's, in case you were wondering). I think I might be able to drag her to the Lilo and Stitch one at Ohana at the Poly. The only down side to that is that it's only available for breakfast, so we'll have to see. If not that, it'll probably be Chef Mickey's.

    I've heard good things about the food at Le Cellier, but I don't know anything about the restaurant and dining experience except for where it is and that the food is good. So maybe some more research before I commit to that. And as for the California Grill... it looks a bit pricey, but maybe a good CM disccount from the lady friend (I am such a manipulator, hehe) can help with that. I've heard the view is unbelievable, but I want to see if I can dig up some pictures and see for myself it it's worth it. Keep in mind, the gf doesn't want to leave the parks much if she doesn't have to, so it might have to be pretty spectacular to get her butt over there.

    Thanks again! And keep 'em coming!
    -Don-
    Your heart can just take wing,
    You can live out all your dreams...
    ...it's time to Remember the Magic!
    Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pilot's Life for Me...

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    My suggestions for dining experience would definitely be Whispering Canyon and 50's Primetime Cafe! You will have fun at both of these and you can get a good meal for not a whole lot of money!!!!

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    Don, Teppanyaki in Japan is also a fun dining experience!!!!

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    Stitch's Avatar
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    Sci-Fi is fun to eat at, but the food is not the greatest....but it's fun to sit in a car and eat while watching cheesy B movies.

    Liberty Tree has a great character meal and the food is really good! Can't go wrong with all you can eat Thanksgiving dinner!

    Beirgarten at Epcot also is a great time...it's $15 all you can eat lunch buffet (really tasty!) and the atmosphere and band are great!

  12. #12
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    Don - My 2 Favorite are both @ MGM Studios, The Sci-Fi Dine in Theatre, its the best! U sit in cars and watch black and white shorts on a movie screen, in a drive-in atmosphere, too fun! Also the 50's Prime Time Cafe, this ones great to do with friends! And for the pricy ones,My fave is Cinderella's Royal Table, located INSIDE Cinderella's castle! All are pretty sweet! Have Fun! -Chloe

    The Magic still lives






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    GirlStar613's Avatar
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    i love Liberty Tree Tavern for lunch, the portions are really big and you save money going for lunch...also Boma is great(don't know if that's not in keeping with your budget and it's out of the parks) but you can stuff yourself silly there and the food is just amazing.
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    WDW Donna's Avatar
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    You HAVE to go and have the Fudge Mud Slide sundae at Beaches and Cream($$)over at the Yacht and Beach club. In fact I challenge you to go to the Yachtsman Steakhouse ($$$)first and have the Chateaubriand for Two then go to Beaches and Cream and have the sundae!!
    You can always walk off dinner with a romantic walk around the boardwalk in the moonlight.(ahh young love)

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    4Mickey's Avatar
    4Mickey is offline "But why is the Rum gone?"
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    Wow, there's so much to choose from! I really like Donald's Breakfast-a-saurus in AK (near Dinosaur). It's a buffet style breakfast & if you plan a "late" breakfast, it can almost count as an early lunch. Mickey, Donald, Goofy & (i think) Pluto are there. My other fave is Liberty Tree for dinner- again... great food- (family style Thanksgiving Dinner) with Goofy, Minnie, Chip & Dale running around. It's lots of fun! I hope this has helped a bit! I can't wait to hear what you've chosen!
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