9d 8n ADRs, any advice or thoughts?

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svs
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9d 8n ADRs, any advice or thoughts?

Greetings, all!
My wife and I will be taking a trip together this December to WDW. I want to give some background information first, this trip is going to be a combination celebration for both of our birthdays, our anniversary and the honeymoon we never took. We didn't initially have the time, or the money really, to take a honeymoon that I feel like she deserves. That said, when considering advice for us, please assume that we are open to any suggestions! We are taking this trip to be a getaway for just us; we will be visiting the parks but that's not our primary mission. We're very excited to see and smell and taste all of the dining opportunities. Also, we're staying at the Contemporary (her favorite!) and using the Deluxe Dining plan! Thanks in advance and I'll start with the list:

Day 1: Arrival day - Only ADR is dinner at California Grill

Day 2: Breakfast at The Wave; Dinner at Victoria and Albert's

Day 3: Breakfast at Cape May; Dinner at Le Cellier

Day 4: Breakfast at Chef Mickey's; Dinner at Kouzzina by Kat Cora

Day 5: Breakfast at the Crystal Palace; Dinner at 'Ohana (scheduled to coincide with Wishes!)

Day 6: Breakfast at Boma; Dinner at the Hoop-dee-doo Review

Day 7: Breakfast at Kona; Lunch at Cinderella's Table

Day 8: Dinner at Coral Reef Restaurant (scheduled as part of a Candlelight Processional showing)

Day 9: No ADRs

A primary concern of mine is that all of the "gimmick" type meals might not really be thebest for two adults. I feel like we would have fun at them and neither of us has been to WDW since we were kids so I want to kind of see those things as an adult. From what I've gathered, most of the character meals and shows are decent as far as the food goes. My brother and his fiance went a year or so ago and recommended Cinderella's table, that's why I chose that one. All of the standard/fine dining choices have been made based off of reviews and our interest in them. Again, any and all comments would be greatly appreciated!

P.S.: Any filler meals, table service or counter service, or snack suggestions are also welcome for options in between our ADRs!

Mase's picture
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Looks good to me! For filler... id just say wherever you are at the time is fine. No need to truly plan those if you don't have to.

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welcome svr! Your trip looks great! Not everyone agrees around here on all the restaurants, so if you really want to experience those places as an Adult, I say go for it. Your going to have a great time. Cali Grill is always our first night ADR. It just starts everything off with the "WOW Factor"!

Never ate at the Wave or V & A, but we do have ADR's for the Wave in November.

Cape May is a great Character buffet, can't go wrong there. Le Cellier has been hit or miss for a lot of people lately. Our food was really salty last time we were there, but we are giving it another try and doing the Candlelight Processional dinner there.

Chef Mickey's, we were not impressed, it was our least favorite Character meal, but if you want to see Mickey while you eat, thats the place, just be ready for a lot of children. The meet and greet in the MK with Mickey & Minnie is a much better place to see them.

Crystal Palace & OHana's both great! Don't forget to have a Lupa Lupa biggrin

Boma is a great breakfast place, interesting flavors. Hoop Dee Doo Review, some people like and some don't. We did it once, it was okay & fun, but have no desire to do it again and the food, it was food, in a bucket!

Kona & Cinderella's Royal Table awesome

Coral Reef, never ate there.

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A place that I highly recommend is the Turf Club Rest. in the carriage house of SSR. Great food and great service.

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MrHub's picture
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I'll agree with Vettelover on that too!

subvetss's picture
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I recomend you do all your eating at a value resort food court and with the money you save you could spend another 2 or 3 days at Disney.
Joe

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subvetss wrote:
I recomend you do all your eating at a value resort food court and with the money you save you could spend another 2 or 3 days at Disney.
Joe

I'm with you Joe. We used only counter service restaurants in May, and didn't have a bad meal. The money we saved is going towards our "bonus" trip in October - yay

I have a confession this time though - I actually HAVE made a couple of ADR's - Yak and Yeti, Wave, and Liberty Tavern, but I'm not sure I'll keep them. DH hates having to be on a schedule, and would rather just eat wherever we are when we feel like it. I'd much rather be out in the parks having fun than sitting and eating - we can do that at home! And we are wheelchair !!!

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Wow - those look like great plans! I would also agree that using food court/counter service as needed will be a great option to 'bridge' you to your sit downs. It is also easy to share meals so you can save room for the great dinners. laugh

For V&A - be ready to go S L O W and savor the time. Take two hours!!! share bites!!! We love this experience! muchlove

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So jealous of your plans! California Grill, V&A, Le Celliar, Boma, AND O'hana!? I do have to agree with Mr Hub though and would cut Chef Mickey. I'm just not a fan and think there are better character meals out there. Maybe Tusker House? I haven't been there but it gets good reviews!

svs
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Thank you everyone for the welcome and the great feedback!

Mase, do you have any particular quick service or snack choices that are a definite must do for you and/or your family? They could be anywhere, a snack bar in a park or a specific resort's menu item.

mrhub, I do think we will keep most of the character and show options. I am reluctant to try Chef Mickey's after what everyone is saying. Do you (or anyone else) have a recommendation for another breakfast at one of the monorail resorts? We will be eating at Wave and Kona for breakfast so I would prefer not to have another meal there for breakfast as we are trying to see many different restaurants. This might also be another opportunity for a lazy morning and we can just see where it takes us! Can you provide some insight into what specifically you didn't like about Chef Mickey's? Was it food quality, service or something else? I can see the overall quality of the experience wasn't what you're looking for but I'm just curious about specifics. Thanks!

Vettelover, I hadn't even thought about anything at SSR! It wasn't even around last time I went. I'm going to look into it for sure.

subvetss and finngirl, we plan on taking another more "economical" trip in the april-early summer time frame and will definitely be going for a more park oriented experience with more family members. The express purpose of this trip is to not worry about the money; we've budgeted and saved and planned for this trip for a while now. We chose the dining plan to cover meals because we're both really cheap and I think it would really damage our experience to be concerned with paying for the quality of meals that we want to experience while at WDW. All of that said, do you recommend a particular value food court or any counter service restaurants that have some options you really enjoy? I've heard a lot about Earl of Sandwich at Downtown Disney and I think we'll take a trip over there to check that out!
Ollie, what's your favorite part about V&A?

Allie, thank you! We are very excited about everything we have planned. We're strongly considering other options for that Chef Mickey breakfast. I ate there once when I was growing up for dinner and I remember it being awesome but that was through the eyes of a child Smile.

The majority of these questions aren't solely directed at those who responded to me initially. I would love to hear from everyone!

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Tusker house deffinetly for a character breakfast! They have way better selection then Chef Mickey and is just way more fun. Chef Mickey is just to kid oriented for us.

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for counter service, I really like Columbia Harbour House in MK and Sunshine Seasons in Epcot. SS has a nice variety of choices. Last night I just had a fruit and cheese plate with a side salad - too hot to eat hot food right now!

I am a teacher on a budget, but those places can feel like "splurge" meals to me. I love the salmon dishes at both places - a "restuarant quality' meal for around $10-11.

Sounds like a wonderful trip!

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I'll second Sunshine Seasons in the Land at Epcot. Also fish and chips at the British counter service (Yorkshire?), FlameTree barbecue and Yak and Yeti CS at Animal Kingdom.

We haven't tried Columbia Harbour House yet, but that's where we are planning to eat our first night in October. We've heard great reviews from everyone about the food and the decor.

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welcome welcome welcome any of the cs spots in ws at epcot are very good also we love the one in japan

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svs
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disneydoc, I've put those on our list for places to check out if we happen to be hungry when we're in that area!

finngirl, same to this too. these all look great and we will probably hit one up while at the AK Smile

senseicj, thank you for the welcome. I have every intention of hitting up cs dining throughout the world showcase Wink we will be at least "sampling" some of the drinks from around the world and I love to eat when I have something to drink so I am willing to bet we will find some new favorites here!

Speaking of drinks, for those who like to have a drink sometimes... I've read that there is a brewery on the Boardwalk. Has anyone been there? Does anyone have any particular preferences for drink stops? I read about a monorail bar crawl that we will end up doing Smile Thanks for the tips!

edit: senseicj - your signature is awesome. that statement has ran through my head since the first time I heard it on the monorails back in the early 90s

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I'm a huge fan of Tangerine Cafe in Morrocco! Its an excellent CS restaurant!

BTW - Welcome to the best WDW forum around! clapping clapping yay clapping clapping

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Your trip looks awesome!!!!!

I agree with mrhub!!!!

Ohana is a *must* for us!!!! We haven't tried Chef Mickey's and for most of the reasons that have been said on here. I have 2 other suggestions for breakfast.

1900 Park Fare at the GF. The food was awesome! While you don't get the fab 5, you do get to see Madhatter, Alice, Mary Poppins, Pooh and Tigger. You will duplicate Pooh and Tigger at Crystal Palace, but if you decide to do this one, I would suggest keeping Crystal Palace. You will see Piglet, Eeyore, Pooh and Tigger there. From what I understand, you can't see Piglet anyplace else.

My other suggestion is not on the monorail loop, but a short boat ride away at Wilderness Lodge. Whispering Canyon. You won't get characters here, but it is definately a fun experience!!! This is also a *must* for us. Breakfast and Dinner are "rowdy" while lunch is more subdued. At lunch time, you really don't get to experience the restaurant at its finest. That was our least favorite time to eat there. You can order single meals or go with a family style skillet which is all you can eat. Also, depending on how you time it, WL has a free tour of the Lodge, where they take you around the lodge and talk about the hows and whys of the theming and architecture. Usually offered Weds. thru Sat. at 9am and it lasts 1 hr. DH and I have been trying to do this tour for 5 years and we finally were able to this past April!!! I would say, it was definately worth it and we got a lot of back stories about Walt!!! mickey

It has been several years since we have tried Coral Reef. I have read that they are changing the menu a bit. I thought the food was good, but DH was disappointed because it is "supposed" to be a seafood restaurant and there was very little seafood on the menu. The only other thing that we did not like was that we were seated right by the aquarium window, which we thought was pretty neat, until several families with kids didn't think twice about interrupting us so that their kids could squeeze by to see into the aquarium. waiting I would like to try Coral Reef again sometime, but ask to be seated away from the windows.

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svs wrote:
Speaking of drinks, for those who like to have a drink sometimes... I've read that there is a brewery on the Boardwalk. Has anyone been there?

Yes there is a small brewery on the Boardwalk, and that is the "Big River Grill and Brewing Works" I have been there several times and have always been satisfied, But since I don't drink I can't say how good the beer is but again I have heard good things but some people say it is crowded inside, (it is) and some say it is noisy inside (sometimes it is).
PS they have GREAT meatloaf.

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svs
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Vettelover wrote:

PS they have GREAT meatloaf.

Beer AND great meatloaf? Can I eat there for every meal every day?

I will be checking this out for sure Wink

Kris1971, my parents love the Morocco pavilion at the showcase so I might just go check this out for them. Any meal suggestions?

LuvAllDisney, I loved the craziness of the whispering canyon cafe as a kid. Taking the boat over there would be an awesome excuse to fit in one of the boat rides and resort hop! I've been wondering if I could find a good reason to take a boat and this combines my desire to go check out the Wilderness Lodge (my fav. resort as a child) and take a boat. I've also been reading a lot about 1900 Park Fare and this looks interesting! Any thoughts on the food quality? As for Coral Reef, I've heard it's not great quality food anymore and the service leaves something to be desired. I'm not sure either way, all I know is my wife and I would love to eat in that environment. I hope the service and food are good though! Do you know if any other resorts do a tour with historical information on them?

New question: Has anyone walked from the boardwalk area to Hollywood Studios? Is it a reasonable distance? Not exactly a dining specific question but it impacts our dining decisions for that day

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svs wrote:
New question: Has anyone walked from the boardwalk area to Hollywood Studios? Is it a reasonable distance? Not exactly a dining specific question but it impacts our dining decisions for that day

It's much faster to take the boat to HS from the Boardwalk.

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svs wrote:
Thank you everyone for the welcome and the great feedback!
Ollie, what's your favorite part about V&A?

That is a harder question than you might think!

In general? The overall amazing, total service! But, There are several other things we love, too.

The food is great and of a quality that we just don't regularly get to experience. Frankly, I am not sure I've ever had food of this quality!

The staff is remarkable and treat you with skill and great respect and kindness. They remembered us by name from our first visit.

This is the most "Grown-up" thing I have ever had the chance to do. Kids 10 years and up can be there but we've never seen a child of any age. It is quiet, calm, and complete. Serene is also a good way to describe it!

The choices are wonderful AND they will go out of their way to accommodate almost any need, from allergies to simple taste preferences. All you have to do is let them know.

My favorite part? Did I answer that? laugh

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We love Columbia House too, the fish and chips is good. Don't forget the Dole Whip for a snack, just in case no one has mentioned it yet. And if you're not all about healthy foods, there's nothing like a Casey's hot dog at MK. If you make it over to visit Animal Kingdom Lodge, we always go to Mara's and get a package of zebra Domes for a snack.
The walk is pretty far from Boardwalk to HS. I agree with Mr. Hub that the boat is faster and cooler if it's hot.

Drinks...never been to the brewery at Boardwalk, I'm not a big beer drinker. The grey goose slushy in France is FABULOUS. The Cureva (?) in Mexico has really good Margaritas, one of these days I am going to try the cucumber one. There's also a drink that looks really good at the espresso stand in America, across from the America Gardens Theater. It's called a Tea Breeze, and it's iced tea, lemonade and Absolute vodka. It sounds so refreshing, I'll try that someday too!

Have a great trip, and try to absorb all the wisdom here biggrin

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mrhub wrote:
Tusker house deffinetly for a character breakfast! They have way better selection then Chef Mickey and is just way more fun. Chef Mickey is just to kid oriented for us.

I agree. Tusker House has a great breakfast and the characters are awesome.

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Welcome svs!

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I personally walk from HS to Epcot a few times each trip, but I am a big walker. It is about one mile, and a nice walk along the water. I do take the boat if it is really hot, or I am really beat. I don't find it to be a bad walk, and you can always rest at the boardwalk. But like others have said, the boat ride is nice, although a bit slow. (this is the best way I have found to walk off all that carrot cake...)

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MrHub's picture
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disneydoc wrote:
(this is the best way I have found to walk off all that carrot cake...)

Well I can understand that walk Doc! awesome

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I plead ignorance - what are these zebra domes you all rave about?

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disneydoc wrote:
what are these zebra domes you all rave about?

It is the stuff of which legends are made. laugh Seriously they are a round pastry that is only available at the desert table at Boma and at the Mara which is the quick serve at AKL. They are simply the greatest and contain the slightest amount of Kahlua type liquor (but NOT enough to get a buzz on) they are fairly small and dome shaped and are white with dark stripes hence the name Zebra Domes. And if I remember correctly I have seen the recipe around somewhere.

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Vettelover wrote:
disneydoc wrote:
what are these zebra domes you all rave about?

It is the stuff of which legends are made. laugh Seriously they are a round pastry that is only available at the desert table at Boma and at the Mara which is the quick serve at AKL. They are simply the greatest and contain the slightest amount of Kahlua type liquor (but NOT enough to get a buzz on) they are fairly small and dome shaped and are white with dark stripes hence the name Zebra Domes. And if I remember correctly I have seen the recipe around somewhere.

It's on All Ears!

I've been wanting to try this but need to see how it would work with a gelatin substitute.

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Welcome svs! I would have to say you should try the Hoop-Dee-Revue... we've been to it 3 times over the years and it's a lot of fun and food! The Spirit of Aloha @ the Poly is fabulous too! Chef Mickey... we enjoyed it last Christmas. My daughter even liked it and she was 22 at that time. There are a lot of children however. My favorite character breakfast is at the O'Hana! You see Mickey, Pluto, Lilo and Stitch. this year we're going to try the Tusker House... very good reviews on that one. Whispering Canyon is always great and remember to ask for ketchup! I know y'all will have a wonderful time no matter where you eat... Ohh.. we've also been to the Wave and it was good but nothing really special for us at least. We're looking forward to trying the California Grill..

Have fun!

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Sounds like you are doing Disney right. We usually do the deluxe dining plan also. You have quite a few of my favorites. My husband and I always say we are going on the dining tour of Disney.
The only one we have never tried is V&A because it is not on he dining plan. So enjoy that one for us.
Enjoy!

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