|50's Prime Time Cafe|
gf Fried Chicken is delicious too on 1/18/2016
Visiting our old fave, 50's Prime Time Cafe, was a whole new experience gluten-free! But, of course, we only went because we knew they had gf Fried Chicken waiting for us -- note: we called ahead to arrange for the gf fried chicken. It came with potatoes and corn on the cob, however, the chicken was definitely the star and did not disappoint.
No-sugar-added dessert was a very plain cheesecake with a few berries on the side -- apparently both the strawberry sauce and the whip cream have sugar in them.
Rating: ambience: 4, service 4, fried chicken 5, cheesecake 2. Overall I'm calling it a 4!
Final meal of the trip was a homerun! on 1/18/2016
For our last meal of the trip we went to Jiko for dinner and it was a homerun -- possibly the best meal of the trip! This in spite of the fact that our options were somewhat limited by our dietary needs of no-sugar-added and gluten-free.
I started out with the boar tenderloin which was very savory and toothsome with a soup like broth. Ahnalira had the jiko salad with sugary nuts removed and was very happy with it. For dinner I had the filet mignon which was a perfectly cooked filet mignon, pink inside, moist and flavorful. Ahnalira had the lamb shank which looked fork tender and tasty.
But, the real winner was the nsa/gf dessert which was a dark chocolate pot de creme with cranberry compote. The cranberry compote was perhaps a bit much but it was still a tremendous dessert and really my favorite of all the nsa/gf desserts we had during the week.
Tough menu for gf+nsa on 1/17/2016
On our recent visit to Sana'a for a gluten-free and no-sugar-added dinner, we worked closely with the chef to find things which we could eat from the menu. It was surprisingly difficult because almost everything had either sugar or gluten in it! We settled on the gluten-free naan bread and a few dipping sauces and then we had a long discussion about the entree.
The gluten-free naan was a little strange to be honest, it didn't have the puffy quality one normally associated with naan -- instead being sort of dense and heavy feeling. The sauces were a mixed bag. The raita was great, the pickled garlic a little strange, sambhala chilil sauce was spicy but good.
I followed that with a mix and match dish combining two other entrees -- South African sausage which was delicious, and shrimp durban which was sort of a shrimp curry dish and was also very good. Ahn
Old favorite comes through again on 1/15/2016
After a lovely chat with the chef, we had yet another great gluten-free and no-sugar-added lunch at Olivia's.
I started with the conch chowder, a tasty red chowder. Ahnalira ordered mozzarella tomato salad which was quite creditable and fresh. For entre I had the roast beef au jus which was quite delicious, first time I've had an au jus sandwich in some time and I enjoyed it. Ahnalira had the scallops and was making happy noises on her side of the table.
For dessert we had the panna cotta nsa and gf. This was a nice dessert although I don't think it compared to the one we got at Trattoria al Forno.
Overall: ambience: 3.5, service: 5, conch chowder: 4, mozz-tom: 3.5, au jus: 4, scallops: 4, panna cotta: 4. I'm calling it a 4 overall, and price was very moderate.
Boatwright's Dining Hall
Amazing gf chicken and waffles! on 1/14/2016
We eagerly anticipated our dinner at Boatwrights with dreams of fried chicken and waffles dancing in our heads. Fortunately for us, Boatwright's lived up to our expecations with the most delicious gluten free chicken and waffle dish we've ever seen!
To start with I ordered the gf french onion soup with a delicously dark broth and loads of melted gruyere cheese -- although I will say that there was an absence of any kind of bread in my soup. Ahnalira had the mozzarella and tomato salad which was pretty good too. This was followed by the gf fried chicken and waffles for Ahnalira which was absolutely delicious. The waffles were almost like popovers with a pudding like inside. The chicken was a crusty moist perfection. I ordered the short rib on mash which was good but not quite fork tender, I think it was a little bit undercooked.
Finally we received the best p
A little off the mark on 1/13/2016
We had a strange experience with dinner at the Artist Point, Wilderness Lodge. Everything seemed topsy turvy, I almost thought we must be at the Mad Hatters Tea Party or something. So it only gets a 3 because the dining experience was just a little weird and sometimes a bit of a miss.
To start with I ordered a romaine salad. On first viewing there did not appear to be any dressing on my wedges of romaine lettuce -- I guess wedges are all the rage lately. It turned out that there was dressing on the plate underneath the wedges, once I found it it was quite tasty. Ahnalira ordered a beet salad which turned out to literally be several large slices of pickled beets which she was quite sure had sugar in them. This lead to a confusing interchange with the server taking it back to the chef, bringing it back out to say no sugar was added, then Ahnalira told the manager and the manager took it away an
Trattoria al Forno
Happy gf chicken parm on 1/12/2016
We visited Trattoria al Forno which recently opened its doors, replacing Cat Cora's Kouzzina on the Boardwalk. We were excited by the gluten-free options we had seen online -- and Trattoria more than lived up to that promise!
First off, they brought us my favorite gluten-free bread rolls of the trip -- crusty and rustic, they held gobs of butter very nicely! This was followed by a mozzarella caprese salad with hand pulled fresh mozzarella which I believe was made on premises. In any case, the texture was light and delicate -- the best mozzarella short of bufala in my opinion. I had the spring greens with dried cherries and marcona almonds (no sugar added!) which was quite a nice salad.
Main course was gluten-free chicken parmigiana for Ahnalira and gf breaded pork chop for me. They were both delicious, moist, crispy and perfectly cooked. The chicken did look a little bit better, but I was still very happy with my pork chop!
To finish it off we both had the no-sugar-a
nsa Creme Brulee! on 1/12/2016
The Wave has been one of our favorite healthy restaurants ever since it opened. We stopped by for lunch -- a great time because it is practically empty at lunch time. In fact, most resort restaurants tend to be easy to get into at lunch time. The meal this time didn't really knock our socks off, but the no-sugar-added dessert sure did!
I started out with the tomato creme soup which was very nice. That was followed by a grass fed burger on a gluten-free bun, guacamole and cheese. This was a very tasty burger, quite savory and well seasoned -- but it was a pretty standard burger otherwise. It came with fries which just seemed like standard frozen steak fries to me. Ahnalira had the Arctic Char which is sort of like a salmon dish, over succotash. The succotash was quite nice but neither one of us was really into the Char.
The final course was a
Meh, just ok on 1/9/2016
Well, this wasn't quite the amazing surprise that it was last time we dined at Narcoosee's. When I consider the price, I feel that it really only warrants a 4!
To start with, I ordered a Caesar's salad and Ahnalira got the beet salad. These were good but neither of us felt wow'ed by it. This was followed by a gluten-free pasta with shrimp, tomatoes and assorted other items. Although I appreciated the effort to make a gluten-free pasta dish I just am not a fan of this type of penne pasta. The shrimp was cooked to perfection however. Ahnalira ordered the pork chop which we both thought was absolutely delicious and perfectly cooked. Since I didn't finish the pasta, they did take it off the bill which I appreciated.
We finished the meal with the sugar-free chocolate torte which was good, but again it fell short of greatness. I
Jungle Navigation Skipper Canteen
Great Falafel on 1/9/2016
We decided to try out the newly opened Skipper Canteen restaurant in the Magic Kingdom for lunch a few days ago and we were quite pleasantly surprised by how delicious some of the food was here. Ambience is nothing too exciting, although this does carry some of the theming old-timers might remember from the defunct Adventurer's Club.
I started out my meal with the falafel appetizer and was quite happy with the crispy outside and moist insides, well seasoned with a bit of spice and some tasty sauce with tomato-cucuumber relish. Ahnalira gave these a rave review and she is a falafel connoisseur whereas I am just a dabbler. She ordered the Egyptian bread salad without the bread and received what amounted to a huge bowl of lettuce and a little bit of other salad fixings.
For our main entree I got the Pho -- rice noodle soup. This was a creditable pho with a very flavorful be
Flying Fish Cafe
Gluten Free Fried jamboree! on 1/7/2016
We recently stopped in at the Flying Fish for a delightful dinner filled with Gluten-Free deliciousness!
After looking over the allergenic menu (it seems like all of the Disney restaurants have one now!) we got so excited about the gluten-free options that we went crazy on the appetizer section and ended up ordering two appetizers each. With so many appetizers we dialed back the entree and just shared one because we knew we'd each want a whole no-sugar-added gluten-free dessert for ourselves.
I ordered the gluten-free crab cakes and they were truly a delight. With a crisp gf crust on the outside and delicious, fresh tasting crab on the inside I have to say that these were some of the best crab cakes I've ever had! After that, I had some of the tomato-mozzarella salad with juicy ripe ugli tomatoes and bufala mozzarella -- which is my favorite type of fresh mozzarella becaus
Raglan Road™ Irish Pub and Restaurant
Best gf fish & chips on 1/7/2016
I'll just say up front that Raglan Road gets a five because they have the best fish and chips I've ever tasted AND it's all gluten-free!
We stopped in for a nice lunch here shortly after New Year's day on a cool rainy day, eagerly anticipating the fried gluten-free options. It really is a magical place at Disney World if you're gluten-free! We discovered that they also have gluten-free onion rings so we both promptly ordered that as well.
Ahnalira decided to go with the creamy tomato soup as it was a Florida-chilly day. It was a delicious warm tomatoey treat which we both thoroughly enjoyed to the last drop. We both ordered the onion rings which about the size of donuts. I'm afraid I wouldn't order these again as they were a bit over breaded for my taste -- to the point where the onions themselves were kind of lost in the do
Coral Reef Restaurant
Best chicken ever! on 1/5/2016
We recently dropped by one of our old faves, the Coral Reef Restaurant in Epcot, for a nice relaxing lunch experience. Let me start out by saying that this is not a place for the faint of wallet -- you will pay for your meal here and it won't be cheap!
However, the ambience is delightful -- watching the huge fish tank at the Seas with giant manta rays, sharks, turtles and the occasional human swimming about in front of you. Service was stellar, we had a wonderful server who paid close attention to details and made sure all the bases were covered for our rather complex dietary requests (gluten free and no sugar added).
We started our meal with a half order of the Caesar salad -- Ahnalira will go on record saying it is perhaps the best Caesar salad we have ever had with lovely big chunks of parmesan cheese and a delightful Caesar style dressing.
For the entree I had the trout and Ahnalira had the chicken. The chicken was one of
Great Short Rib on 1/4/2016
We recently stopped in at the Captain's Grille for a nice dinner after a long day of travel. First let me say that Captain's Grille has really come along in the last few years, the menu is definitely upscaled both in quality and in price. Unfortunately, I can't say that the ambience is up to speed with the menu or the prices.
Having said that, I must say that my meal was quite tasty! I started with a romaine wedge with bleu cheese which was nice, although it seemed a bit large. The bleu cheese was quite a nice flavor with the fresh chunk of romaine -- practically an entire head of romaine! Following that was the short rib which was incredibly tender and savory --- no knife required. For dessert I had the no-sugar added option which was a small sponge cake accompanied by a tasty fruit compote and a bit of panacotta. It made for a very nice finish to a good me
Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room
Not so good for gluten-free on 12/18/2014
Once again I find myself giving the Rose & Crown a 3 star rating. This time we are doing Disneyworld gluten-free so the chef came out to tell us that most items on the menu have gluten -- even the bangers and mash. They didn't have alternatives, all they could really do was remove the gluten. I ended up ordering one of the few gluten free items on the menu, the chicken curry which was good but not exceptionally so. Ahnalira got "fish and chips" which was fish with no breading and asparagus. We also had the potato/leek soup which was quite nice, and the apple frisee salad which I thought was just ok.
Ambience was nice, it made for a nice warm spot on a cold rainy day. Service was good. I think my overall review would be a high '3' -- gluten-free options deserves about a 2, but everything else was about a 4 so overall I give it a high
Gluten-free heaven! on 12/16/2014
The other night we were wandering about looking for someplace to eat dinner, we finally tried Olivia's where we were seated immediately at a comfy booth. The chef came out to chat with us about gluten-free and no-sugar-added and was immensely helpful. He had a host of gluten-free options and a no-sugar-added dessert, couldn't have been better. I got a hand-formed burger on a gluten free bun which was excellent, I love hand formed patties -- they are so much better than the frozen ones. Ahnalira ordered the pork chop which was perfectly cooked and delicious. The no-sugar-added dessert was a custardy thing and was quite good. All in all, we were thrilled and so happy with our meal that I was ready to just go to Olivia's every night! Therefore, I give it a five.
Gasparilla Grill & Games
Nice quick service on 12/16/2014
On our recent stay at the Grand Floridian Resort, we ate at Gasparilla Grill several times -- breakfast and a late dinner. They had a nice salad bar, whipped up gluten free waffles, and had some great sugar-free and gluten-free snack bars. They have my favorite selection of teas here and I love the mug-washing station-- all in all this is one of the better quick-service spots!
Raglan Road™ Irish Pub and Restaurant
Best fish and chips ever! on 12/15/2014
Just a couple of days ago I had a truly delicious meal at Raglan Road. Since we are eating gluten-free lately I decided to try out the gluten-free fish and chips -- and it was spectacular, making my rating an instant 5!! The crust was crispy and delicious, while the cod inside was really fresh, lightly cooked, tender, delicately flavored, and moist. Honestly, this was the best fish and chips that I've ever had -- and being gluten-free was the icing on the cake!
The chips were good too and the iced tea better than average. They had quite a lively series of live performances ranging from a folksy acoustic band to a group of river dancers. The shows were great, if a bit on the loud side for my tastes.
Ahnalira had the 'It's not a bleedin' chowder' dish which really wasn't a chowder but it was quite a delicio
The Artist's Palette
Gluten-free happy place! on 12/14/2014
Staying at Saratoga Springs Resort for the past few days, we've had a couple breakfast and a dinner at the Artist's Palette -- the quick service option for Saratoga Springs. I had the "French Toast Strata" and Mickey Waffles for breakfast -- I put this in quotes because it's more of a bread pudding than a french toast. For dinner I had the Caprese Flatbread, and to be honest, I found this to be a bit disappointing. The fresh mozarrella appeared to be actually some sort of sauce from a bottle, I was left with a feeling that the overall dish was not very fresh and the flavor was a bit bland. Ahnalira was pretty happy with her roasted vegetable panini so you might do better to go toward the panini type options than the flatbreads.
Because we were having a business meeting, we were at the restaurant for over an hour. I discovered to my surprise that I could no longer refill my fountain drink, apparently you are lim
Wine Country Trattoria
Beautiful spot at sunset! on 6/14/2014
We recently enjoyed a small family dinner at the Wine Country Trattoria in Disney's California Adventure™ at the Disneyland Resort. The ambience was delightful as the sun was setting during our meal, seated at an outdoor table made for an extremely pleasant backdrop to a good meal. The menu is pretty small and pricey, we spent about $40 per person (no alcohol or dessert). Unfortunately, the meal started with a pretty weak bread offering, cold and a bit stale, which just didn't seem to match the level that this type of restaurant should be attaining. This was followed by an heirloom tomato salad where the tomatoes were just a bit off -- a major flaw in an otherwise good salad.
The saving grace was my sustainable fish entre: wild salmon which was seared, seasoned and cooked to perfection -- absolutely delicious and perhaps the best piece of salmon I've ever tasted!
Flo's V8 Café
Tamale Breakfast on 5/26/2014
We recently stopped in at Flo's V8 Cafe for a quick breakfast. We actually planned to eat breakfast at Cozy Cones, but one of our group refused after seeing the menu (mostly very sugary stuff), so we trotted across the street to Flos. The theming is up to Disney standards, with all kinds of car parts lining the walls and 50's music playing in the background, great booths inside with outside seating also available.
The menu was less impressive and very short! I ended up selecting the Tamale Breakfast which was ok, the tamale portion was pretty good and worked pretty well with eggs on top. It was a bit of a challenge to get real milk on the coffee, I ended up having to buy a small carton. The eggs were pretty mediocre, we suspect that they were powdered but don't know for sure. At our table, the food got ratings ranging from pretty good to terrible. Ambience wa
Disney's PCH Grill
Macaroni and Cheese! on 5/23/2014
Our first dinner on our last trip was at Disney's PCH Grill. Interesting factoid, the PCH Grill is actually very close to where our room in the Grand Californian was located -- so its actually one of the more convenient places to eat if you are staying at DGC!
The real highlight of the meal was the fried Cauliflower with hot wing sauce appetizer, one of my favorite dishes of this entire trip! The cauliflower was cooked perfectly, nice and tender, with a nice light crispy breading and delicious spicy wing sauce on it.
We also had the artichoke dip with tortilla chips -- the chips were not good at all, the dip was good but not great. For my entree I had the Mac & Cheese which was quite good, but again not great. I prefer my mac and cheese to be baked in a dish with a crispy breading on top using gourmet cheeses. This Mac & Cheese was more of a sau
River Belle Terrace
Still the best turkey sandwich! on 5/21/2014
We returned to River Belle Terrace recently and they still have the real carved turkey sandwiches that I craved, perfectly moist and delicious on a very fresh roll. This place is a real sleeper, not much to look at, but the turkey sandwich is to die for! The Roast beef and pulled pork sandwiches don't look too bad either. The view here is also very nice, grab a table outside and watch the island and the River Belle cruising by. Price is about what you would expect for Disney quick service -- $12 per sandwich.
Much better the second time! on 5/21/2014
We gave Tortilla Jo's a second chance today for lunch -- and we were pleasantly surprised! Table-side Guacamole is a must for guac fans like myself! I ordered Enchiladas Suizas which was very tastey, great shredded chicken, fresh corn tortillas and black beans with corn (instead of the traditional rice) was a nice change of pace. My only complaint was that it was not very spicey, I rectified that with a liberal dose of Tapatio hot sauce! Ahnalira had the Gorditas and she was very happy.
Ambience is pleasant and service was good. Price -- we spent $55 for the two of us so its not a cheap meal. I give it a four -- not the best Mexican food I've ever had but it was very good and everything tasted very fresh.
Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café
Starbucks in disguise! on 5/21/2014
We thought we'd try out the new Fiddler & Fife cafe for lunch the other day since it looks like a nice Disney quick service spot. We grabbed a booth and headed off to order, only to realize that this is actually just a Starbucks in disguise! There were only four pre-packaged lunch options available -- two sandwiches and two salads -- and the entire Starbucks menu. Personally, this was not a happy moment for me. Much as I enjoy Starbucks, I wouldn't ever go there for lunch under normal circumstances. I muddled through my cold meal, my sandwich was a little but my iced black tea latte was delicious. As a Starbucks I give it a happy rating, not often that you will find a booth in Starbucks! But, as an eating spot I would give it a 1! To be fair, I believe Ahnalira found her apple cheddar turkey salad to be quite good and fresh.
Clarabelles Ice Cream
Sugar free butter pecan! on 5/21/2014
We popped into Clarabelles after our quick lunch next door (Fiddler & Fife) hoping to find a sugar free treat. Happily they had Butter Pecan in a no-sugar-added ice cream so we grabbed a scoop each. This is Dreyer's ice cream which is pretty good, although I would have appreciated another flavor option with some chocolate in it -- not a big fan up Butter Pecan myself. All in all, it was a nice enough ice cream spot so I give a 3 -- nothing to write home about but enjoyable.
Eggs Benedict! on 5/21/2014
We joined some OLP buddies for breakfast at Carnation Cafe and had a pleasant, if unexceptional meal there. I ended up ordering Eggs Benedict, not a typical order for me, but it looked like the most interesting thing on the menu. I thought the eggs were poached to perfection, I think they would have gotten thumbs up on Top Chef. However, the English muffins didn't seem to have been toasted at all so they tasted raw and uncooked -- not a good thing in an English muffin. Service was ok, ambience was ok -- all in all I have to give it a 3. Nice enough place to eat but nothing wow'ed me here.
Carthay Circle Restaurant & Lounge
Best dining at DLR, hands down! on 5/20/2014
We just had an amazing dinner on the terrace of Carthay Circle! Not only did we get a birds eye view of the parade and a great sunset, we had some of the best food ever. I had grilled prawns -- the best shrimp we have ever had -- on top of a delicious citrous chowder with perfectly cooked cauliflower and broccolini. Before that I had the Blue Cobia ceviche which was fresh and delightful. To top it all off I had the no-sugar added cheesecake, very light and full of flavor.
Ahnalira had a very delightful meal as well, Carthay salad for her appetizer and salmon entre which was perfectly cooked on top of a delicious Thai red curry and forbidden rice.
Add to that an equally delicious lunch two days ago and the conclusion is that Carthay Circle has brought Disneyland dining to a new level --- best food we've ever had on Disneyland property hands down!
House of Blues®
New menu looks great! on 5/19/2014
Just had dinner at House of Blues in Downtown Disney California edition. We had a very pleasant outdoor seating where we could enjoy the sounds of live music and a view of the California sunset so the ambience gets a good rating! The new (to me anyway!) menu by Aaron Sanchez, food network star, looks really great and there were several items which I wanted to try out, so I ended up asking the server for a recommendation. He said the Jambalaya was the most popular dish although it might be a bit spicy, so that's what I ordered. When the Jambalaya came I found the presentation to be pretty weak -- kind of like a cafeteria plate where they just slop a pile of rice stew on your plate. On tasting it, I felt like my initial impression was correct. This just tasted like a very mildly spicey (personally I wouldn't even call it spicey!) rice and tomato sauce with a few veggies (like onion and bell pepper) to
Like a cruise ship! on 4/20/2014
We recently spent the better part of a week at the new Aulani -- a Disney Resort. I hadn't done much reading on it before we got there, I just knew it was another one of Disney's deluxe villa resorts and I had seen the model room at Disney World. I was a bit surprised to find that Aulani is a high rise building, I had envisioned little cottages for some reason!
In any case, the room was great -- by far the best room I've ever had in all my stays on various Hawaiian islands. The tub was large and very comfortable, and its always nice to have a full kitchen and a separate bedroom -- I just love the Disney one-bedroom layout and this is perhaps the best one yet! The woodwork is especially impressive.
We tried most of the restaurants -- Ulu the quick service, 'Ama'Ama the sit down restaurant, and Makahiki the character buffet. The restaurants were quite pri
Quick, but not much selection on 4/9/2014
On our recent trip to Aulani resort, we had planned to have a few meals at the Ulu cafe -- keep costs down a little bit and my wife likes to have some simple meals here and there. With this in mind, we headed over to Ulu for a modest lunch on our second day -- and much to our surprise, we were rather horn-swoggled by the underwhelming number of choices we had. We expected the standard Deluxe Villa quick service selection, like you might get at Saratoga Springs for example. What we found was almost nothing fresh, just a few sandwiches & flatbreads, and then a very small selection of cold, pre-packaged, items. This is probably the smallest lunch selection I've ever seen in a Disney resort quick service eatery!
I ended up getting a philly steak sandwich and some tomato bisque soup, Ahnalira got a margherita flatbread. Neither of us was impressed with our main dish, the bread on mine seemed
Aulani Favorite! on 4/6/2014
During our recent stay at Disney's Aulani resort, we spent a lot of meals enjoying the spectacular beach view from the 'Ama'Ama beach restaurant. I have to admit that i was initially skeptical after reading some mixed reviews. But, after trying a few other options both at Aulani and outside Aulani, we came to the conclusion that 'Ama'Ama was our favorite place to eat. It definitely is not cheap, but the truth is that Hawaiian restaurants are not cheap. The view is spectacular, service was consistently excellent and the food varied from ok to excellent.
My first meal was lunch and I ordered the fish tacos, made with some sort of spear caught fish, and it was good. I think the tacos could have used a little more stuff on them, but they were still tasty and the fish was quite flavorful -- cost $18, as I said, not cheap but not unusual for Hawaii.
Best tempura shrimp ever! on 3/28/2014
We treated ourselves to two dinners at the Makahiki dinner buffet during our recent trip to the new Disney Aulani Resort in Hawaii. I say treated because this is not a cheap meal, after tip you will spend around $50 per person. The first time we went was when we were fresh off the plane on a weekend night. The place was insanely busy, it was a bit of a melee at the buffet and the best stuff disappeared quickly. It also turned out to be a very, very windy day and we were seated out on the open area -- not a good idea on a windy day! Believe it or not we were actually shivering as we quaffed our otherwise delicious pineapple iced teas (which I do highly recommend btw).
The second visit was on a weekday and it was much less crowded, we were able to actually see the food on the buffet and take our time putting our meals together -- plus we noticed that the food was actually better prepared. Long
Harambe Fruit Market
healthy snack on the run on 2/7/2014
Harambe Fruit Market is a good place to grab a healthy bite. I like having an alternative to French fries!
Lovely spot on 1/25/2014
Hearthstone is a lovely spot to sit with your lappy and a hot beverage of your choice. I love the stonework and craftsman architecture .
Japanese has arrived on 1/24/2014
Yummy counter service.
The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Wow, take it to a new level! on 10/9/2013
I just got to see the new Grand Floridian Villas one bedroom in the preview center and all I can say is Wow! The kitchen is just amazing and so is the bathroom -- with a standalone tub which had my wife drooling! Big beautiful flatscreen tvs really bring it on home -- way bigger than the other villa rooms!! I can hardly wait to stay in one of these rooms, we have already planned to make this our new favorite resort for our next trip to WDW.
Grand Floridian Cafe
Where is my Citrus French Toast? on 9/27/2013
For our final meal at Disney World, we went for the Grand Floridian Cafe -- I had dreams of Citrus French Toast in my mind as we walked in the door. Unfortunately, that dish is no longer available and the chef told us that the Waffle was the only thing he could make without sugar. So I had a very large Mickey Waffle and some turkey sausage for breakfast. Although they were both good, I was rather disappointed in the meal. Unfortunately, the service was rather weak -- it seemed like our server was distracted or something.
All in all, I have to call this a pretty average dining experience. We paid about $32 for the two of us, which is not a bad price. The ambience was nice, as always, but the food was just average and the service was sub-par -- so it averages out to a 3 out of 5 for me!
Creative and light gourmet fare on 9/25/2013
We just finished off our Disney trip with a dinner at the newly refurbished California Grill at the Contemporary. Honestly, I didn't notice huge differences in the decor -- there is a bit more space and the furniture looks like trendy retro style which might have been used when the Contemporary first opened. There are also more booth/bench type seating available now. The food was rather different from past encounters, I would characterize it as very creative and light feeling.
I started off with the Three Meat Signature Meatballs. I can't say that I was overly impressed by the dish. Topped with a nice chimichurri (which I would have liked to see more of), over orzo, it was a bit on the bland side.. Ahnalira had a Farmer's Salad topped with a slightly undercooked poached egg -- surprisingly for a gourmet style restaurant, the appetizers were pretty substantial. I believe I had 5 meatballs and the salad was quite large. For my entr&eac
Starbucks, yay! on 9/25/2013
We had a chance to visit the newly opened Fountain View in Future World, Epcot just after they opened. It looks to me like they completely ripped out the interior and built it back up in a completely new configuration. Now the inside is entirely marked out for waiting areas, the wheelchair ramp has been moved to the front where it is much easier to use. Seating is non-existent, although there are a few standing tables on the outside patio. We got a couple of our favorite Starbucks drinks from the large and very eager staff, then we walked out to one of the many benches in the area to enjoy our cold drinks on a hot day. I have to say that I for one am completely thrilled to be able to get Starbucks while cruising the parks! They do lose a star for lack of comfortable seating.
Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano
Chicken Parmmmm! on 9/22/2013
Mama Melrose has been one of our standards over the years, we recently dropped in to see what had changed in the last couple of years. Not much is the answer, the menu is still basically the same and the food is also comparable in quality. We had lunch with good friends, which always makes things more fun. For appetizer I started out with tomato/mozzarella salad which was good, but not great -- really didn't hold a candle to the mozzarella at Tutto's which was our lunch the day before so that was fresh in my mind. After that I had the Chicken Parmigiana which was really delicious, one of the better dishes we've had at Disney this week. Ahnalira had the Pesce all Acqua Pazza which had a bit of heat and was pretty good, but we both agreed that my dish was the one that really took the cake. For dessert we both had the sugar free Panna Cotta which was good, but again not great.
Biggest surprise of the trip! on 9/22/2013
We had dinner at Narcoossee's last night and I was completely taken by surprise -- in a very good way that is. This was probably the best meal of the trip (with California Grill a very close 2nd) which was a shocker for me. We started out with sourdough bread which was so fresh and absolutely delicious, I almost skipped the rest of the meal and took that half loaf of freshly backed sourdough off in a corner with the large pat of salted butter. Fortunately I decided to control myself because my crab cake appetizer was really excellent as well, a fresh corn relish really complemented the slightly crispy little crab cakes and tartar sauce. Ahnalira had a heritage tomato salad which was also quite good. For entree I had the Filet Mignon which was just a pack of flavor, with a really solid sear which sealed in some great flavors. The Filet was so tender I could cut it with my fork. Combine that with so
Cinderella's Royal Table
Really great food!! on 9/22/2013
We signed up months ahead of time to get our spot at Cinderella's Royal Table, and I honestly didn't have high hopes for my meal there. We've been here many times, and it's a great princess character breakfast in a spectacular castle setting -- but the food had always been pretty much the standard Disney breakfast fare -- until now! OMG, I still can't believe I had Filet Mignon for breakfast! Although the options on the menu were pretty limited, the food that we got was really delicious. My steak and eggs was elevated beyond belief with the use of perfectly cooked chunks of Filet Mignon and a delicious cheesy, and a bit spicey, chunk of scrambled eggs. Perfectly cooked rosemary potatoes topped off the best breakfast I've had all week.
Ahnalira had the quiche which was also exceptional, and of course we had our special moments with a bevy of love
50's Prime Time Cafe
Fried chicken on 9/21/2013
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Prime Time Cafe has the BEST fried chicken --crispy on the outside, moist and tender on the inside, perfectly cooked every time! We also had a sugarfree cheesecake for dessert. As always, its a good time at Prime Time.
Tutto Italia Ristorante
Absolutely delicious, just like Mama used to make! on 9/21/2013
We dropped in for a quiet lunch at Tutto italia Ristorante today, there have been quite a few changes since our last visit, including a new wine bar. For appetizer we ordered the Mozzarella salad and the Contina, both of which were absolutely excellent. The Mozzarella salad was flavorful and light, just a fantastic fresh mozzarella salad although a few very ripe slices of tomato would have been a nice added touch. The Contina was sort of a layered baked zucchini and cheese with marinara sauce on top of it -- melt in your mouth delicious! This was perhaps the star of the show, and I had never even heard of this dish before!
For our entree I had the Lasagna and she had chicken Scallopini, both of which were delicious. The Lasagna was made with Bechamel making it somewhat reminiscent of a Pastitsio or Moussaka, very fluffy and creamy. The Scallopini was also excellent with a very buttery, lemony
Great character breakfast. on 9/21/2013
Today we had breakfast at O'hanas with some friends. Because we need a sugar free diet and we know they use a lot of sugar at O'hanas we talked to the chef who was very helpful throughout the meal. He whipped us up some no sugar added gluten-free mickey waffles which were delicious! Characters came by in a steady stream and our chef made sure we had everything we needed so we were very happy on both those fronts. This was one of our better breakfast experiences since we've been here and for that reason I'm giving O'hanas 4 stars -- I think this is one of the better family oriented character breakfasts to be had.
Garden Grill Restaurant
Rotating through yummy foods on 9/20/2013
We just had a get together at the Garden Grill with some old friends and had a great time. We have some special needs in our group, so the chef came out and went through every single item on the family style menu with us -- he was just amazing. Since this is a family style restaurant, they just bring platters of food out to you and you take whatever you want, if you run out they bring more. Ahnalira was totally enamored of the mashed potatoes while I was extremely fond of the roast turkey. I'm a bit of a turkey snob so I'll divulge that this appears to be a very high quality pressed turkey, about as good as you can get in a typical restaurant but not quite the same as the whole turkey you might roast at home for Thanksgiving which is the best type of turkey as far as I'm concerned. The fish was a Tilapia and was very flavorful and well seasoned while the beef I believe was a skirt steak -- a bit chewy
Bongos Cuban Cafe™
Surprisingly delightful, moderate latin food! on 9/18/2013
On the spur of the moment, we decided to grab dinner at Bongos Cuban Cafe. After some pondering of the menu, and a little help from the waiter, I decided on the "Bongos Famous Fried Shredded Beef" aka Vaca Frita. Wow, this dish is just a burst of savory flavor. The beef has been soaked in some flavorful sauce and then cooked til tender and fried to give it a bit of a crisp, topped with perfectly sauteed onions. I savored every chewy mouthful of my beef. This also came with sides of rice, tasty cooked plantain and black beans -- but the sides paled in comparison with the star of the meal. My wife ordered fried Yucca (Yuca Frita) and the Avocado salad and was deliriously happy -- proclaiming that Bongos is her new favorite restaurant. Between the Fried Beef, Yucca fries and the Avocado salad, all at a very moderate price of $39 for both of us (no dessert, no drinks) I have to give Bongos a
Great lunch spot at AKL on 9/18/2013
After hitting all of the other eateries at Animal Kingdom Lodge, I decided to make the walk from Jambo house over to Kidani house and catch a lunch at Sana'a with a friend. We were surprised by an afternoon thunderstorm, but fortunately there is a quick shuttle every 5 to 10 minutes running from Jambo to Kidani so we were able to stay dry. As always, Sana'a was not very crowded at lunch so they were happy to accommodate us even without a reservation. I opted for the Bison sandwich, which actually turned out to be more like some sort of an open-faced flatbread/salad with the Bison patty (hand formed!) on top of greens, goat cheese and a freshly cooked pita bread on the bottom. It was quite delicious! My companion opted for the Lamb Kefta sandwich which comes in a similar presentation and he proclaimed his to meal to excel. The usual suspects showed up outside our window, Ankou Cat
Unbelievable no-sugar-added chocolate cake! on 9/18/2013
Since we have been staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge, Jambo house, this trip we decided we might as well make the most of the African inspired eateries here. That had to include a dinner at Jiko's which is the fine dining option for AKL. Jiko's has delightful ambience, wonderful artwork, and the service is tremendous. One quick look over the menu will tell you that this place requires an adventuresome spirit! We decided to go for the full meal deal, so I ordered the Taste of Africa appetizer; a sampling of breads -- Lavosh, Papadam, Na'an -- and 4 different dips. I found the Lavosh to be exceptional, and all of them to be very fresh. I had mixed feelings about the dips, my favorite turned out to be the Kalamata hummus which was very tasty -- the others were a little strange to my tastebuds. My wife had a tomato salad which she raved about, including slices of perfectly ripe peach.&am
Airy hi tech on 9/17/2013
Contempo cafe is possibly the best of the resort quick service eateries. Today I spent breakfast and lunch here,seating is nicely laid out and the open airy feeling is very enjoyable. I had the breakfast burrito which was pretty flavorful and not too heavy. Ordering is done entirely through automated kiosks which have grown on me over time, especially since you get a pager so you can go get a seat and a drink while you wait for food to be cooked. For lunch I tried a flatbread and was pleasantly surprised by cheesy goodness ! All in all it was a good place to kill a morning, food was good and fresh, and tech lovers like myself will have a great time while enjoying the monorail sounds in the background .
Fun African music and flavors on 9/17/2013
Staying at Jambo house(Animal Kingdom Lodge), we decided to save some mullah and catch dinner at the Mara. There was no wait and plenty of seating. Although the music is fun, I found Mara to be an average resort quick service experience. I had a chicken pita which was fresh with African seasonings, it was an adequate light dinner. There was no No-added-sugar option for dessert., although they did have some Baby Cakes brownies those who are Gluten Free. We spent $30 for our two pita sandwiches and two drinks, which is pretty normal for an on property quick service -- but I left feeling like I didn't get much for my money which is largely why I am giving Mara only 3 stars. All in all, I'd only eat here if I were in a hurry.
Splitsville Luxury Lanes
Fun bowling alley. on 1/18/2013
We recently tested out the newly opened Splitsville Luxury Lanes, taking over the old Virgin Records location on Downtown Disney's West Side. For a bowling alley, this place is simply amazing! You even have little booths with tables right at your bowling lane.
However, we came here to check out the food and I was not terribly impressed with the menu. I eventually settled on a Margerita pizza. To my mind this was more of a flatbread in that the crust was cracker thin. The flavor was good but nothing to rave about.
As you might expect, the atmosphere is quite loud between the tvs and the bowling alley. To me it came across as akin to ESPN but it has booths and bowling.
Service, at least for us, was pretty weak. We spent a lot of time waiting, I think our server may have just started that day. This is not unusual for a newly opened restaurant, hopefully they will get this ironed out. They di
An expensive adventure! on 12/23/2012
We had plans to grab a fun meal at Epcot with some visiting family already in place. When we found out that Monsieur Paul (the restaurant formerly known as Bistro De Paris above Chefs de France) had recently opened its doors, we decided to change our plans and investigate the new digs. Basically they have done some updates and changed the menu around a bit, but this is pretty much the same restaurant as before -- with a more casual attitude. Much the same transition which Victorian & Alberts has undergone over the years. Lets face it, we're Americans! We really just want to be able to wander into a restaurant and eat without getting all dressed up.
Our visit rapidly turned into a comedy of errors which was a combination of our quirkiness and some poor planning on the part of the staff. For example, our table was placed right up against the window which had a bar sticking out o
Boardwalk Pizza Window
Best Pizza on property! on 12/16/2012
Staying at the Beach Club recently, I was on my own for lunch so I decided to make the hike on over to the Boardwalk Pizza Window for a couple of slices of pizza. The first thing I found out is that they don't open until noon. As soon as they opened I got a couple of slices fresh out of the oven -- so I recommend showing up right at noon because pizza is always better fresh IMHO. First off, this is a thick crust pizza so you might just want one slice. Although I'm not generally a fan of thick crusts, this one was done perfectly with the cornmeal on the bottom and everything. There was a good amount of sauce and the sauce was very fresh tasting. Lots of hot stringy cheese, makes for a great pizza!! This is the best pizza I've ever had at Disneyworld -- or Disneyland for that matter. If you're a big pizza fan I recommend stopping by the Pizza Window -- it's just outside of Kouzzin
Sports TV Heaven! on 12/5/2012
As you might expect, ESPN Club is a sports haven with jerseys, footballs and tv screens littering the walls. From my seat I had a view of at least 10 large flat screens showing about 3 different channels. Seating is ok, mine was a stool with a table.
The menu is actually pretty large with a broad variety of sandwiches, burgers and hot dogs. I went for the big "California Burger" -- what this has to do with California is a bit of a mystery actually. More like a chili burger with an egg on top set on a bed of french fries. Although the burger patty and bun were unremarkable, I realized I didn't really care. I dived in with both hands -- it's big so two hands are definitely required here! The combination was delicious, the chili is really quite good and combined really well with the egg, burger and bun. After I was done with the burger I was looking at chi
Be Our Guest Restaurant
Good for lunch or dinner! on 12/3/2012
We had an opportunity to try the brand new Be Our Guest restaurant in the new area of Fantasyland over the Thanksgiving weekend. Needless to say, the place was packed! We did both lunch and dinner to get the full experience. The fun new thing they are doing is a quick service lunch and a full service dinner -- although the dinner was actually just as fast, if not faster. than lunch!
We found a long line awaiting us for lunch, we were among the last to be let in before the 2PM cut off. They are making use of some pretty fancy new technology in their lunchtime ordering system. First you have access to some electronic menus while waiting in the line. My only comment on that is the menus cycle through at a pretty slow speed and they are not up high where everybody can see them -- so if you want to get a closer look at a particular item you will have to wait til you are in front of the screen and then w
Disney's Art of Animation Resort
Best of the Value Resorts on 12/2/2012
We stayed in the Cars Suite at the Art of Animation resort over Thanksgiving weekend. For us this was a new experience, we don't stay in value resorts very often. The room was inexpensively furnished with lots of clever Cars themed touches -- dressers that looked like tool boxes for instance -- and had ample space for the two of us. Dear to my heart, they had a nice up to date multi-media station so I could easily plug in my iPod to the tv.
The down side of all value resorts is that you only have one eatery option. The landscape of flavors is one of my favorite counter service options and we got to eat there several times during our stay. One note: this place gets packed at breakfast time, I think everybody in the resort catches breakfast on the way out to the parks! Lunch and Dinner were much more moderately crowded.
All in all, the Cars section was fun and the 1
Columbia Harbour House
Great Tuna Fish Sammy on 11/15/2012
We stopped in for a quick lunch at Columbia Harbor House on our way over to preview the new Fantasyland addition. In many ways, this is typical of Disney's "Quick Service" aka counter service eateries but the food is a bit better than average. One nice feature is that they place is divided up into small rooms which gives you a more cozy and quieter experience than many of the other quick service options. I had a Tuna sandwich which was quite good, the bread definitely exceeded my expectations as a nice hearty wheat bread. Ahnalira was also quite happy with her sandwich. Columbia House definitely deserves its reputation as one of the best counter service options at the Magic Kingdom!
Epcot Food and Wine Festival
Food & Wine begins today! on 9/28/2012
The food and wine festival is my favorite event of the year at Walt Disney World! This year it begins today on September 28th and runs all the way til November 7th. I can hardly wait to eat my way around the World Showcase yet again.
Disney's BoardWalk Villas
A location that can't be beat! on 9/9/2012
My favorite thing about the Boardwalk Villas is the location. Located between Epcot and Hollywood Studios so you can walk or take a pleasant Friendship boat ride to either one. Boardwalk is also home to several restaurants, Kouzzina and Flying Fish Cafe being two of the best restaurants on property.
We had a one bedroom villa which is always a nice spacious setup for the two of us.
Those are the things I liked about the Boardwalk Villas. There were several things that I didn't really like, I will list them briefly here. Many of these issues may be irrelevant to most, but these are the reasons I give Boardwalk Villas a 3 star out of 5.
- Parking -- if you bring your own car then you're going to be doing a lot of walking. This is one resort where you might want to pay the extra fee for Valet parking.
- Internet --
Hole in the wall! on 9/4/2012
The Boardwalk Bakery is not much more than a hole-in-the-wall, a little nook that appears to have been carved out of a kitchen area along the boardwalk. I got my traditional breakfast (egg&cheese croissant) here during our recent stay at the Boardwalk Villas. It was serviceable, I usually got my food quickly although options are pretty limited since everything here has been pre-packaged. The only seating is out front on the boardwalk. All in all, the food is decent so I give it three stars.
Big River Grille & Brewing Works
Only Kobe Burger at Disney! on 9/4/2012
Let me start by saying that the highlight of my lunch at Big River Grille was a Kobe Beef burger, the only one I have ever had at Disneyworld! It was not the best Kobe burger I've ever had, but it was still one of the best burgers I've ever had on property.
Other than that, our lunch at Big River was rather unremarkable, and for that reason I give it a 3 out of 5. It is very conveniently located if you are staying at the Boardwalk, an easy place to grab a decent meal. The indoor seating is a bit cramped and the food is pretty average, with the exception of the kobe burger! However, they put a plain bun with shredded iceberg lettuce on the burger -- IMHO they didn't really do the burger justice the way Kobe deserves to be presented. But that rich Kobe flavor was still there.
Ahnalira had the turkey sandwich which looked to be a decent but rather standard deli style tu
Everything Pop Shopping and Dining
Basic Eats. on 9/4/2012
The big standout at Everything Pop Dining (food court for Disney's Pop Century) for us was the sugarfree Mango Sherbet, really delicious and refreshing on a hot day! We found it in the ice cream freezer, not at the ice cream window.
The Hollywood Brown Derby
The Derby has gone Gourmet! on 9/4/2012
The Brown Derby was once one of our favorite eateries on property, but we haven't been there in years so we decided to give it a whirl. The waiting room was hopping, you really need a reservation if you're hoping to eat dinner here!
As soon as I saw the menu I could see that this was not the Brown Derby menu I was used to, the Derby has gone uptown since the days of old. The food proved out the theory, it was richly flavored and very creatively prepared. I started with the andouile crusted shrimp which turned out to be the single best shrimp I've ever had in my life, really delicious. I followed this with the roast chicken which was also tremendous, it had an absolutely wonderful crust on it and had been seared to perfection. For the finale we had the sugarfree cobbler, which was rather bland by comparison with the rest of the meal!
Overall, this was by far the best meal of ou
Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
Princesses, princesses and more princesses! on 9/3/2012
Akershus is the place for you if you love princesses, the place is swimming in princesses! Akershus is no longer a buffet, now it is a character breakfast 3 meals a day with lots of princesses. We did lunch here and the food was ok, nothing really special. The meal begins with a Norwegian style appetizer buffet -- translation, lots of smoked fishes and cheese. For my entree I got the chicken sandwich which was good, Ahnalira got the roast chicken which was pretty tasty. For dessert we had the Norwegian special sugar free chocolate mousse, which was really the star of the meal for me.
Landscape of Flavors
Best counter service options ever! on 9/1/2012
Landscape of Flavors, the food court for the brand new Art of Animation resort, is now my favorite Disney counter service. We just had a delightful meal there, with some surprises -- it was much better than I expected. I was immediately drawn to the very fresh looking sandwiches with artisan breads. The ciabatta caprese sandwich looked really tasty, I'm a sucker for a good ciabatta, but while I was waiting for them to make me one a platter of fresh turkey sandwiches came out. They looked so good that I immediately ordered one of those -- nice thick slabs of turkey, hearty looking bread coated with poppyseeds and tomato and watercress. The sandwich was quite flavorful, the crust was a bit over hard and chewy for my tastes, but once I stripped the crust off it was a delightful sandwich! I was even able to get a side salad instead of chips, where they built it from the fresh salad bar (no protein on the side salad).
Still one of my favorite rides at Disney World! on 4/3/2012
Although I'm confused about the spelling of Kilimangaro Safaris, this is one of my favorite rides at Walt Disney World. You get to see all sorts of animals up close, on this ride I was nearly kissed by a Giraffe and we got stopped and had to wait while several frisky Rhinos and Ostriches were blocking the road with what appeared to be a bit of a territorial squabble. It's just about the best thing for experiencing African wildlife that I've seen anywhere -- outside of Africa that is! It's a great ride that has to be experienced at least once. We ran straight for it after we entered the Animal Kingdom and nabbed fast passes so we could amble about Africa while we waited.
Royal Court (Fantasy)
My favorite of the three! on 4/1/2012
The Royal Court is the fancy restaurant of the three main dining rooms on board the Disney Fantasy. Similar to the Royal Palace on the sister ship Disney Dream, it's got a rather upscale feel of elegance to it and the menu reflects that theme as well. I started off with the Spinach and Cheese Souffle which was an absolutely delicious little hockey puck of creamy flavor. I moved on to the French Onion soup which had that crusty cheesy covering which is the hallmark of any proper French Onion soup -- just the right amount of onions in a delicious broth, I loved it. For my entree I got the Dijon crusted lamb chops which were perfectly cooked and tender. For Dessert I got the Chocolate Ganache which was a super dark chunk of chocolaty goodness -- my favorite dessert of the trip!
Judging by the happy sounds around the table and people trying to extract every drop of goodness from their plates with st
Animator's Palate (Fantasy)
Surprisingly good! on 4/1/2012
Animator's Palate was the last restaurant in our rotation for the cruise we just went on. Let me just say up front that this tends to be my least favorite of the three big restaurants on each of the Disney ships. The first surprise was a new technology that Disney has developed where you get to draw your own figures which get animated on the screens around the room -- this can be highly entertaining for people like me who don't draw very well!
The menu here is a little quirky, the only appetizer option is a sampler trio which was actually pretty good even though these are not things I would normally order. The Tuna Sashimi tasted really fresh and the crust was delicious. There is only one soup choice, Buttered Popcorn Soup which really sounds weird. Being sugar-free this was not an option so we got the Chicken Soup from the childrens menu which was a nice, basic, chicken soup. The Buttered
Enchanted Garden (Fantasy)
Disney gets the food right! on 3/31/2012
We were lucky enough to preview the Disney Fantasy on a three night voyage and we had a great time! Each evening you rotate to a different one of the three restaurants on board, our first night was at the Enchanted Garden. We were lucky enough to get a table right next to a big port hole so we had a lovely view of the sunset and the waves to go with our meal. The theming here is sort of Alice in Wonderland -- what a nice restaurant in Fantasyland would look like.
Food was great, as I've said in other reviews, Disney has really gotten their cruise food issues worked out. I had a stuffed brioche appetizer which was quite savory and delicious. For my entree I had the free range chicken which was also quite good. I learned a while back that Disney Cruise Line does great chicken and I find that is generally a good bet for dinner entrees -- especially if you like good chicken. For dessert I had a lit
Wonderful layout for a cruise buffet! on 3/31/2012
Cabanas is the Disney Fantasy equivalent of the Lido, this is where you can grab a meal B, L, or D with no fuss and no muss. Having been on many cruise ships and experienced a panopoly of different pool level buffets, I have to say that Cabanas has the best layout of them all. It is spacious, and airy and intelligently laid out in terms of movement, seating and traffic movement. There are a bunch of different stations serving everything from pizza to pasta to salad to roasts. Each station is individually accessible which means you can usually avoid long lines -- with the exception of the salad bar which seems to get pretty backed up.
This is the same layout as the sister Disney Dream and far superior to the old Disney Wonder and Disney Magic.
Food quality is generally good, my favorite thing is the real turkey breast sliced off of a whole turkey which only seems to be available
Another beautiful ship! on 3/30/2012
We just got off the brand new Disney Fantasy and it is a truly beautiful ship! Having been on about 20 cruise ships over the past 10 years, I can say with certainty that the Disney Fantasy is one of the best that I've ever seen. We got one of the veranda suites which sleeps 5 and found that it is really comfortable and nicely laid out with an excellent use of the space available. The shower is wonderfully spacious and it even has a very small tub -- both of which are unusual for a small room like this. Top this off with a nice desk and a tv mounted on an extendable arm so you can watch it from anywhere in the room. The beds are nice and firm with lots of room underneath to store your luggage.
Food on the ship is excellent: Disney Cruise food has really come a long way since the Magic and Wonder were first launched and I can now say that the food on the Fantasy is generally top notch!
As always with Disney, the common areas ar
The Barnstormer, Starring The Great Goofini
Fast and fun! on 3/30/2012
We caught the re-opening of the Barnstormer, now rebranded to fit the theming of the new Storybook Circus area of Fantasyland (once known as Mickey's ToonTown). The ride hasn't changed much as far as I can tell, although some new theming has been put in. This is still a fun little coaster reminiscent of the little coasters I rode as a child. Just be sure not to blink to hard or the ride will be over before you know it, this is a short little ride-- but fun!
Boatwright's Dining Hall
A well kept secret! on 3/28/2012
We recently visited Boatwrights for a very pleasant dinner experience at Port Orleans Riverside. Over the years we've found that Boatwrights is a very well kept secret and tends to be uncrowded, we walked right in without any reservations at all at a time when the parks were packed with people. The bad news is that they no longer serve breakfast here -- breakfast was a great meal, one of my faves on property.
Our dinner did not disappoint, I started with the spinach salad which was fresh with delicious goat cheese bits that really added good flavor. We also found out that the raspberry vinaigrette was no sugar added and it was really good. For my entree I went with the Jambalaya which was quite good, Ahnalira had an un-blackened fish fillet which she just raved about. For dessert they had a lemon poundcake which seemed very strawberry shortcake-ish to me and was quite enjoyable.
Tony's Town Square Restaurant
A very happy surprise! on 3/28/2012
Over the years Tony's has become a mainstay in our Magic Kingdom dining schedule. The menu has varied dramatically over that time, sometimes I've found myself at a loss for what to eat. This new menu has got me very happy, I found several items on the Lunch menu that I thought I'd like to try out which is a rather new experience for me at Tony's!
We were seated out on the patio and the weather that day was just perfect, a very nice comfortable temperature and a little bit of a breeze with a nice light airy feeling.
I decided to go with the Chicken Florentine Calzone for my lunch. What I got was really more reminiscent of a very tasty chicken pot pie -- not what I expected but very good nonetheless. Ahnalira got the Zuccini Fries which were perfectly cooked with a delicious crust on them.
Overall, I found this meal to be a very pleasant surprise and I am
Cape May Cafe
Great crab legs! on 3/28/2012
We recently had a gathering of friends at Cape May Cafe for dinner -- it's been quite a while since I visited so I was curious to see what it would be like here, especially since I'm not really a sea food fan. I was very pleasantly surprised, I tried the crab legs and found them to be perfectly fresh and nicely cooked without a hint of the fishy flavor at all. There were several dishes on this buffet which were equally delicious and overall I found this to be a very enjoyable meal -- probably the best one I've ever had at Cape May Cafe! They even brought us our own sugar free chocolate cakes which were quite tasty -- nice dark chocolate just the way I like it!
The other change I noted is the price which appears to have gone up (perhaps this explains the great quality of the food!) -- we paid about $40 a person for an all inclusive meal.
Overall, I have to say that this was one of my fav
Lunch is now a buffet! on 3/28/2012
We recently visited the Pepper Market at Coronado Springs and found that it has become a buffet style restaurant -- in other words you pay a flat rate and you can pick whatever you want from several different stations. The stations are pretty much the same as before: Mexican, Pasta, Soup/Sandwich, Salad Bar, and a few other stations. As usual, I went straight for the Mexican station where I got a pork burrito, chicken enchilada, chicken quesadilla and some rice and beans. The food was pretty flavorful, especially the shredded chicken, although I was disappointed to find that the enchiladas were made with flour tortillas. The pork burrito was very good.
Cost came out to about $40 for the two of us -- of course this is a great deal for big eaters.
Overall, it's a decent lunch if you're staying at Coronado Springs but I wouldn't drive out of my way to get to it. If you are lookin
Another delicious meal! on 3/28/2012
After lunch at the Pepper Court, we decided to step up to the Maya Grille for dinner and were totally wowed yet again! The ambience here is always wonderful, with the Mayan Temple theming and comfortable booths -- its one of the best ambience restaurants on property.
I liked the appetizer menu so much that I decided to skip the entree and get the Black Bean Soup and the Tostadas de Tinga. The soup is fun since they give you a bowl with ingredients and then they pour the black bean soup on top. This is a very nice black bean soup but its the Pulled Chicken tostadas that I'm going to remember -- three delicious, freshly cooked tostadas with tons of flavor and a little bit of a kick. I really enjoyed them and Ahnalira raved about her Grilled tilapia which was perfectly cooked and very fresh.
All in all, I have to give Maya Grille 5 stars for yet another delicious meal.
Dinner with the Zebras on 3/27/2012
Sana'a has become one of our favorites, right along with the Animal Kingdom Lodge and Kidani Villas. We stopped in for dinner and got one of the best seats in the house with a panoramic view of the animals -- just in time to see the Zebras and Giraffes fighting over a few bales of hay (Zebras won!).
Sana'a is always a rather exotic experience -- probably the most exotic of the restaurants on Disney property -- so I'm never sure what to get when I come here. That's part of the reason we enjoy it so much and why I highly recommend this restaurant -- you've got to try it at least once! I've found you really can't go wrong with the bread sampler plate, yummy Na'an and Kulcha flat breads with sauces of your choice. After that I went for the hot stew selection and ordered one of the new menu items called Butter Chicken -- this is my new favorite, it is absolutely scrumptious and I can't w
Le Cellier Steakhouse
Best Pretzel Bread ever! on 3/27/2012
We've been wanting to get into Le Cellier for a few years now, and now that Disney has revamped their dining plan it is actually possible (costs 2 points now instead of only 1). Le Cellier has a nice castle cellar ambience, dark and romantic feeling to it. Seating is a bit on the cramped side, I felt like we got to know the couples on either side of us quite well during the meal! The first thing we got was the bread with the best pretzel bread I've ever tasted combined with delicious fresh butter, yumm! I could have just sat there and eaten that for my meal! But I moved on to the House Burger which turned out to be the best burger of the trip, perfectly seared and juicey with a nice rustic bun and delicious black diamond cheddar on top, combined with crispy strips of fried onion to give it extra texture -- really an excellent burger and puts Le Cellier firmly into the 5 star category in my book!
Great way to save money in Animal KIngdom on 3/26/2012
We recently had a very inexpensive lunch at Pizzafari in the Animal Kingdom - our first time there in many years. I decided to go with the Hot Italian-Style Sandwich. Meat lovers will love this, it's piled high with lunch meats. What I enjoyed most was that it was nice and warm and flavorful. Ahnalira got the Vegetable Pizza with Caesar salad. The pizza's are reminiscent in shape and flavor of Pizza Hut personal pizzas -- which is great if you're a fan of Pizza Hut. I think they might more accurately be called focaccia pizzas -- the texture and loft of the crust was rather focaccia like (definitely not a thin crust) -- with a spattering of cheese and diced vegetables. Price was very moderate, in the lower 20s for both of us. Thus, I call this the economical choice if you want to eat lunch at the Animal Kingdom in a comfortable setting. The ambience is fantastic, the a
Great Rice Cheese balls on 3/13/2012
Every few years we end up meeting a few friends at the Portobello Yacht Club, in the area formerly known as Pleasure Island at Downtown Disney. The ambience is pleasant and usually pretty quiet. I've almost never had to wait for a table here, even with no reservation. This may partly be due to the tucked away location, you might not even know that Portobello is there next to Fulton's if you aren't looking for it.
Typically I find the food here to be decent Italian fare, and that was my experience on this occasion as well. I had the Quattro Formaggi (4 cheese) pizza and it was ok. The cheeses were very delicious but I feel the pizza was a bit dry overall and the crust was a bit on the bready side for my taste. Ahnalira had some rice and cheese balls which were very tasty and our other two companions seemed to be pretty happy with their spaghetti and meatballs, and vegetarian san
La Brea Bakery Cafe
A decent burger! on 2/10/2012
We popped into the La Brea Bakery Cafe for lunch recently -- we were actually in the California Adventure and it was lunch time. We decided to give La Brea a try because we'd never been there before and we prefer a sit down restaurant experience -- of which there are very few options in California Adventure.
I ordered a burger and it was a decent burger, really nothing to write home about. It was Angus beef but it was a bit on the dry side and overcooked to my tastes. The bread got rave reviews and was probably the highlight of the meal as far as our group was concerned. As far as ambience... again, it was ok. We had an outdoor table which was pleasant, if a little on the cool side -- on a relatively warm January day.
I think everybody enjoyed their meals well enough, but overall it just struck me as a pretty average experience -- not especially bad, but not especially good
The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel's Undersea Adventure
Kind of like Small World but with Fins! on 1/30/2012
We tried out the new Little Mermaid ride on our recent visit to Disney's California Adventure. This ride harkens back to the old days of Disney. It was reminiscent to me of rides like "It's a Small World" -- except there are a lot of fins being displayed. I must say that the Animatronics on this ride are state of the art, my how far they've come in the past 20 years or so!
Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe
Tasty sandwiches on Main Street on 1/11/2012
We stopped in for opening day at the new Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe for a quick lunch before heading home. I got the turkey sandwich which was a decent sandwich, though the turkey was pressed turkey. The bread was a tasty ciabatta which I always love. It's a decent counter service option, but I'd recommend going down to way for a real turkey sandwich near the Libery Bell!
Katsura Grill has just opened! on 12/10/2011
The new Katsura Grill has just opened, replacing the old Yakitori House. This is a quick service option in the Japanese pavilion of the World Showcase at Epcot. I can hardly wait to try those Japanese pancakes, they sound yummy -- and the Edamame which I already love!
I had Buffalo and I liked it! on 12/2/2011
I had Buffalo for Thanksgiving this year, and I liked it. Not quite the warm triptophan fuzzies I usually associate with T-Day, but it was still quite good. Overall I found our dinner to be good, but it didn't seem like the flavors were commensurate with the price ($130 for two of us, prix fix, no alcohol). The one outstanding item was the truffle tatter tots which were just AMAZING! They came as a side to my Buffalo, which explains how I ended up eating Buffalo tenderloin instead of Turkey!
If you like exotic proteins then this is definitely the place for you, I've had everything from Ostrich to Venison at Artist Point. Ambience is delightful, service was excellent. The reason I give only a 4 is that the flavors aren't what I would expect at this price point -- I'm thinking my head should be exploding, instead of just thinking that its pretty good.
Disney Junior - Live on Stage!
Fun for the kids on 12/2/2011
Kids love this stuff!
The American Adventure
Inspiring, cool, dark. on 12/2/2011
This is a fun show to see at least once, especially if you catch the Voices of Liberty on the way into the theater. A very inspiring overview of our American History. Even if you've seen it before, this is a great cool dark place to rest your legs and get a break from the Florida heat!
Where's the fried chicken? on 10/13/2011
We popped into Olivia's Cafe for a dinner with friends a few nights back. I was looking forward to what I thought was the signature fried chicken dish -- only to find that they no longer serve fried chicken! I'm afraid that tainted the experience for me. I got the pork chop which was quite good and cooked nicely. However the weird mac & cheese like pasta and greens just didn't do it for me and I didn't finish either one. I will say that the meatloaf and green beans that others got (special) was a bit better than my dish overall. We finished off the meal with the sugarfree lemon poundcake. The very friendly and helpful server told us he thought it a bit on the dry side, and I am inclined to agree with his assessment although Ahnalira said it seemed perfect to her. Staff is very friendly, very down home feeling here. Booths are great. But, IMHO, the food is really pretty average and hence the 3 star rating.
Finally lives up to the rep! on 10/12/2011
We just had a delightful dinner at the California Grill, and we were both totally thrilled with our dinners -- a first at tthe California Grill for us. We've been here a few times over the past 12 years but never been really impressed before. We started off with an heirloom tomato salad for me and zucchini blossom fritters for her. I thought the tomatoes could have been a bit more ripe and flavorful, but the balsamic was amazing and so were the micro-greens. Ahnalira's zucchini blossoms with sweet corn puree was just out of this world -- she was ready to have that be her whole meal! For main dish, I had the server recommended Oak Fired Filet of beef with mascarpone potatoes and green beans. This was a home run, the meat was perfect, the potatoes had a delightful creaminess with a touch of cheese flavor, the beens were very fresh and crisp and the beef was cooked to perfection with a beautiful black sear on the outside while retaining a nice reddish color inside -- great flavor
Back for another round! on 10/12/2011
Went with a group of four this time, so we got to taste a few other things. I went with the pizza Carciofi again (you can smell that truffle oil coming in!) and it knocked my socks off yet again! Our friend JJ ordered the prosciutto/meat pizza and we both agreed that his pizza was quite delicious as well. Ahnalira ordered an eggplant entree which she just loves -- it was so good that I could barely believe that eggplant could be that good (I hated eggplant before I met my wife!) She told me it is the best eggplant she has ever tasted anywhere! Christee ordered spaghetti with veal meatballs which she enjoyed as well -- I tasted the meatball and it was one of the best meatballs I've ever tasted. So I'm sticking with my five rating, still one of my favorite Epcot restaurants!
No tea?? Disappointment! on 10/12/2011
If you read my review from a few years back, you'll see that the thing I really loved about the Boma breakfast buffet was the loose leaf teas that they brewed at your table. We just had breakfast at Boma and they brought us tea bags, just like everywhere else at Disney. Needless to say it was a sad moment for me. The breakfast was good, and the chef came out and toured us through the buffet pointing out the sugar-free items (less than half the buffet!). She also whipped up a plate of Mickey waffles special for us which I really appreciated. That chef did a great job and pulled my review up from a sad 2 stars up to a 3.4 star rating. Overall, I can't say that the Boma buffet really stands out. Probably the best thing that everybody enjoyed was the goat cheese and chive scambled eggs. I thought the Bobotie was good too -- sort of like an African version of a Tamale pie.
Wolfgang Puck® Cafe
Great burger! Grand Cafe Dinner was great. on 10/12/2011
We had our first dinner experience in the downstairs "Grand Cafe" section of Wolfgang Puck's the other night, turned out we started our trip out with a bang! This was a really delicious meal, I had a perfectly cooked burger and for dessert we had the sugarfree cheesecake mousse which was delicious! We had a great view and were lucky enough to get a really comfy booth. Our server was excellent and very helpful. Overall I give it a four -- very good but I wouldn't call this "great".
Marble tile and Palm Trees on 10/11/2011
ABC Commissary received quite a face lift since the last time we visited! We stopped in for a cool drink in a cool spot, my jaw just about dropped on the floor when we walked in the front door to a palm tree lined, marble tiled entry way. The new furniture is nicely cushioned and very comfortable, and there is a generally upscale ambience about the place now (what used to be a plastic chair sort of cafeteria type counter service).
Can't say much about the food although I did notice that they now have curry chicken and asian salad which seems fancier than the previous offerings.
Wow, what an update! on 10/11/2011
Just rode the new Star Tours for the first time, 3D glasses and all. It by far exceeded my expectations, its a totally new adventure and includes brief (and amusing) appearances by our favorite characters from many of the newer episodes of Star Wars. Not to be missed, this has been transformed from a good ride to a great ride!
Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater
Fun for basic burgers. on 10/11/2011
Just had a burger at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, first time we've been there in quite a few years now. The movie is still the same as it always has been -- pretty amusing bit of vintage clip-age. The menu is pretty basic, mostly burgers with a few burger alternative -- so I ordered a burger. It was a decent burger, but nothing really special. The servers and the hostesses were quite a bit of fun, had a bit of that Prime Time Cafe thing going on. This is a place you should try out once, but not so much for the food as for the experience!
Blowback to the 80s! on 10/11/2011
We stopped in an had our first Captain EO experience yesterday. This has replaced the venerable Honey I Shrunk the Kids 3D show in Epcot Future World, right next to the Figment ride. I'm not sure what I expected, but this sure wasn't it! This is a 3D, quirkey science fiction movie put together by Michael Jackson, Francis Ford Coppola, and George Lucas back in the 80s. Ahnalira just loved it! I thought it was pretty fascinating to see the production values and hair styles dating back to my college years -- and of course its an amazing thing to watch MJ dance in his priime. This is a movie with a very positive message delivered in a very unique and creative style reminiscent of Michael Jackson's classic Thriller music video.
Disney's Old Key West Resort
Nice rehab, spacious rooms. on 10/11/2011
We are staying at Old Key West for 3 nights in a one bedroom villa. This is the first time I've seen the newly rehabbed rooms and I must say it is a tremendous improvement. I really appreciate the new granite counter tops, the updated A/V TV & DVD setup, the pergo wood floors and most of all, the space! I think this is the largest of the 1 bedroom villas at a Deluxe Villa that I've ever seen. All that's really missing here is the dining options -- no counter service at all, and Olivia's is a bit of a disappointment for me. Overall I give it a solid 4, especially given that this is a relatively inexpensive 1 bedroom villa with all the latest accomodations.
Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room
Childhood fave! Being rehabbed on 8/11/2011
The Enchanted Tiki Room is being renamed and rehabbed. It was always a childhood favorite, and its a wonderful place to rest on a hot day. I hear they are bringing back the 'old management' so I can hardly wait to see what it looks like!
Goofy's Sky School
Coming this Summer! on 7/15/2011
Opening this summer, I can hardly wait!
Disney's Art of Animation Resort
Now accepting reservations on 6/26/2011
Now accepting reservations for the new value resort, Disney's Art of Animation. It sure looks like fun from the pix!
The Plaza Restaurant
Wonderful lunch spot in Magic Kingdom on 4/26/2011
The Plaza Restaurant is probably my all time favorite lunch spot in the Magic Kingdom -- a park sadly weak in the lunch department if I'm being honest. They have great sandwiches here; oft times you may see a Mary Poppins in here, and its usually a pleasant ambience. Since its small and stashed in a corner, you may find it very lightly inhabited as we often do.
Lovely croissant stop on 4/26/2011
When your feets are tired of tromping around the World Showcase, the Boulangerie is a lovely place to stop for a cold drink and a delicious Croissant. Gives you a feel of a streetside cafe with the outdoor seating. One of the best croissants (and biggest!) on property. There are also lots of danishes and such if you're into that sort of thing. This place is tucked in back behind Chefs de France, in France so you may need to poke around a bit to find it!
La Hacienda de San Angel
Best of the trip on 4/26/2011
I'm going to give the Hacienda another five stars! We had dinner here with friends and family and everybody agreed that this was the best tasting meal of our trip (which included quite a few excellent restaurants!). We scheduled ourselves to see Illuminations and got a spectacular view. The only downside was the service, which was slow and erratic (the place was packed!). But the food is so good that I hardly cared. Also, its noisy in there, not a good place for a quiet chat. I recommend the Taquizas and the tortilla soup - both exceptionally good!
Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort
Beautiful view on 4/25/2011
Bay lake tower is my third favorite resort on wow property. If you love the Magic Kingdom, this is the best!
Cool spot to practice your German... on 4/25/2011
We recently enjoyed an afternoon snack at Sommerfest Snacks. The bratwurst looked tasty but more than I wanted to eat, so instead I ordered a pretzel -- which turned out to be absolutely ginormous! Unfortunately the pretzel was really dry and rather bland. What was really nice was being in a cool shady spot with a cold drink on a hot day of walking about the World Showcase. The pretzel makes it hard for me to give anything more than a 3 -- I wouldn't recommend the pretzel but the Lemonade was delicious!
Breakfast update on 4/11/2011
Almost two years later, we returned to the Contempo Cafe for breakfast. The Contempo Cafe is a little different from what has become the standard Disney World Resort counter service restaurant. At first it is a little confusing, you are presented with an electronic ordering system (the down side being you can't see the food before ordering it, the up side being short lines and quick order placement). Then you go to the register to pay and get a pager. Its all very techno as one would expect in the Contemporary.
I have mixed feelings about this system. However, the French Toast and turkey sauasage which I received was fresh and very tasty -- I'm a bit of a snob about my French toast and I have to say that this French toast was quite good by any standards. By counter service standards, this was the best French toast I've ever had!
Lunching Pad at Rockettower Plaza
No sugar free, basic snack on 1/22/2011
The fun thing about the Lunching Pad is the location, underneath the 'People Mover' as I still like to call it, and the rockets. Otherwise this is a pretty basic fast food counter service. I was hoping for a sugar free something or other but no such luck.
La Hacienda de San Angel
Delicious and Authentic! on 12/9/2010
We just had a delicious dinner at the new La Hacienda de San Angel at the Mexican pavilion. The restaurant is beautifully decorated -- they told us that everything in there was imported from Mexico. The menu has many things that looked interesting, with the waitress's recommendation I settled on the flank steak which is a Mexican classic. I preceded that with black bean soup which was very flavorful and light for a black bean soup -- with a bit of heat in it. My only complaint was that the soup to tortilla strip ratio was a bit off, I would put about half as many chips in the soup. It did not disappoint, it was very nicely seasoned and cooked perfectly. It came with the little handmade corn tortillas which I have come to associate with authentic mexican cooking, as well as black refried beans and rice which were also delicious. The steak was topped with a corn tamale and a cream sauce. All in all, it wa
A new fave lunch spot at Epcot! on 12/8/2010
We tried lunch at the new Via Napoli for the first time -- and we were totally impressed in so many ways! This is an airy, light restaurant which is beautiful to look at -- but a bit noisy when it gets crowded. The menu is so interesting that we are eager to come back and try some other items. Price is moderate by Disney standards -- my individual pizza was about $18, expect to spend around $40 for two for lunch with a pretty basic lunch.
I ordered the Mozzarella Caprese for an appetizer, the mozzarella and olive oil were truly excellent but the mediocre tomatoes undermined the dish a bit. I then ordered the pizza Carciola (or something like that) -- this is a "white" pizza (no tomato sauce) with truffle oil, fresh (I think?) artichoke pieces and cheese. The crust was good but a bit on the soft side (I like my pizza crust to be crusty!). However the flavor was out of this world, I could
Turf Club Bar and Grill
Quiet spot on a busy day. on 12/8/2010
we visited the Turf Club for a second time on the busiest day that I've ever seen at Saratoga Springs, the lobby was packed and the place was booked to capacity. The Turf Club is a well kept secret, hidden back behind the Artist's Palette, it is quiet and pleasant. The menu has changed since the last time we were here, and there are several things that look interesting (always a good sign!). I settled on the Crispy Chicken Breast sandwich which was quite good -- when they say crispy they aren't kidding! This is a deep fried chicken breast and i think maybe mine had been slighly over crisped. Still the flavor was good, the bun was a good quality bread and the toppings were delicious. Ahnalira ordered a Spiced Salmon salad and the Salmon was perfectly done and very fresh tasting.
Overall a very pleasant and enjoyable lunch on a crowded day. Price is commensurate with the mo
Silly Symphony Swings
Old fashioned fun! on 11/27/2010
This is actually a lot more fun than I thought it would be, and a short line to boot!
A true gourmet treat Spanish style on 9/28/2010
We managed to find a night at Catal Restaurant when the restaurant was almost empty -- we've tried to eat here several times and been given wait times in the range of 1 hour so this was amazing! The ambience is really quite nice, colorful and stylish decorations greet the eye after you arrive on the second floor where the main area of the restaurant is located. I also like the fact that this restaurant is a stones throw from the Grand Californian. After perusing the rather exotic and complex menu, I wimped out and went for a series of appetizers (or tapas) instead of getting an entree... in true spanish style. I started off with goat cheese stuffed peppers, a combination of a fruity and savory flavors that was quite remarkable. I also had the sausages on top of a really delicious polenta -- both of which were quite delicious. My companions were also quite impressed with their dishes, the chicken looked superb! Overall I have to give Catal a 5: this is probably the most exciting eat
Disney's Grand Californian Villas
Favorite room at Disneyland on 9/27/2010
We just got to try out the brand new Grand Californian Villas for a couple of nights and they are delightful. We got a 1 Bedroom villa with a spectacular view of California Adventure -- in fact we could actually see World of Color from our balcony! These rooms are a bit smaller than the standard villas at Disneyworld, similar to the ones in the Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo house. However, they are well appointed with a beautiful kitchen, nice tv/dvd setup and a nice big dining table. The tub is small as compared to other villas, however it is still a real tub which is truly a luxury when away from home. Its an easy walk from here to all of the parks, that's what you have to love about Disneyland. My favorite DL restaurant is just downstairs, the Storyteller's Cafe. I give it a five, I want to stay here every time I come to Disneyland!
Better than I expected! on 9/27/2010
First, let me say that the ambience of the Blue Bayou is truly unique. On one side of the restaurant you have the boats of the Pirates of the Caribbean sailing by. Its like you are outside in the cool night air right next to a river, with fireflies and hanging lanterns, its really a delight and something every Disney fan should experience at least once.
Having said that, my culinary experiences at this restaurant have been a mixed bag. So, my expectations were low as we sailed in. I decided to order the Jambalaya and was pleasantly surprised. It had a little kick, good flavor and great diversity of proteins.
I give the ambience a 4.7, the jambalaya a 4.2. Otherwise its a pretty average Disney dining experience -- so I'm going to round it to a 4 overall.
Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria
Best Pork Chop ever on 9/27/2010
What I love about Naples is that you can stumble out of the Grand Californian and right into Naples Restaurant if you're looking for a change of pace from Storytellers. I've been here for lunch a few times and found it to be a decent lunch, this is the first time I've ever been there for dinner. I ordered the pork chop, a rather unusual choice for me. Turned out I got the best pork chop I've ever had in my life! It was perfectly cooked with excellent flavor on a bed of delicious spinach. My companions didn't seem quite as thrilled with their meals, in particular the pizza did not impress despite this being a pizzeria. Still, I got a perfect meal so I'm giving it a five!
Still one of the best Disneyland eateries! on 9/26/2010
We recently had a fun stay at Disneyland including a couple of nights at the new Grand Californian Villas, which was wonderful. We got to eat a couple of breakfasts and a couple of lunches at Storytellers and its still a great place to eat. For breakfast I highly recommend the huevos rancheros and the stuffed french toast (reminiscent of the Polynesian!) which are both excellent breakfasts. For lunch I had the quesadillas which are quite good (especially the guacamole) but I found that the turkey club was actually the more satisfying experience. Overall I give the Storytellers about a 4.6 for food (by Disneyland standards -- not by Disneyworld) , a 4.7 for ambience -- they have delightful booths and the art work is very nice and craftsman-y (character breakfast is a bit raucous though!). That rounds up to a 5 in my book!
Still good -- but not my fave anymore. on 8/8/2010
We recently returned to Kona Cafe for Lunch with a couple of old friends. We actually hadn't been here in quite a while so I was curious to see what its like now. Once this was my favorite restaurant and it is still a great place to get lunch, but it has lost its favorite status.
I started out with the Potstickers (which are made "no sugar added", always a plus for us!) which were quite nice, the creamy asian sauce is especially tasty. I followed that up with the Kona Angus Chuck Cheeseburger. This had all the makings of a good burger, but I was a bit disappointed that the burger was overcooked and therefore tough, dry, and chewy... I prefer my Angus burger to be juicy, seared on the outside and tender on the inside. The fries are very nice homemade fries and I heard rave reviews of the homemade potato chips on our friend's plate. The chicken with Mango sauce got rave reviews fr
Liberty Tree Tavern
Good burger at Magic Kingdom on 6/7/2010
We stopped in for lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern at Magic Kingdom a few days ago. As usual, it is a nice cool place to catch your breath while roaming the Magic Kingdom on a hot day (tip: we got our Splash Mountain fast passes then headed over here for lunch!)
I got the Angus Chuck cheeseburger with Provolone and it was an altogether satisfying experience at a reasonable price. The fruit I got with it was a little old looking but at least it was fresh instead of canned. My companions seemed to like their vegetarian pot pies (deconstructed -- like a stew with some biscuits thrown in) well enough and the turkey feast is always a happy meal. As to ambience, well its pretty basic and there are no characters during lunch.
Overall I'm giving it a 4 -- pretty darn good burger for the Disney price point. We spent $70 for four lunches which is pretty reasonable.
Great chef, excellent food on 6/7/2010
Citrico's has long been a staple of celebratory meals in our family, we recently revisited for my birthday and it did not disappoint. To start with, the Chef was very helpful and interesting -- giving us lots of tidbits about the Delta asparagus (wild picked from California), the corn and how they don't add sugar to much of anything -- always a great way to impress us! I had the crab cake -- a rather cheesey creamy concoction which was quite a bit different from the typical crunchy crab cake. Then I had the Berkshire pork (fed on acorns) tenderloin and belly -- having seen pork belly on many a cook show I was quite curious to actually try one. The execution of the dish appeared perfect to me, the tenderloin was tender and delicious. The pork belly was a bit weird to me but quite tender and fatty. What turned out to be my favorite thing on the plate was the gigande bean (from Italy) and swiss chard cassoulet which was t
Victoria & Alberts
Ok, I'm a convert -- try the Australian Kobe on 6/7/2010
Well, I am finally a full convert to Victoria & Alberts. We came for my birthday this time -- because this is the only known place on Disney property that will make a sugarfree chocolate souffle.
Service was excellent, informative, and very well timed (everything is synchronized). We started with a quattro amuse bouche and the tomato fennel custard was a real standout. Next I had the seared elk carpaccio which was like a delicious salad with edible flowers, I could barely even taste the elk which seemed like it had been painted onto the plate. Next was turbot (a light portuguese fish) which was lemony, crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside: possibly the best piece of fish I've ever eaten! Zucchini Tomato soup -- best tomato soup I've ever had, with subtle overtones and a light texture. Then I indulged in the Wagyu Australean Kobe beef -- some tenderloin and then some short rib meat
Best mac n cheese! on 6/6/2010
Jiko has possibly the most beautiful and pleasant ambience of any restaurant on property, We found the service to be excellent and the chef was very helpful with special food requests.
For my appetizer I had a rather unusual cucuumber, tomato and red onion salad. This was a really unique and fresh tasting salad with a bit of spicy flavor, possibly from the arugula on top. For my entree I had a Filet Mignon; unfortunately it wasn't really seared properly so it ended up being a bit on the dry side. However, the mac and cheese that comes on the side is absolutely fantastic, as good as any I've ever had. For dessert they made me a special sugarfree chocolate cake.
Overall I give the food a 4.2, ambience and service a 4.8. Price is pretty high as you would expect for this type of restaurant. Unfortunately, I felt like the food just didn't quite live up to the price
Coral Reef Restaurant
Fantastic! on 6/6/2010
We recently had lunch at the Coral Reef and I was very pleasantly surprised; the food was absolutely delicious and the view of the aquarium is spectacular. The theming here is exquisite. The most impressive thing for us was that most of the items on the menu are sweetened naturally, without added sugar -- even the sweet corn chowder which I ordered and it was deliciious.
After the sweet corn chowder I had the seared trout. I was surprised by how small the trout was, this is not a whole trout as is customary. However, the two small pieces of trout I received were very delicious and flavorful. They also had a delicious sugar-free dessert for us, a very light lemony Cheesecake Napoleon with fresh fruit. Overall I give the ambience a 4.7, service a 4.7 and the food a 4.6 which is good enough to get a 5! Highly recommended if you are looking for a delicious lunch at Epcot. Price
Nine Dragons Restaurant
sad situation for sugar-free on 6/6/2010
We finally made it to Nine Dragons for the first time ever. Unfortunately, the situation there for no sugar added is really pretty sad, they basically told us that we couldn't order anything on the menu. To their credit they did whip up a chicken dish for Ahnalira and a beef and broccoli dish for me. Both meals were ok and reasonably fresh. For dessert they found us a couple of Jello rice pudding cups which they served to us in the original containers -- these were quite delicious but the presentation was lacking. The iced tea was exceptional and really good -- definitely the high point of the meal. Ambience was ok and certainly presented a chinese theming.
Although the waitress and manager were quite friendly and helpful, the overall experience for us was not very good and I doubt that we will be returning here any time in the near future. Price seemed a little high in comparison to the fo
The Artist's Palette
Nice quick breakfast on 6/6/2010
Artist's palette is our favorite place to grab a quick croissanwich breakfast at Saratoga Springs. I like Artist's Palette in particular because it is relatively large and has a nice seating area, I find the breakfast fare to be convenient, fresh and good here and they do Lattes. So I give it a 4, good bang for the buck and really convenient.
Tusker House Restaurant
Yummy and Exotic -- best to be had at AK on 6/6/2010
We've been to Tusker House for lunch at the Animal Kingdom a couple of times now and thoroughly enjoyed it every time. We just went there during my birthday trip and they really did us up right with a sugar free brownie and ice cream dessert -- really excellent for a more economical buffet type restaurant.
The chef here was great and toured us through the buffet line letting us know which items had added sugar. Happily, most of my favorite items were good to go so I immediately went forth and loaded up my plate. The superstar for me was the curry chicken, really excellent and actually better than many of the Indian restaurants I've visited. The salmon was also quite good as was the rotisserie chicken. For $21.95 per person, this is really a great deal and IMHO the best food to be had at the Animal Kingdom Park!
So, given the quality vs price ratio I have to give this a 5.
Wolfgang Puck® Cafe
Upstairs -- best Filet Mignon! on 6/6/2010
For my birthday we did upstairs at Wolfgang Puck in downtown DIsney. We've had many celebrations here and the food is consistently great over the years. I had my standard Filet Mignon cooked medium and it was absolutely delicious, seared perfectly, juicy on the inside and with a nice hot crisp outside. The spinach that came with it was really tasty also, cooked just the perfect amount. For my appetizer I had a romaine salad with a creamy garlic dressing -- basically a deconstructed Caesar. It was tasty but I wasn't really impressed with the lettuce. For dessert we had a truly sublime no sugar added cinnamon cheesecake thing, very delicious and creamy. For my drink I had the iced tea which tasted passion fruity and was one of the better iced teas of the week (as opposed to the Disney standard Nestea iced tea which gets a little old...)
Ambience upstairs is generally good and we
Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano
Very Tastey and economical on 6/3/2010
We had lunch at Mama Melrose a few days ago and it was quite a pleasant experience. Mama Melrose has been one of my favorites for sometime now, and they did not disappoint!
We ordered the Mozzarella and Tomato salad to start and it was good (but not exceptional). I had the Chicken Flatbread; which seemed a lot like two small chicken pizzas. I found the chicken to be tender and flavorful, really quite delicious. Ahnalira ordered the Chicken Parmesan which we both agreed was as good as any we've ever had. It managed to have a crispy crust and still be tender and moist on the inside... and it was baked rather than deep fried.
They also have a No Sugar Added dessert on the menu, Crema Limone which is sort of a light lemony pudding and is quite delicious.
Best of all, the meal only cost us $39 for two people which is quite a deal by Disney standards. Great pla
50's Prime Time Cafe
Can't go wrong with the Fried Chicken on 6/3/2010
Prime Time Cafe is a regular stop for us, we stopped in for part of our Birthday Celebration and were not disappointed in any way. The waiter played his part to the hilt, which was a delightful way to revisit the terrors of my childhood!
I ordered the fried chicken with Southern Greens and mashed potatoes. The fried chicken was excellent in every way, crunchy crust with tender, moist meat on the inside and the flavor was excellent -- I give the chicken a solid 5, I've never had better! The southern greens were and interesting experience but not my cup of tea... Uncle Mikey and I had several discussions about this (how did he know I hid them under my mashed potatoes???). The mashed potatoes were quite delicious.
Ahnalira had the salmon which was good but not great.
Happily they did have a sugar free dessert for us, a very good, fresh cheesecake.
Earl of Sandwich
Well its cheap... on 6/3/2010
We recently tried out the very popular Earl of Sandwich for a quick lunch. First of all, let me say that this is probably one of the most economical meals to be had on Disney property. The lines are usually so long, that we bypass the place entirely and head over to Wolfgang Express. This time the lines were quite moderate so we decided to give it a try.
I got a tuna melt which was ok, the bread wasn't cooked properly so it seemed a little doughy. The tuna salad is ok but not excellent. Ahnalira got the chicken salad and thought it was fresh, she wasn't thrilled with eating it out of the little cardboard container it came in. For presentation, gets a 0. Ambience is pretty bad, very crowded loud and chaotic inside... so we ended up sitting in the heat outside and watching little kids playing in the water which was fun.
The highlight of the meal was the ice
Kobe burgers, yumm on 6/1/2010
Well there aren't too many Kobe burgers to be found on property, so I was pretty excited to see one pop up on the Maya Grill menu. Unfortunately, my old fave the Chilean Salmon, is no more. So I ordered a salad and a Kobe burger and found them both to be quite satisfactory, fresh and flavorful. I give them about a 3.8 I think. Ahnalira got a fried pork chop which was really delicious and possibly one of the best pork chops either of us had ever had, with a crispy crust and still the inside was mosit and tender.
They don't have a no-sugar-added desert and somehow they lost our special dietary request. However, the chef came out and really brainstormed with us to come up with a no-sugar-added strawberry shortcake using available ingredients, and it was quite tasty I might add!
Price is on the high side, in the 70 ish range for two -- we each ordered appetizer, entree and ice
Another quick breakfast on 6/1/2010
Cafe Rix is a welcome addition to Coronado Springs. Serving basically the same quick fare as you can get at places like Mara etc, good fast food. The only down side of Rx in particular is that its a bit crowded, they wedged into a spot that didn't really exist before. When I was there it was insanely crowded and very difficult to maneuver around. Still, my croissanwich was quite good and Ahnarlia got a little quiche thingee which was delicious and unique -- I have never seen that item at any of the other Rix -like places on property. We're hoping it becomes a standard because it was quite tasty.
So, I give it a 4 because it's tasty, modern, and fresh, inexpensive and convenient. Not the place to go for ambience or quiet!
Still great for quick breakfast on 6/1/2010
For our recent stay at Kidani Village, Animal Kingdom Lodge, we had our favorite croissanwich from Mara every morning. Its a bit of a hike from our room, but it is a nice fresh croissant and they do have Lattes available too. The first morning the place was packed, and although they were pumping people through in a very efficient manner, it still detracted from my experience since it was hard to place my order exactly the way I like it. Today it was much less crowded and I got my stuff exactly the way I like it so I was happy!
For an inexpensive and fresh breakfast I think you can't beat Mara and the other "new" Disney counter services that are popping up in all the resorts.
And again, fun place to visit. on 5/31/2010
We just came back around for another visit, dinner at the Rainforest Cafe at Animal Kingdom. As always, the ambience is great fun ... animatronic elephants, huge aquariums, the occasional thunderstorm. The food isn't quite as exciting, as I noted in my previous review from 5 years ago!
I had the pastalaya which was good but not exceptional in any way. Basically a jambalaya with pasta, it was a little spicey but really needed additional heat -- which I obtained in a tabasco bottle. Ahnalira really had the star attraction, a special macaroni and cheese with Lobster (I don't think this is part of the regular menu) which was quite tasty.
Still, overall, I have to give it a 3 -- as in adequate fare but nothing exceptional that I would seek out again. Definitely a must see at least once for the ambience. I think kids will especially love this place.
Basic breakfast fare on 5/31/2010
5 years later I'm coming around to update my review of the Pepper Market at Coronado Springs -- in particular the breakfast. A few days ago we had the chance to enjoy a pleasant breakfast here and I found it to be quite average, just your basic breakfast really. I had the French Toast which was good but nothing memorable. Ahnalira had the Southwest omelette which I would say was definitely better than average. There have been a few changes to the Pepper Market in the last five years, but it still has the pleasant ambience of a warehouse like latin style market place.
Overall I felt it deserved about a 3.4, a pretty average breakfast experience in a fairly average ambience. Pleasant but not exceptional, defintiely serviceable if you happen to be staying at Coronado Springs and would like a standard bacon and eggs sort of breakfast.
House of Blues®
Still lovin that Elwood on 5/31/2010
5 years later I'm back and still a big fan of the Elwood. This is a perfectly seasoned, tender chicken breast sandwich with chopped chiles and chili mayo, rustic artisan bread which tastes freshly baked. This time I opted for the Sweet Potato fries (which cost $1.99 extra) and they were delicious -- Ahnalira called them a dessert because they were sweet and creamy. Ambience is fun, especially if you are a fan of the Blues Brothers movies or old blues bars in the South. I would give my Elwood about a 4.8. Ahnalira had a Salmon with squash and rice which she thoroughly enjoyed.
Overall, I'm giving HOB a 4.5 -- and my personal award for best chicken sandwich anywhere! So it scrapes into the 5 category. Price is pretty moderate as Disney goes, our meal was in the $30 neighborhood for two lunches and two regular drinks.
Toy Story Midway Mania!
Super fun! on 12/26/2009
This is a great ride, kind of like a cross between those old school arcade games that I used to love and some kind of 3D high tech Mario Bros game. Its really fun, especially if you're lucky enough to be here when its not crowded (not an easy thing to do because this is super popular!) and you can ride it over and over again.
Sf gelato on 11/23/2009
We recently enjoyed lunch at the Captains Grille in the Yacht Club. I had a tuna sandwich with clam chowder -good but nothing to write home about. Then we got th sugar free chocolate gelato for dessert - WOW!
Lunch with the giraffes on 11/17/2009
Best lunch ever, and we made a video review! Tandoori chicken was delicious and the view is spectacular! Gets 5's all the way around. Even better for lunch than it was for dinner :)
Wolfgang Puck® Express
Great new remodel on 10/14/2009
We just had a pleasant lunch at the newly remodelled Wolfgang Puck Express. Tip: while Earl of Sandwich was packed with what looked to be an hour long line heading out the door, there was little or no line at Wolfgang Puck Express just across the way.
The new WPE has lots of indoor seating, no more sweating out on the balcony. That was especially relevant as we were having record breaking October heat the day we ate there. The new line is much easier to navigate and they now have delightful servers bringing out the food, refilling beverages, and taking away dirty plates.
The food was quite good and got thumbs up all the way around the table. I tried the cheddar roast beef sandwich and was quite happy. Others tried some of the melts and salads and appears to be similarly pleased. We were initially baffled by the new "Melts" that have arrived on the expand
Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
Treehouse villas awesome! on 9/29/2009
We recently spent a night at a newly refurbished treehouse villa and just loved it. The decor is themed after nature with a lot of stone and woodwork. The kitchen islarge with a real icemaker and the living room is spacious and well furnished. This is a great value and ranks #2 on my list of villas.
Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room
Just Ok for me on 9/2/2009
We recently returned to the Rose and Crown Pub to see what changes may have occurred in the menu since we were last here about 3 years ago. As you can see, we made a video review.
To my dismay, my favorite item -- the pot pie sampler -- is no longer on the menu. On the server's recommendation I went for the steak. I requested medium but got a big red bloody hunk of meat. Eventually got it cooked some more so that it was at least the right temperature. However, I found it to be a tough, gristly, chewy chunk of meat whose only redeeming feature was that it was well seasoned.
The server did offer to make it up to me but I was ready to be done with it and head for home (long day!). I did enjoy the potatoes gratin on the side, the cheese popover was decent if bland, the broccolini was a nice bit of green. My companions were much happier than I with
Truffle Fries are AWESOME! on 8/28/2009
We recently had an OLP gathering at one of our old faves, Artist Point in the Wilderness Lodge. I ordered the standard Cedar Plank Salmon. To tell the truth, I wasn't really wow'ed by the Salmon.. it was good but not great. However, they've added something called Truffle Fries which turned out to be the highlight ... and dessert of my meal! For only $4 you get a small plate of these fresh cut fries lightly rolled in delicious Truffle Oil. Amazing! Fantastic! A once in a lifetime experience!
As usual, service was great, ambience was superb -- with the lovely view of trees and Wilderness Lodge grounds just out the window. Overall, I give it a 4.6 (Salmon brought it down a notch) which rounds to a 5.
Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort
Finally, a deluxe villa on a monorail! on 8/28/2009
We had our first stay at Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort just a few days ago. As with the other two new Deluxe Villa facilities -- Kidani Village at Animal Kingdom Lodge and the Treehouse Villas at Saratoga Springs Resort -- Bay Lake Tower sports the latest amenities. This includes granite counter tops, flat screen tvs, auxiliary plugs for your ipod or other video accessory. One of the things I was most exicted about are the ice makers which save a lot of trips to the ice machine.
Bay Lake Tower is a little different from other Deluxe Villas in that you are in a large multi-story building so you can't park right near your room as you can elsewhere. However, you also get a spectacular viewing area for fireworks and Magic Kingdom in general on the 16th floor. You also have easy access to the Contemporary Resort where the monorail and several restaurants are located. For a M
Above average counter service on 8/23/2009
We wandered into the new Contempo Cafe in the Contemporary Resort today, looking to grab a quick lunch before going to our Bay Lake Towers room. The ordering process was a bit confusing - you put your order into a computer terminal and then you are supposed to go to the cashier and pay for your food and drinks. They give you a pager to tell you when your food is ready. We struggled with the computer terminal for few minutes (push the selection, hold for a second, then release seems to work well!) and then wandered around the bakery for a few minutes before finally realizing that we needed to go pay for our order.
After sorting that out, I decided that the system is a good way to go, although the touch screens don't seem to be very sensitive. We got to order exactly what we wanted and the orders were done to perfection. I got an Angus Cheeseburger -- cheddar cheese, green beans instead of fri
Nice little latte shop on 8/23/2009
We stopped by Contemporary Grounds in the lobby of the Contemporary Resort for a quick pick-me-up latte today. I was very happy because they have a nice assortment of loose leaf teas and the girl working there was perfectly happy to make me a tea latte -- what a treat! Its a bit noisy and the seating is just so so, being stuck in the corner of the lobby the way it is. However, they had a top notch espresso machine (Cimbali) and the Masala Chai tea was quite tastey. 5 stars for quality, 3 for ambience averages to about a 4 star experience!
Dinoland gets a basic counter service on 8/15/2009
We stopped in Restaurantosaurus one afternoon for a drink and a bit of A/C -- both of which were satisfied handily. I miss the Donald Duck evolutionary diagrams that were part of the old breakfastosaurus venue, and it was momentarily disconcerting to be greeted by a counter service at the entrance. However, once I got over that I found it was an entirely adequate counter service restaurant facility of the standard Disney fare... with a bit of archaelogist theming thrown in. I'm not sure this new venue is an improvement but it is certainly very convenient
Best on the Magic on 7/27/2009
Of the main dining rooms on the Magic (Parrot Cay, Lumiere's, Animators Palette), I like both the food and the ambience of Lumiere's the best. It has an elegant feeling, spacious and I like the food as well. If i'm lucky I get bread pudding - sugar-free of course! Also a nice spot to grab a more elegant feeling lunch or breakfast -- I do recommend the french toast.
Beach Club Market Place
Convenient Basics on 7/26/2009
Beach Club Market Place offers the basic amenities that one comes to expect of Disney resort counter service restaurants. My standard breakfast croissant sandwich is available, and I have on occasion been able to purchase a sugar free ice cream or brownie. Very convenient if you are staying at the Beach Club and don't want to travel or deal with crowds to get a decent breakfast!
Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas
My new favorite Home on 6/7/2009
We are staying at : the brand new (one month old) Kidani Village Deluxe Villas at Animal Kingdom Lodge. This place is everything and more that we hoped it woujld be. To start with, this is structured so that all the rooms are in one very large building that wraps around the Savannah in two large and very long arms -- we have quite a walk to our room 7454 from the lobby. However, parking is a dream because the parking lot actually goes underneath the building and the elevators (Zazu elevator in our case) comes right down in the middle of the parking area, almost right next to our car.
The walk, albeit long, is covered the entire distance and air conditioned - unlike some Deluxe Villas. The lobby is a reduced version of what is now called Jambo House at Animal Kingdom Lodge, with a simlar expansive window looking out over the savannah and beautiful African theming throughout.
The American Idol Experience
Wow flashing lights! on 6/7/2009
We visited the American Idol Experience on Star Wars Weekend; it was a very refreshing break from the crowds. What a stage! I think this really does give you a taste of what it must be like to see the real American Idol show. This is definitely a must for all of us Idol fans! It's really different to experience the sound and the lights in full volume, and the stage is almost overwhelmingly huge and flashy. Really quite fun and the singers aren't half bad either! Funny to see people singing on the American Idol stage in their cargo shorts and crocs
The best Chai ever and a view of the giraffes!! on 6/6/2009
We just finished a delightful meal at the new Sanaa restaurant located on the first floor of the brand new Kidani Village Deluxe Villas at Animal Kingdom Lodge. What a wonderful restaurant. To start off, the restaurant decor is supreme -- based on the same African theming used throughout the Animal Kingdom Lodge. To top that off, you have a ground level view of the Savannah -- what can be more fun than watching giraffes and zebras stroll by the window as you stuff yourself with all sorts of African tasty treats?
The menu is great fun, my favorite item was the paneer paretha -- sort of a flat cheesey bread -- with the red hummus. I also had the roasted cauliflower which was quite delicious, and the tandoori lamb chops which I highly recommend. To finish my meal was a wonderful fluffy Mango pudding (more like a mousse if you ask me) with a pot of the best chai tea I've ever had. I heard
We were the First Table! on 6/5/2009
Well we stumbled into Paradiso 37 early, wondered why things seemed a bit disorganized and shortly discovered that we were their very first paying customers! We thought they had been open a couple of weeks but in fact they just opened today.
Paradiso 37 appears to be oriented largely toward a bar-like atmosphere (37 different tequilas in a tower dominate the main room). As a result, the entree selection is somewhat limited... but quite good as we were soon to find out. Our waiter, Jesus, was a very friendly fellow from Venezuela who was extremely friendly and attentive. The food and drink is largely Latin American with a bit of North American mixed in (the burger looked quite tasty although I didn't get one myself)
Having low bloodsugar, we decided to start off with some Central American Crazy Corn which turned out to be the high point of the meal. A grilled corn on the cob wit
Wolfgang Puck® Cafe
Great lunch downstairs, Wolfie does it again! on 1/26/2009
We've been to Wolfgang Pucks (downtown disney, Westside) quite a few times; the upstairs fancy restaurant is one of our favorite celebratory dinner spots. But this time, we decided to try out the more moderately priced downstairs area for lunch.
Let me just say, I wish this place was closer to my house so I could eat lunch here all the time! Time and money are the only things stopping me at this point (not a cheap lunch!) I had the beef gorgonzola pocket sandwich with Tortilla soup (soup and sandwich -- a more moderate option) both of which were really quite excellent. My only minor complaint is that the pita bread seemed a bit tough like it might have been a little overcooked. The sandwich was more like a salad really, with nice fresh lettuce, excellent dressing, cheese and some nice slices of beef tossed in. The tortilla soup is a Wolfgang Puck specialty, a very hearty and flavorful tomat
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
Trip down memory lane on 1/9/2009
One of my fond memories as a child was riding the old submarine ride at Disneyland. And finally its back, with Nemo! There is even a version for the handicapped (it's a bit of a climb down into those submarines). Great for the kids and the memories but otherwise its nothing to rave about!
A nice spot for a meal at Disneyland Hotel on 1/6/2009
We've had a couple of meals at Hook's Pointe ver the years. Generally the food, to me, is good but not exceptional. The ambience is pleasant, with lots of large windows and a bit of a nautical theme going on. Of course everything is relative, and for Disneyland this qualifies as one of the better dining options, especially if you're staying at the Disneyland Hotel.
Great healthy eco-gourmet fare! on 1/4/2009
I've now had the opportunity to eat a breakfast, a lunch and a dinner at the trendy new Wave restaurant, located in the bowels of the Contemporary Resort in Disneyworld. Seating is fantastic if you are lucky enough to get one of the large, room-like booths.
Food is generally fantastic and very healthy -- a vegetarian's delight. Of the three meals, the breakfast was my least favorite. I ordered a hearty whole grain french toast which I found to be rather bland. However, lunch and dinner were both quite excellent with lots to please the discriminating palate. The vegetarian dishes were exceptional by all reports (I didn't order them myself!) and the no-sugar added trio dessert was fantastic: braised pineapple, baklava, and zucchini carrot cake (my fave!).
Definitely a place to experience, especially if you are wanting to do the "green" thi
Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue Dinner Show
Funny show, food so-so. on 1/3/2009
We visited this venerated Disney dinner show during the Holiday season. We really put them to the test with our special orders, and they had a bit of trouble with the whole concept. Overall I would say the food was pretty humdrum, the highlight for me being the fried chicken which was pretty good. Service was not especially good, fast and rather brusque. However, our server did a great job of keeping my mug of diet coke full, I have to give them props for that The show itself is humorous and corny, and especially good since our son got to play the Indian during one of the skits
I can't say I am dying to go back, but it is a fun show and every Disneyworld fan should have this experience it at least once!
Tony's Town Square Restaurant
Tony's going upscale? on 1/1/2009
We recently attended Tony's Town Square Restaurant with some friends and family and had a much better experience than I even expected! With the help of our friend Charlie we all got exactly what we wanted, special orders all the way around. I created a new dish, chicken parmigiana with spicy roasted pepper sauce -- had a bit of a nice kick without the sugar of the marinara, not bad! One of our friends ordered the salmon and that received rave reviews all the way around the table.
The service was truly excellent and deserves a 5 out of 5. The food varied from simply average Italian style fare to the one exceptional dish, I would give the food about a 3.5 overall. Ambience is ok, location is extremely convenient.
As Magic Kingdom dining options go, Tony's is pretty good -- especially if you're looking for some family spaghetti. Just ask for Charlie if yo
Sacred Valleys & Incan Cities
Alpacas and Incas abound! on 1/1/2009
This was our third Adventures By Disney tour and it was another great one!
One tip: this is a high altitude tour, be aware that you will most likely experience effects of altitude sickness. Personally I had a fierce headache for a few hours after we arrived in the Sacred Valley, others had varying symptoms but suffice it to say I got off easy!
Once you get past the occasional headache and shortage of breath, this is a fantastic adventure. I have wanted to see Macchu Picchu for about 20 years now, Adventures By Disney finally made it a trip I could get into. Its a nice easy flight, 5ish hours from Miami to Lima Peru. Lima is a pretty tough city (2nd largest in South America!) so you don't spend much time there. Just one verrry short night, up very early the next morning to catch a plane for Cuzco (11,000 feet!) and a bus ride to the Sacred Valley where we spent the ma
Victoria & Alberts
Finally lives up to its potential on 12/29/2008
As you may have noticed from my previous reviews, I have not been a big fan of Victoria & Albert's in the past. But, it was a birthday celebration so I did my best to be a good sport ... and was pleasantly surprised! Gone was the arrogant, uncommunicative server. Our servers this time were no longer Victoria or Albert but they more than made up for that in friendly, efficient and top notch service!
My companions all ordered from the Vegetarian menu which looked quite good, I opted for the standard menu myself. We found that Victoria & Albert's was very accomodating to our special dietary requests this time around. Where we got a jello pyramid on our last visit, this time we got a delightful sugar-free chocolate souffle which was quite worthy of being served in a true gourmet venue.
The other seven courses were quite flavorful although I found that the Elk
Wild and crazy place! on 11/1/2008
We visited T-Rex for the first time today, caught a nice lunch amidst the dinosaurs, next to the "Fire Kitchen". T-Rex is a lot like the Rainforest Cafe with dinosaurs and Woolly Mammoths. Instead of thunderstorms you get meteor showers. However, I found that there is a lot more variation here than the rainforest. The chairs are very nice solid wood, there is more space between the tables and the menu is more varied. They have a coral reef room, a fire/desert room, an Ice Cave which is pretty cool! I really enjoyed the ambience... but it is VERY noisy, just like RFC in that regard.
Wait time was moderate, we waited 25 minutes in a fast moving line to be seated. I got the "Tribal Tacos" which was a creditable fish taco on corn tortillas. Ahnalira got a really delicious chicken dish with roasted red pepper sauce which I thought was quite a bit better than my ho-hum tacos. What we did wait a long ti
Vintage elegance on 9/15/2008
We just finished a very pleasant breakfast at Disneyland Hotel's Steakhouse 55, which is tucked behind Goofy's kitchen. We were immediately impressed by the elegance of the ambience, jazz music playing in the background combined with old black and white pictures on the walls creates a very, dare I say, 1955 sort of feel to the place. I found the seating to be extremely comfortable and the service was fantastic. I ordered Huevos Rancheros (I always try to get those when I'm on the West Coast!) and found them to be nicely prepared and quite delicious.
For breakfast I highly recommend Steakhouse 55 if you want a nice quiet, pleasant meal. We hope to try for a dinner here as well. Prices were typical for disneyland breakfast, about $10 for a plate, we spent $30 for our complete breakfast with coffee and diet coke.
River Belle Terrace
Best Turkey sandwich ever! on 9/15/2008
We stumbled into the River Belle Terrace, desperate for a snack and turned away from Orleans Cafe by a long line. What a pleasant surprise, the line here was short and the turkey sandwich is simply amazing... possibly the best turkey sandwich I've ever eaten in a restaurant, it tasted like real home cooked turkey and I don't mean the pressed kind! The horseradish aioli is to die for, the bread appears to be baked fresh and they have a very fresh and tasty fruit salad to go with it.
Not the cheapest counter service I've ever seen, we spent a good $15 per person with a drink, s
Raglan Road™ Irish Pub and Restaurant
Something different and loud! on 9/1/2008
Irish Pubs seem to be hot now, and Raglan Road is no exception to that. We visited here on a couple of different occasions. The first time we stopped in for an afternoon Iced Tea and conversation with some good friends and found the ambience to be thoroughly delightful and pleasant all the way around! That visit would have gotten a 5.
Second visit was a very rainy evening and the place was packed. We waited for a table, and when we got the table the noise was almost overwhelming... I guess thats why they call it a Pub and Restaurant . We ordered some soup and dinner, both of which were tastey but not extraordinary. I may have Irish in my blood but it didn't make it to my palate apparently!
Anyway, given the incredible level of noise and food that didn't excite
Toy Story Mania!
Fun video game! on 8/18/2008
We recently had the opportunity to try out one of MGM's latest attractions, the new Toy Story Midway Mania. This is a very popular attraction, regular waiting time was between 60 and 90 minutes long and fastpasses were sold out by the time we got there. We ended up going through the singles line which got us in quick. Its a fun video game, much improved over Buzz LIghtyear because you can actually see where you're shooting, good fun and highly recommended for the kids!
Jedi Training Academy
Awesome for the kids! on 8/18/2008
We first saw this Jedi Training show at Disneyland and were impressed. The one at WDW is even better, the Darth Vader is quite compelling and it looks like the kids are having the time of their lives. If you have any little Star Wars fans, this is a must see!!
Off-Road Segway Tour Review
I want one! Really fun.. on 5/6/2008
If you have a chance to do this fun new tour, I say jump on it! This was well worth the money, just the chance to play with a new version of the Segway (which was already way fun before!) was awesome. The tour is very reminiscent of the Haunted Hay ride for some reason, except not as many scarey monsters running around ;) The highlight of the tour is definitely the off-road Segway, practically the first thing out of my mouth was "How much for one of those babies?" The answer was something like $6k... cheaper than a new car! We've been batting around the idea of buying one for the farm ever since ... watch out, you may get hooked!!
Tremendous show, don't miss it! on 4/8/2008
Matsuriza is one of my all-time favorite shows on property, we always stop to watch whenever the show starts up in Japan pavilion of the World Showcase. These guys are fun to watch and the sound is tremendous, definitely a must see if you are spending the day in the World Showcase, right up there with World Showcase Players and Off Kilter!
Main Street Bakery
Great snack spot! on 3/3/2008
Great Tip: is a great place to go during a parade because it's empty! We especially love the sugarfree chocolate muffins here, moist and very dark, they are especially good with milk! If you are lucky, you will even get a taste of streetmosphere and a spot to rest your tired dogs.
Plaza Ice Cream Parlor
Another great mid-parade spot! on 3/3/2008
Plaza Ice Cream Parlor is another great place to visit during a parade, there's no lines! We've gotten a few tastey sugar-free ice cream shakes here over the years (gotta love that Edy's ice cream). However, of late they seem stuck on Butter Pecan which I don't care for, hence the "3".
Electric Umbrella Restaurant
Pleasant counter service with veggie options on 3/3/2008
The Electric Umbrella smells of french fries and ketchup so we hadn't ever actually eaten here. However, for the good of all man and womankind, we decided to catch a break and a snack here and were pleasantly surprised. Seems a bit more cozy than most of the other large counter serve on property. We also noted a few promising looking things like the veggie wrap but didn't actually try any of those. Fountain bar was huge and sugar-free brownie quite yummy. Works as a nice place to grab a respite while hoofing it through the extensive grounds of FutureWorld!
Nice enough bite to eat on 3/2/2008
We recently visited the Captain's Grille in the Yacht Club, this was previously known as the Yacht Club Galley. Truth be told, the name seems to be just about the only change here, everything else is looking pretty much the same. If anything has changed I think it might be the menu; I found my Angus Cheeseburger to be quite tasty (How can you go wrong with an Angus burge,r I ask you??) and the Soup of the day smoked corn chowder was also very palatable. However, the definitive standout was the new No Sugar Added Gelato (key lime flavor I believe) which was truly exceptional in the world of sugarfree desserts Iin fact, this was my first ever sugar-free gelato and I was quite impressed!
I give it 4 stars, good food (5 with the Gelato!), ambience just ok(3).
Grand Floridian Cafe
It just keeps getting better! on 3/2/2008
The Grand Floridian Cafe has really got it goin' on, we stopped in for yet another delightful lunch here and everything we were served was absolutely wonderful. I love this place for their exceptional Reuben sandwich, but this time I had their Rustic Chicken Sandwich and it was delightful, I really like the ciabatta bread which tasted like it must have been baked that very day! Ahnalira had the Tuscan Grilled Pork Loin salad and was extremely happy. We started with Tomato-Basil soup and French Onion soup which were both exceptionally good. Service was excellent as usual and the ambience is extremely pleasant with a great view, What's not to like?! This is perhaps my number one fave on property, overtaking my previous favorite the Kona Cafe.
Tasty Tempura, Epcot's best kept secret! on 3/1/2008
We recently made a special trip to World Showcase to visit the new Tokyo Dining, so new that it isn't even listed at the Guest Services desk. We made PS's for dinner a few hours ahead of time at the Epcot Guest Services desk and had no problems getting in (although most of our faves were already fully booked!). Then, to add insult to injury, we showed up an hour early (5:00). The place was almost empty, we were promptly greeted by a bevy of Japanese ladies in formal Japanese attire. The bowing and "Domo Arigato"s were infectious and we found ourselves doing the same by the time we left.
First off, let me just say that the view from this restaurant must be one of Epcot's best kept secrets, this has got to be easily the best view of the World Showcase lagoon to be found! I'm thinking this must be an exceptional spot to watch the fireworks from!
Beaches & Cream Soda Shop
Old Tyme Favoryte! on 1/30/2008
Beaches and Cream is one of our standard favorites, Ahnalira is especially fond of the sugar free shakes here (me too if they got chocolate!). The burgers are ok, onion rings are pretty tastey but the real star is is the mini jukebox on the table ambience. Its just a fun spot to eat, great music and fun servers
Nice ambience, food pretty good on 1/2/2008
We recently grabbed a lunch at the Portobello Yacht Club with some good friends of ours. The fare was pretty much a standard Italian deal. After my recent experience at the new Epcot Italian restaurant, I must say I found the food at Portobello slightly disappointing. The flavors were not quite as vivid as at Epcot, I wish I could remember the name of the new restaurant in Epcot but thats the one I would recommend most highly if you are looking for some really tasty Italian food on property!
Still, the ambience was nice, service was good and the food was good so I give it 4 stars overall.
Tutto Italia Ristorante
New All Time Fave, Ymmmm! on 1/2/2008
We recently visited Tutto with some friends, prepared to be a little disappointed after the demise of Alfredo's! Well, the menu didn't immediately inspire me (ok, I was really hoping to see Fettucini Alfredo on there but it just wasn't happening!). However, the new more spacious seating arrangement and excellent service did impress.
And when we got the food, WOW, it was all fantastic, some of the best Italian food I've ever sampled! This is it folks, the best Italian food to be had on Disney property run, don't walk to Italy in the World Showcase and be sure to order some of that wondrous Bufalo cheese for me while you're at it.
I never thought I'd be saying this, but I think Tutto's is actually an improvement over Alfredo's even though you can no longer get that wonder
Cape May Cafe
Food pretty good, very noisy! on 12/29/2007
We have been to Cape May Cafe several times over the years; over all I have to say its not really my cup of tea. Great for families, very noisy with lots of little ones racing around and screaming. The food is ok, I have had some pretty good dishes off the buffet. Of course, anyone who knows me knows that I'm not a big fan of buffets... 'nuff said!
So, for me not so great, but I think for families its a nice spot and very conveniently located for Beach Clubbers so I give it 3 with a half hearted thumbs up
Yak & Yeti
Theming is to die for! on 12/21/2007
Being the avid reviewers we are, we recently visited the newly opened Yak‘n‘Yeti which is a brand new sit down restaurant located at the entrance to Asia in the Animal Kingdom. We waited impatiently for the doors to open at 11AM, rushed in and were placed on the second floor. The decorations are amazing, almost as good as a ride!
The menu was a bit disconcerting for us sugar-free types, as the chef proceeded to tell us that we basically couldn‘t eat much of anything on the menu. I finally settled on some pho which I have never had before (Vietnamese maybe?). Well, it turned out to be delicioius, with lots of fresh veggies and plenty of hot sauce which I promptly added into the soup and noodle bowl. I was extremely pleased with this dish and am eagerly looking forward to our next visit, might be the healthiest and best tasting Asian food I‘ve had in the state of Florida!&nbs
Does the job on 12/21/2007
As part of our recent stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas DVC, I made several visits to The Mara for supplies, breakfast croissants and espresso (for Ahnalira!). I found that the facilities were adequate, the food was good and the selection very nice. I was especially happy to find microwave popcorn and big bottles of water for sale The ambience was nothing special, and it did get a bit crowded at times hence I give it a 4 as being a nice place to grab a snack but nothing special.
Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas
Superb view! on 12/13/2007
We recently had the opportunity to use some DVC points to stay at the newly opened Animal Kingdom Villas in the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Basically it looks like they converted a wing of standard rooms into villas, we stayed at a 1 bedroom villa which was beautifully appointed and had a great view of the animals. A few sacrifices were made to fit the villa into the smaller space, in particular the stand-alone shower and walk-in closet were notably absent. However, the kitchen was then nicest DVC kitchen with granite countertops we‘ve seen in a villa and the bath tub was wonderful, most comfortable tub I‘ve ever experienced.
Overall it was fantastic and I was extremely pleased with the accomodations. Can‘t wait to see the real villas when they get finished!
Tusker House Restaurant
Deeelicious multi-cultural buffet! on 12/13/2007
We recently visited Tusker House now that it has been converted to a buffet format. We were actually late due to the parade (they close their doors at 4PM, make sure you‘re on time!) but they eventually did let us in after some cajoling.
As a result, our experience was a bit rushed but even so, we found the broad variety of options (everything from curry chicken to hummus w/ pita bread) to be absolutely delicious on every count! Every one at the table appeared to enjoy their meal and I am eagerly looking forward to our next visit... which is not something I say often about buffets since I‘m generally not your buffet kinda guy! I even heard rumblings that this buffet might be even better than Boma
Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
Not just for kids! on 10/31/2007
Tried this out the other day, it was actually pretty fun-ny. Lots of lame jokes, just what you‘d expect from a Monsters, Inc. show. Most of your faves from the movie make an appearance and they have put in a fun twist on audience participation! May end up being my new favorite Tomorrowland attraction
High School Musical 2: School's Out!
A lively parade on 10/31/2007
We‘ve got a new parade in MGM based on the High School Musical movie(s). The kids seem to love it, there‘s lots of dancing and singing which is fun.
Joy of Tea
Delightful new trend! on 10/21/2007
Just recently discovered the Joy of Tea out front of the China pavilion, what a delight for the iced tea connoisseur! I had some wonderful green iced tea, much better than your average American green tea I must say. This is certainly a delightful new trend on the Disney property - little gourmet tea stands everywhere you go, I couldn‘t be happier!
Quest for the West
Gotta love a Buffalo Burger! on 10/3/2007
Quest for the West was our 3rd Adventures By Disney trip and it did not disappoint. Our tour guides (or Chrises as we called them) were the best yet. The food varied, (I think my favorite food was the Costa Rica trip), but it was good. I did have opportunity to try some buffalo burgers (from Montana), river trout was abundant and good (from Idaho), and some excellent Elk chops. One of my faves was the bison chili at Yellowstone, very tasty! Just remember, Bison is PC for Buffalo
Brooks Lake Lodge was our last stop and my personal favorite, the food here is wonderful, the scenery is spectacular and they have great Wifi!! Really I could have spent more time here and less time looking at geysers in Yellowstone. Although, truth be told, once you‘ve paddled the canoe, gone on a hike, a horseback ride and perhaps learned a bit of fly-fishing you‘ve pretty much
Still tasty after all these years on 9/22/2007
We recently re-visited Artist Point in the Wilderness Lodge for the first time in several years. Seems to me the last time was during a Hurricane, but thats another story! Usually I order the classic dish, cedar plank salmon. However, I just wasn‘t "feeling" the latest rendition; something about the new apricot glaze didn‘t sound so good to me so I went for the free range chicken and Ahnalira did the pork chop and we shared. The Tamale that came with the chicken was really the highlight of the meal for me, although the macaroni and cheese that came with the pork chop was also very delicious and of course the Venison spring rolls were also very good.
After that, nothing really impressed me, the chicken and pork chop just seemed rather average to me and the beans with the chicken was not something that either of us particularly enjoyed .
The service was truly excellent and the ambience was pleasant. How
Turf Club Bar and Grill
Pleasant, nice spot for a burger! on 8/8/2007
Now that Saratoga is our DVC home resort, we decided to check out all our "home" options The Turf Club is a pleasant little restaurant, tucked away behind the Artist‘s Palette, just past the pool table. It sports posh accomodations, a quiet atmosphere and a pleasant view of the river.
I had an Angus Chuck burger and it was quite tasty, along with the Slaw which I found to be a little weird but Ahnalira scarfed it right up. We both enjoyed our meals, service was great, I give it two thumbs up. The only reason it doesn‘t get a five from me is that the food didn‘t Wow me, maybe I‘ve been watching too much Top Chef or something.
Liberty Tree Tavern
Good eats, cool lunch spot on a hot day! on 8/8/2007
We recently renewed our acquaintance with the Liberty Tree Tavern, stopping in for lunch on a day of record-breaking heat. Of course, our first concern was to get out of the heat and something cold and liquid in our hands. For sure the Tavern came through on that promise. Right away we realized that the Tavern has been discovered as a lunch place, it was full up on our visit.
I opted for the Tri-Corner roast beef sandwich and was quite satisfied with the meaty results, especially when combined with a never ending flow of Iced Tea (brewed thank you very much!). Ahnalira opted for the vegetarian special which got lots of happy sounds and thumbs from her side of the table. Altogether a pleasant lunch break although it wasn‘t nothing to write home about, it takes some "Wow" factor to get a five from me anymore
A bit bland on 8/6/2007
We recently decided to pop in for dinner on a hot sunny day. As usual, the ambience is exotic and cool. The drumming Moroccan music and belly dancer are entertaining (although we were seated way off to the side where we couldn‘t see much). I ordered the chicken couscous which I found to be juicy but extremely bland flavorwise. Its a huge dish, enough to feed a family of four I think! Overall, I give it a 3 because the food was so non-descript! Still, I recommend everybody try it at least once, it is a unique experience. You may have better luck with the Kabobs, unless you like bland dishes.
Viva Espana! on 7/5/2007
I thoroughly enjoyed this trip, which is saying a lot since I wasn‘t really sure why we picked the Adventure to Spain. I made full use of my High School Spanish and with my natural lisp I fit right in in no time at all. The food was not nearly as weird as I thought it would be, although a few things were just too weird for me, in general I found the eatin‘s to be good!
My big tip is, DO NOT give in to the temptation to eat at Starbucks or any other American eatery. That was the worst food of the trip, that horrific soggy sandwich at Starbucks right after we got off the plane. They really don‘t understand how to make American food over there!
Anyway, I really had a great time. Wish we‘d spent more time in Cordoba because I really liked that town, but Sevilla was really great too. Be sure to get in shape for this trip, we ar
Yong Feng Shangdian Department Store
Like shopping in China! on 6/5/2007
This place is great, they have all sorts of wonderful Chinese products. Jade carvings, silk clothing, we just have the greatest time shopping here! Definitely a must do for shopaholics while in Epcot
Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room
A pleasant polynesian rest break! on 6/5/2007
I know its a bit hokey, but on a hot day in Adventureland you just can‘t beat the Enchanted Tiki Room. Its cool, dark, and pleasant which earns it 4 stars in my book on a hot summer day And its amusing and mildly entertaining as well!
Mombasa Marketplace/Ziwani Traders
Great store on 5/23/2007
I‘m loving Mombasa, this is one store where you can find something a little different from the run of the mill Disney store. Almost like really being there in a tourist trap in Africa
Pirates of the Caribbean
Its a classic! on 5/22/2007
There is just something soothing and pleasant as you float thorugh the mayhem that is the pirates of the caribbean! Now its fun to spot the Johnny Depp :P
World Showcase Players (France)
Always amusing and fun! on 5/22/2007
Let me just say that I am a BIG fan of the World Showcase players no matter where they play or what they are doing. They are just hilarious and the audience participation really makes it exciting, you never know when you"re going to get chosen to be part of the act! I always stop to watch whenever I see them playing, I highly recommend that anybody with a sense of humor make sure to catch one of these shows.
Chilean Salmon, Wow! on 5/8/2007
We just had a delicious dinner at the Maya Grill; for the first time I really felt that the food itself took center stage (although I still enjoy the Mayan theming!). Our waitress recommended the Chilean Salmon with such enthusiasm that I went ahead and ordered it, in spite of my normally reticent attitude towards fishy friends! Wow was that a good choice! Possibly the best salmon anywhere that I have ever had, I think it even beat out Artist Point which had been my favorite all-time Salmon. This was a very fresh, wild Salmon (which seems to mean a thinner filet usually!) that was perfectly seared, slightly crispy on the outside and still moist and tender on the inside. The mashed potatoes were delightful as well!
Big thumbs up, especially for salmon lovers
Disney's Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular
Excellent! on 5/7/2007
This was just a great show all the way around! I highly recommend it, really the shows are perhaps the best thing about Disneyland vs. WDW.
Path to Pura Vida
Awesome! Path to a lot of Fun if you ask me! on 5/6/2007
I have to admit that I was not too sure how our trip on the Path to Pura Vida (in Costa Rica) would turn out. However, I soon discovered that it was a rollicking good time, hopping from one fun adventure to the next. The guides were great and so was our group. My only problem was trying to find enough energy for all the activities, believe me it helps if you are in good shape for this trip! Even the pineapple plantation tour turned out to be great fun, even though my initial reaction to the concept was along the lines of ho-hum. Now I know what pineapple is supposed to taste like (not sour in other words!) and how to properly select a good pineapple at the grocery store (should be refrigerated and firm and a ilttle greenish!).
But really, everything was fun: splash fights in the river rafts, hikes through butterflies and rainforests, ziplining through rainforest canopy, even driving through the countryside, it was one of the funnest trips I've ever h
Disney's California AdventureTM
Getting better all the time! on 5/6/2007
We recently had a chance to spend a couple of days cruising California Adventure. Many improvements have been made, including the addition of the Muppets and Monsters Inc. Although I do miss Millionaire and the Soap restaurant and the improv theater. Meanwhile, all kinds of new kiddie rides have showed up just past Tough to be A Bug (another fun show!); I give it a four, not quite a five yet but its getting there with those money ticket rides like Soaring, my favorite rollercoaster, and Tower of Terror!
It's Tough to Be a Bug
Still fun after all these years! on 5/6/2007
Tough to be a Bug has become another classic in my book, a worthy copy of the WDW AK version which I have been enjoying for years now. Like Muppets, I always get a some good laughs out of this 3D show as well as a few cringes here and there. The queue theming is slightly different than WDW which makes it fun for a Floridian too. Disney at its finest IMHO!
A reluctant convert! on 5/6/2007
I got sort of, how should I say it, dragged? into this store. So my expectations were quite low and I was surprised to discover that making a stuffed bear (well, penguin in my case!) is really quite fun Then I got Gorgeous the penguin some shades and his own little iPod and my day was complete!
Jim Henson's Muppet Vision 3D
Just plain fun! on 4/21/2007
I recently got to ride the West coast version of Muppet 3D and enjoyed it every bit as much as my beloved MGM version. Even more fun is that the theming in the queue is different so there's new silly stuff to laugh at. I have seen this show many times and still find it funny. Gotta love those muppets and that scene with Mrs Piggy and the waterski is to die for!
Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!
Amusing but not good enough for an encore! on 4/21/2007
This ride replaces the Limo ride and is definitely an improvement on that. This was an amusing experience but not a ride I will seek out more than once! Its basically an old fashioned car on a track type ride with Monsters Inc. theming.
Possibly the best lunch to be found at DCA! on 4/21/2007
We stopped here for lunch the other day. The food is pretty good, probably the best I've seen in DCA at lunchtime (which is perhaps not saying much) Of course, all the little girls were thoroughly entranced by the princesses. That didn't do much for me though, I was mainly enjoying the salad and Salmon BLT which were good enough. Seating was comfortable, the two-top table we had was a good sized table, and we had a decent view of Paradise Pier. Unfortunately they had no sugarfree option for dessert, the best they could offer us was a bowl of fruit which doesn't count for dessert with us. Hence, the downgrade from what would otherwise be 4 stars from me.
Pretty good, Jambalaya is quite tasty! on 4/21/2007
We recently made our first visit (for dinner) to the DL Rainforest. After waiting 10 minutes we were told that the wait was 1:45. So, we promptly walked into the bar area and found an empty table (we got lucky!). Noise was a bit intense but hey, we got served right away and could still catch a whiff of the famous thunderstorm. I'm used to the WDW RFC's and this one seemed a bit smaller to me. I did like the pyramid theming though. And I found my new fave RFC dish, Jambalaya was very tasty.
Mainly I mark it down to 3 for extreme noise and excessive waiting and it took quite a while to get our food after ordering. This is definitely something to experience if you've never been to a Rainforest Cafe before, the ambience is unique. You will definitely want to hit this place on an off day (not Saturday like we did!) and maybe an off-time as well because it gets jammed. Either that - or be prepared for a very very long wai
Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria
Fun ambience, hand tossed pizza, what more? on 4/21/2007
We did lunch here and had a very pleasant experience overall. We ate outside (no wait at all!) and I had a Salsicce pizza which was quite tasty. Our server was friendly and efficient and the ambience was very pleasant. Definitely qualifies for a solid 4 rating all the way around.
The Seas with Nemo & Friends
Ho Hum! on 12/28/2006
We took this ride recently, and its pretty tame stuff. Pleasant enough scenery, and the queue was pretty cool, but we got off the ride wondering if there is another way to get into the Seas so we can see Crush... which is rally awesome btw! I give it 3 only because I figure little kids might enjoy the ride, for me personally its more like a 2...
Finding Nemo, The Musical
Technically very good, great sets! on 12/28/2006
We just saw this for the first time, located in the now enclosed theater where Tarzan used to be, out in the far reaches of Animal Kingdom. I found the sets and costumes to be quite impressive and innovative. The performers all seemed quite competent. The only reason I don't give it a 5 is because I felt the songwriting really didn't measure up to the standards set by shows like Lion King, Tarzan, Hunchback of Notre Dame. Still, it was very good quality for a theme park show and I recommend that you see it at least once
Royal Anandapur Tea Company
Heaven for the discerning tea drinker! on 12/28/2006
I love love LOVE this place! THey serve all sorts of loose leaf, fresh brewed teas here; hot or iced. I recently had a hot Chai here that was simply exquisite. I've also had all three flavors of iced tea and they are all quite delicious. Really a wonderful place to wet your whistle on your way to Expedition Everest or Kali River Rapids
Turtle Talk with Crush
High tech fun! on 12/28/2006
This is simply one of the best shows, truly unique. Now available both in Florida and California. I'm not sure how they do it, but somehow they've managed to create a technology that allows an animated Crush to interact with the audience. He comments on members of the audience and answers questions. Its definitely not canned, this is a live interactive show. Each time we come here the show is more popular, it pretty much dominates The Living Seas pavilion as the line takes up most of the interior of the building!
Definitely a must see, and since the show is different every time it is fun to see over and over again. It has become a regular stop for us everytime we go to Epcot... that and Soaring of course!
Whispering Canyon Cafe
Can you say Loud and Obnoxious? on 12/7/2006
We had quite a mixed experience on our recent visit to Whispering Canyon for lunch. To start with, "Whispering" is like some kind of sick joke because mostly the ambience here is loud and obnoxious... be prepared for a lot of noise and yelling by the people working here; the kids were quiet by comparison! We were unlucky enough to get the slowest server in the world, I honestly think she went backstage and took a 45 minute nap because after an hour of sitting we had yet to receive our food or even a refill on our drinks.
Having gotten that unpleasantness out of the way, the food was really good... possibly the best tasting burger I've had on property and Ahnalira really liked her salad too. Once the waitress came out of her coma she was actually quite competent, even if she was still loud and obnoxious. So, 5 stars for the food and 1 star for service and ambience puts it right at 3!
Chefs de France Restaurant
Ch ch changes, but still good! on 12/7/2006
We recently stopped by Chefs de France for a lovely dinner. As is my custom, I ordered the Soup a l'oignion and a mixed green salad. Both were quite good but I must say the French Onion soup is not quite the show stopper it once was... I guess thats what happens when you change chefs, n'est-ce pas? I hope my French spelling isn't too abominable! And we do miss the old goat cheese tarte, that was so delicious.
Still, its a great place to eat and the French Onion soup is still noteworthy and should be attempted at every opportunity! Salad was quite good and Ahnalira was very happy with her meal (pork chop, yum!). Definitely a WDW fave and new comers should definitely check it out, you may get hooked just like I am
Great French Onion Soup! on 11/18/2006
We just got back from a very pleasant trip to Disneyland and had the opportunity to enjoy lunch in the Cafe Orleans. The menu here is sort of a Blue Bayou Lite, with Monte Cristo sandwiches playing a prominent part. I ordered the French Onion soup which I promptly gobbled up, what a delight on a cool day! This is second only to Chefs de France in the world of Disney French Onion soups, real Gruyere cheese melted on top and every spoonful gets a generous helping of onions, what a happy time
The Monte Cristo's got mixed reviews, I didn't particularly like the meat in my Monte Cristo, but I loved Ahnalira's cheese only Monte Cristo. However, unless you have a really big appetite, I would probably just order the soup!
All in all, a very pleasant experience and probably would have gotten a full on "5" if not for the regular Monte Cristo falling a bit short of the mar
Redd Rockett's Pizza Port, hosted by Buitoni
Just ok on 11/18/2006
On our recent trip to Disneyland we stopped in to Redd Rocket's for a bit of pizza and pasta. I'm afraid I have to give this one a thumbs down. Although the ambiance was kinda cute I found the pizza to be rampantly mediocre I also had salad which was a real basic Ice Berg, nothing to write home about. Prices are high considering the food quality, we paid $40 for two modest dinners... and I was still hungry afterward.
To be fair, it seemed my table mates were quite happy with their pasta dishes; lesson learned: don't order pizza even though it has "pizza" in the title! However, I think at this price you'd be much better off to wander over to Cafe Orleans
Not the greatest Mexi on 11/18/2006
We popped into Tortilla Jo's a few days ago for dinner, I can't resist anything Mexican when I'm in Californian and this looked to fit the bill! Unfortunately, the experience was a bit on the disappointing side. We immediately ordered up a big bowl of guacamole, but after a few bites everybody got puzzled looks on their faces. Everybody felt there was something missing, although it was extremely fresh tasting and went down well enough with a bit of hot sauce... probably needs some seasoning like garlic, lemon, and so forth. It turned out that this was a premonition of things to come. All the food was fresh but lacking in flavor, hence the "3" rating. Hopefully these guys will figure out that Mexican food tastes better with seasonings
Beautiful spot on a stormy evening on 8/29/2006
Let me start by saying that I have not been a fan of California Grill so up until our recent dinner I would have rated it about a 3; thus my rating of 4 represents a very happy experience to balance a number of less happy times. To begin with we got an entire 4-top to ourselves, the two of us that is. We were place to the right side and it was significantly quieter than previous experiences on the left (and seemingly more crowded) side. The view was spectacular as the sun was setting among many storm clouds
The food was quite good, I chose 3 appetizers while Ahnalira went for a Salmon and especially delicious corn chowdery soup. Of the appetizers, I did find the flatbread quite flavorful, the tomatoes weren't my thing although Ahnalira really enjoyed them! The Sushi was quite good, California rolls tasted very fresh and there were a lot of them. Overall I give it 4 because the foo
Nice Reuben, no booths! on 8/29/2006
We each had Reuben sandwiches here for lunch the other day, we found the Reuben's to be a bit above the average fare; although I must say that the Grand Floridian Reuben is exceptional by comparison! The ambience here is nothing special and I don't think there is a booth to be had in the place. Overall I would say this is a pleasant enough place to grab a slightly better than average sitdown meal. Convenient if you happen to be staying at the Yacht & Beach Club but I certainly wouldn't go out of my way to eat here... hence the 3 out of 5 rating which to me means nothing special.
Disney's California AdventureTM
Great RollerCoaster and plenty of eats! on 7/31/2006
I have really enjoyed the California Adventure every time I've been there I know there are purists out there who poo poo the new park, but I think it has really brought the Disneyland California experience up a couple of notches. There's nothing more fun than staying in the wondrous new Grand Californian and walking out the back door and into a theme park! My favorite thing at the California Adventure is the big wooden roller coaster California Screamin', what a fun ride! Kind of like the Boardwalk roller coaster in Santa Cruz but on steroids. I also really enjoy Hollywood Backlot; very reminiscent of MGM Studios in Florida. They have great shows on the street and in the theater and of course I love the Tower of Terror THe other fun thing about California Adventure is all the eating opportunities, a broad range from fancy sit down restaurants to n
Disney Hollywood Studios
Muppets and good food, what more could you want on 7/29/2006
MGM is one of my favorite parks; its got two of my fave rides at WDW that being Tower of Terror and Rock'n'Roller Coaster. Also a few of my favorite restaurants like Mama Melrose and PrimeTime Cafe. And finally its got the Muppets which is funny every time I see it
Mad Tea Party
Takes me back on the time machine! on 6/19/2006
A few minutes on the tea cups not only gives me a great upper body workout, it takes me right back to my childhood. And if you're really lucky you might even get dizzy and nauseous and stumble around afterwords
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Just OK, not so great for tea drinkers! on 5/13/2006
The Animal Kingdom Lodge Concierge has become a regular stop for us, we love the resort theming and watching the animals is a joy. Unfortunately, the concierge experience was rampantly mediocre, service was very uneven and several mistakes were made.
For example, the dedicated hot tea drinker in our party was less than happy. Apparently they arent allowed to provide actual hot water on the buffet, so the tea water is provided luke warm and not hot enough for proper steeping. The afternoon tea advertised loose-leaf tea but none was provided. This is unfortunate since I had previously perceived Animal Kingdom Lodge as a haven for the gourmet hot tea drinker!
However, it wasnt all bad and a few of the staff were quite helpful. We did get a few sugarfree desserts and one of the staff even approached us to let us know that we had sugarfree muffins lying unclaimed in the refrigerator. The
Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
Refurb is a big improvement! on 4/15/2006
We recently visited the Polynesian after their latest refurbishment and I was impressed. They have really upgraded the furniture in the rooms, the closet space is simply delightful now! Add to that high speed internet service and a great view of the fireworks from your room and youve got a winner! The concierge area has also been remodelled, I rather like the new layout although I miss the Poly that we first got to know 10 years ago. I didnt see any fruit sculptures like the old days but we did see a familiar face or two. Overall Im giving the Poly a 4 because you really cant beat the location and the view.
In addition they have just completed a major remodel of the main building, making a very nice large shopping area right near the entrance (it used to be hidden in the back). Ahnalira was especially pleased by the selection of Tommy Bahamas womens clothing there although I have to say the mens select
Awesome! Fun ride. on 1/31/2006
We recently got an Annual Passholder sneak peek of the Animal Kingdoms latest thrill ride, Expedition Everest has great Himalayan theming and the ride itself is really fun! This has rapidly, after only one ride, worked itself into my personal top five Disney World attractions. Not only that, there are tasty gourmet iced teas to be found at a new stand in Asia; that finished off our Animal Kingdom visit nicely. The only downside to the ride was the incredibly long line (about 50 minutes). So go grab your fast pass first thing because they were gone by the time we got there at 2PM!!
Team Mickey Athletic Wear
Great brands; QuikSilver and Tommy Bahamy on 11/29/2005
We recently visited Team Mickey and it turned out to be my favorite store of that trip, a new addition to a rapidly dwindling list of my favorite Disney Stores For me this is the best place to get clothes for guys on property, they have several of my favorite brands including QuickSilver and Tommy Bahama among others; I just had a blast shopping here and am very happy with the pile of clothes I brought home with me.
Great decor... on 11/27/2005
Nestled beside Splash Mountain, one of our favorite rides, is the briar patch. I love the decor here, worth a visit just to see the roots of the briar patch forming the ceiling of the store. At one time this was a fun store with a nice variety of merchandise, however it has since become a Kids store; nothing much for us adults! I give it 3 only because of the ambience and happy memories of another shopping era.
Disney's Vero Beach Resort
A bit smaller than I expected, but nice! on 11/18/2005
We visited Vero Beach a few months ago and were unfortunate enough to have a lot of rain while we were there. I hadnt realized what a cozy little resort this is; having become accustomed to the huge on property Disney World resorts. Fortunately the 1 bedroom unit we got was the standard spacious DVC 1 bedroom which is really quite nice.
During the one dry morning we did try out some of the rentals, got out there on a couple of waverunners and had a great time! It appears that they have pretty well recovered form the hurricanes of 2004 and the beach is looking good.
Overall I was not very impressed with Vero Beach. It is a good place to go for a quiet time away from everything. I wasnt really looking to have a quiet time away from everything so I thought it was a little bit boring really (except for the waverunner ride). As long as you just want some down time and arent really looking to have anything much to do but lie by the beach or the pool then should have a
Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano
Wonderful food! Comfy ambiance. on 11/13/2005
We just visited Mama Melrose while visiting SuperSoap weekend and had the most delightful meal First, they happily seated us in a booth when we requested it, and we just love a nice comfy booth. I've always liked the Italian family run homey atmosphere of Mama Melrose. And the menu is a delight, my only problem was deciding what I wanted to try first! I settled on the Toasted Bread salad which was very fresh and tasty. For my Entree I chose the Grilled Chicken Flatbread which went far and above my expectations, truly delicioso! I can't recommend it enough Ahnalira had the Eggplant Napoleon and was very happy with it, she says they really know how to do eggplant at Mama Melrose! The only negative was the sugar-free dessert, they gave us the omnipresent Disney frozen cheesecake; we each took one bite and sent it back. Fortunately they hap
Mulch, Sweat, and Shears
Relive some classic RocknRoll! on 11/13/2005
Mulch, Sweat, and Shears are my favorite new act at MGM Studios These guys rock out! They play some of the big rocknroll hits from my childhood, and they do it really well with lots of audience participation and silly landscaping jokes! Keep our eye out for that yellow truck that looks like your local yard maintenance crew... until they whip out the guitars and knock your socks off They can often be found in downtown New York!
Epcot Food and Wine Festival
I love this festival! on 11/10/2005
The Food & Wine Festival has got to be about the most fun festival of all! How can you beat bunches of new eating opportunities . I don't know about the wine, but I sure do like the food. Here are my favorites for 2005: Mexican Chilaquiles and the Hummus in Morocco . In Australia we saw the most delightful presentation/demonstration on the didjeridoo or "yiggi yiggi" as some aborigines call it. That one is definitely worth catching.
I highly recommend the Food & Wine Festival
Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Love the new buffet area! Staff is delightful :) on 11/2/2005
We had a pleasant surprise on our recent stay in Wilderness Lodge Concierge, they have installed a whole new room (properly themed of course) for the concierge area. Quite nice! The eating area still feels a lot like chairs and tables in a hallway (because it is) and thats probably the only reason I dont give it a 5. We found the staff, Jack in particular, to be very friendly and accomodating. After the first day they made sure we had plenty of sugarfree muffins and desserts.
The “Magic” and “Wonder” Of It All (Magic)
Entertainment off the map! Good pizza! on 10/28/2005
I think for famillies there just isnt a better cruise ship than the Disney Magic. The kids really have it good on this ship with all the play areas and the pool.
Of course, as usual, I am reviewing from an adult perspective so I have to say that the Disney Cruise Line is not the greatest for adults. The things I love about the Disney Magic are:
- The pizza on this ship is fantastic, my favorite pizza of all the cruise lines Ive been on!
- The entertainment is among the best. I enjoy the Hercules show every time I see it. Great comedy, the night clubs are very good, the dance activities are often well attended and well done!
- The ship itself is very nice, gotta love those characters on the prow... I think its Goofy isnt it?
And now for the things I dont love so much:
- First of all, the food is just not up to snuff. It does get better every year but still lags way behind competitors like Holland America and Celebrity.
The “Magic” and “Wonder” Of It All (Wonder)
I do like the colors better! on 10/28/2005
The Wonder is the newer ship and I do like the colors better! Food is about the same as the Magic though so its still getting a 3 from me!
Magic Kingdom® Park
Great for kids but not my favorite! on 10/27/2005
I think this park is mainly for the kids; not a great park for the
grown ups though. This is undoubtedly the most crowded park on any
given day. I highly recommend you come here on an off season day or at
least come early in the morning if you can. Go to your favorite ride
first and get a fast pass!
On the plus side are some great rides here; Splash Mountain is one of
our all time faves and Thunder Mountain is great fun too. I enjoy a lot
of the classic rides just for old times sake; Pirates, Jungle Cruise,
etc. And of course the parades (if you like that sort of thing) are
specatacular and the fireworks show is amazing and inspiring.
On the minus side, the eating here is not great. I would plan to eat
elsewhere if possible because I cant say that any of the restaurants
here is in my top ten WDW restaurants.
Lots of great entertainment and eating! on 10/27/2005
The two things I go to Epcot for are the shows and the eating. Here you
have some of my favorite WDW restaurants; places like Alfredos, Chefs
de France, Tangierine Cafe are all delightful eating opportunities.
On the other hand there is great entertainment to be had here in the
WorldShowCase. The fun thing to do is stay at the Beach Club and show
up at the International Gateway just after the Showcase opens... like
11AM ish. Then you are perfectly positioned to see the World Showcase
Players (hilarious, I LOVE this show and I never miss it), Off-Kilter, Mo-Rockin, British Invasion, and the list goes on.
Especially fun are the special events like the Food and Wine Festival,
yummm! The Flower Power concert series is also fantastic; you get to
see what happened to all the rock stars you remember from your
Whats the downside? Well, be prepared to walk, and walk... and walk.
There is some serious
Disney's BoardWalk Inn
Whimsy with a great location! on 10/24/2005
The Boardwalk Inn is one of my favorite WDW resorts. The deluxe concierge rooms are especially nice, they have an extra little sitting area which works well for me since I like to have a place to play on my computer in the evenings that is separate from the bed. The location is also wonderful, you feel like you are right in the middle of things with all the activity on the Boardwalk; several restaurants to choose from (I like Spoodles the best personally) and a pleasant boat ride to MGM or Epcot. The decor is whimsical which isnt exactly my favorite but Ahnalira really enjoys it :) My only warning is this: do not stay at the Boardwalk Inn if you are looking a for a quiet, peaceful room... that would be something more like the Wilderness Lodge or even the Beach Club.
Disney's Yacht Club Resort
Dark, quiet, conservative in navy blue! on 10/24/2005
The Yacht Club colors have always seemed a bit on the dark side to me; navy blue and red with dark woods seems to dominate. I think its a bit better since the last remodel and I like the new furniture a lot better... same type of furniture that they put in the Beach Club.
The concierge used to be one of the best but I was disappointed at the rather lackluster minimalist fare presented on our last trip. In general I get the impression that Disney is cutting the concierge budget so I dont think this is specific to Yacht Club, it seems all of the concierge level food outlays have been cut back. Still, the people in concierge here are some of the best :)
Overall its a good resort, nice and close to the boat dock that will take you to MGM or Epcot and I do love those boats! Some decent restaurants, the Yacht Club is a great place for a steak and the Galley is pretty good, too. If you like the quiet, dark, conservative nautical/navy blue theme you will love the Yacht Cl
Walt Disney World® Railroad
Pleasant way to catch your breath! on 10/24/2005
Sure theres not much to it, but I always enjoy this ride. Its especially nice if your "dogs" are feeling a bit tired from too much pavement pounding and waiting in lines. You can catch a ride around the park and just relax in the light breeze, let your mind go into that zombie like state that happens from over-exhaustion hyper-stimulation heat-strokey kind of thing ;) And there is hardly ever a line either! I like to believe that I never really know whats coming around the next corner... could be Indians or even a space ship; its hard to say. The only thing better than this is a boat ride!
Jim Henson's Muppet*Vision 3-D
Great Fun! on 10/20/2005
This is a great show but the pre-show might be even funnier! You gotta love those penguins! Be sure to catch the Muppets on your next visit to MGM.
I take this ride every chance I get! on 10/19/2005
I love Kilimanjaro Safari! Its always different, the animals you see depends so much on things like the time of day and the weather. Every once in a while you see something really unusual. And at the end you get to save Big Red which I always figures entitles us to a fun shopping trip! I highly recommend doing this first thing in the morning and as late in the day as possible; often the most animals seem to be out and about at those times of day. The line moves quickly but fast pass is a good idea on crowded days.
Pangani Forest Exploration Trail®
Gorillas! Another reason to love Animal Kingdom :) on 10/19/2005
Another great attraction in Africa; a very pleasant stroll through lush vegetation and lost of interesting displays. The big attraction is the real live Gorillas, the big guy is almost always sitting by the window watching the people. Usually you get a glimpse of the baby and mom and sometimes weve seen the bachelors off in a separate section. This is a pleasant addendum to the Kilimanjaro Safari!
Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park
Relaxing water park! on 10/15/2005
I found Typhoon Lagoon to be a very pleasant place to while away a hot
summer afternoon. The wave pool is a cool thing, the slides were fun
although teens and young adults will probably prefer the wilder rides
at Blizzard Beach. A good time was had by all. The classic Disney
theming touch made it a little more interesting than your standard
Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park
Perhaps my favorite park! on 10/15/2005
I really love the Animal Kingdom, every little detail is a thing of
beauty. It is especially fun to see animals everywhere you
turn. Africa is fun because of the drummers and of course, the
Kilimanjaro Safari is delightful! Asia has the Jungle Trek and very wet
river boat ride. Even the entrance is very pleasant, with so much lush
vegetation. This is perhaps the hottest park for some reason, and
there is a severe lack of real restaurants here. Otherwise I just love
it! I can hardly wait for Mt Everest to open :)
Fun place to shop for AK Ts and Art of Disney! on 10/15/2005
We stop here just about every time we visit the Animal Kingdom, theyve got all the great T-shirts in here as well as a little Art of Disney section and a gardening section which is a lot of fun! Between this place and Outfitters across the way you can find just about anything you would want!
Fun In (And Out Of) The Sun at Castaway Cay, Disney's Private Island Paradise
Very pleasant on 10/14/2005
Weve been to Castaway Cay several times now and each time I find it to
be a very pleasurable experience. Disney has really set this place up
nicely, the barbecue is quite nice and the food is good. They have a
nice store where you can get all those things you might need and
the beaches are both very nice, with nice lounges and umbrellas. They
rent all kinds of neat stuff and its usually sunny here. On the 3/4
night cruises I find that Castaway Cay is the highlight of the trip.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
A classic! and a bit tame... on 10/13/2005
I remember riding this as a child! Its great for a pleasant few minutes, and probably fun for very small children. I cant really recommend it except for the sake of childhood memories...
Fun but small! on 10/12/2005
I loved this ride as a kid! But as an adult, with two of us in one rocket it was hilariously overcrowded!
I thought we were either going to die laughing or explode in mid-air! Still a lot of fun, but not so great for grown ups.
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Love the animals! on 10/12/2005
This is one of my favorite WDW
resorts! If you get a room with a Savannah view you can watch the
animals all through the day; even at night. We have stayed here several
times now, and I just love it. The only down side is that the
rooms tend to be a bit on the dark side, I guess its that authentic
African looking furniture that is so dark.
Also the concierge here is very nice, you get a great view of the
spectacular lobby and they even have a real nice latte machine.
La NoubaTM by Cirque du Soleil®
Best show on property or off for that matter on 10/12/2005
I would give Cirque du Soleil La Nouba more
than 5 if I could, it is unbelievably good! Ive seen it about 5 times
now and totally loved it every time. It changes a bit every year,
getting better all the time. I havent seen any of the other Cirque
shows but I should would like to. I especially like the guy who
soars on the scarf things and the little Asian girls with the Diablos.
See the show that has inspired an entire genre of entertainment!
Soarin' Over California
Pleasant and exhilarating all in one on 10/11/2005
We did this on our first trip to DCA and immediately fell in love. Its as close as you can get to flying without actually doing it. In true Disney attention to detail, you even smell pine trees and water as you fly by.
Btw, this is now open in Florida too at Epcot and that one is just as fun!
Festival of the Lion King
Great show; love the fire dude! on 10/11/2005
A Cirque du Soleil-ish take on the Lion King; this is a very entertaining bit of fun. The pre-show is pretty amusing, nobody seems to know how to make Giraffe noises... makes me laugh every single time! The fire eating guy is great and the other performances are quite good as well. Still, you really have to see the original Cirque to get the full experience!!
Christmas is especially fun with the carollers on 10/11/2005
I just love the streetmosphere in all its various and tawdry forms. But probably the funnest thing Ive seen was at Christmas when a choir composed of the various movie personae sing the words from one Christmas song to the melody of another XMas song chosen by the audience. How do they do that? It must take years of training, truly and incredible feat :)
Nice and relaxing on 10/11/2005
Castaway Creek was a pleasant surprise for me. At first I thought it looked pretty stupid and boring but once we got out there on our inner tubes I discovered that this is really a very pleasant way to tour Typhoon Lagoon, lots of lush foliage and an occasional bit of excitement, wild animals... oh, wait, I think that was another ride! LOL
Disneyland Monorail - Downtown Disney
A delightful way to get to the park! on 10/11/2005
We stayed at the Disneyland hotel once and found that this monorail was just a wonderful way to get into the park in the morning... AND it saves you quite a walk in the process. I also really enjoyed the way theyve redone this since my childhood days.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™
This is what I call fun fun fun!! on 10/10/2005
This is my FAVORITE ride at MGM studios, if Im lucky I get to hop right back on for 4 or 5 repeats! I just love that feeling of weightlessness and unpredictability. The theming is immaculate and sometimes you get a really creepy elevator operator which just adds to the fun!
Disney's Grand Californian Hotel®
Id give this more than 5 if I could!, 5 on 9/9/2005
The Grand Californian is the best of the Disney resorts in any location! The Craftsman theming is exquisite in every detail. You cant beat being able to walk to both parks, in fact GC has its own entrance into California Adventure and Downtown Disney both. The Storytellers Cafe is one of the best Disney resort restaurants anywhere too! I just love this place, cant imagine staying anywhere else on my visits to Disneyland Resort!