WE'RE GOING TO DISNEYWORLD!!!

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cy1229
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WE'RE GOING TO DISNEYWORLD!!!

Post by cy1229 » Oct Thu 20, 2011 7:20 am

DH, daughters, and I are serious Disney fans but our family income is such that frequent trips (we live in Indiana) are not economically feasible. Fortunately for us, my mom and stepdad purchased DVC points a few years ago and have been using the points to bring us, my sister and her family, and all my step-siblings and their families, on trips to WDW. Last night parents called to tell us they want to take us again, in Oct 2012. I'm so excited! Woohoo!! We're going to (hopefully) again stay in a grand villa so we're all together.

We all have our favorite places to eat ('OHANA!!!!) but I'd like your input on other places we may have missed. Haven't dined much in AK and my experience with character dining has been that the food takes second place to the character experience. Does anyone have any input on this? My niece will be 6 when we go so characters will still be a big deal.

I'm 43 years old and jumping up and down inside like a little kid. :goofy_bounce: Now the real question, do I tell my girls (ages 16 and 13) or wait until the day before we leave and spring it on them? It will be hard for this excited mama to keep her trap shut. :)
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Re: WE'RE GOING TO DISNEYWORLD!!!

Post by Amy » Oct Thu 20, 2011 8:02 am

Great deal! What a nice opportunity for your family to spend some time together at WDW. When was the last time you went to WDW? I feel your dismay at living too far away. We are in Michigan and it costs a lot to even get to Florida...
Flame Tree BBQ in AK is a really good counter-service restaurant if you like BBQ.
As for telling your girls, you could look at it two ways. If you tell them, they can join in the excitement of planning and you don't have to worry about slipping and saying something. But if you surprise them, they will be soooo surprised and you can capture that moment on video or in a picture.

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Re: WE'RE GOING TO DISNEYWORLD!!!

Post by cousininmiami » Oct Thu 20, 2011 8:39 am

For character meals I really like The Crystal Palace. Not only is it a character meal, but it's in the the Magic Kingdom which makes it even more special! I also recommend The Biergarten in Germany/Epcot. They have a nice buffet that is delicious and a nice one for the kids too. Ask for a table down next to the dance floor, and wait for it if you have to, do not let them put you just anywhere. Trust me it's worth the extra time! The German band and show is incredible, kids love it as well as your parents will too! You can dance, sing and have a great time together!

Sounds like the next two years of planning will be so much fun! I love the planning and preparation part of the trip almost as much as going, it brings everything to life in my mind as I am waiting for the trip. Yay for you guys! :D
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cy1229
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Re: WE'RE GOING TO DISNEYWORLD!!!

Post by cy1229 » Oct Thu 20, 2011 9:32 am

Amy wrote:Great deal! What a nice opportunity for your family to spend some time together at WDW. When was the last time you went to WDW? I feel your dismay at living too far away. We are in Michigan and it costs a lot to even get to Florida...
Flame Tree BBQ in AK is a really good counter-service restaurant if you like BBQ.
As for telling your girls, you could look at it two ways. If you tell them, they can join in the excitement of planning and you don't have to worry about slipping and saying something. But if you surprise them, they will be soooo surprised and you can capture that moment on video or in a picture.
We were there last in January 2010 on our first extended-family trip. The weather was a little chilly but it otherwise was a good time. My daughters and I were there in June 2008 and before that it was October 2001! We do love Flame Tree BBQ. The last time I was at the Biergarten was in 2001 and I don't know that we'll eat there as stepdad doesn't like it.

Has anyone tried the new Mexican restaurant?
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Re: WE'RE GOING TO DISNEYWORLD!!!

Post by CarolwoodPacific » Oct Thu 20, 2011 9:33 am

Unfortunately you are correct - typically food takes second place to characters. If you have daughters and they love the princesses, I recommend the Akershus in Norway. This is typically never as crowded as something like Cinderella's Royal Table, so the kids get more face time with the princesses. If you have picky eaters, the breakfast buffet is a great option. It has your Disney breakfast buffet staples.

I have also heard good things about the character breakfast at Cape May Cafe at the Beach Club. If you are looking specifically for MK, I would easily select Crystal Palace over Cinderella's Royal Table. Hope this helps!

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Re: WE'RE GOING TO DISNEYWORLD!!!

Post by Len90 » Oct Thu 20, 2011 10:48 am

I have to agree with what was stated above. With character meals you are paying for the character experience and unfortunately the food becomes a lower priority. However, we found The Crystal Palace to e amazing on our last vacation. The buffet was amazing and everything tasted great. We also really enjoy Garden Grill but we have found that the characters (especially chip and Dale) really make the meal. I'm not saying the food is bad over there, but it is not the best meal either.
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Re: WE'RE GOING TO DISNEYWORLD!!!

Post by Amy » Oct Thu 20, 2011 10:52 am

We liked the Garden Grill when we went many years ago. Chip and Dale were a hoot for sure! We only had dessert so I'm not sure how the rest of the food is now, but the ice cream sundaes back then were delicious :D

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Re: WE'RE GOING TO DISNEYWORLD!!!

Post by Sharonofwindham » Oct Thu 20, 2011 10:22 pm

So, so happy for you and your family :goofy_bounce: ! What resort will you be staying at? Because of their ages, I would tell your daughters if I were you. Younger kids don't have the sense of passing time like teenagers do so I think it's much harder for them to understand if you say,"We're going to WDW!", a year from now :shock: :? . Maybe your kids will enjoy planning with you?

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Re: WE'RE GOING TO DISNEYWORLD!!!

Post by cy1229 » Oct Fri 21, 2011 9:10 am

The plan right now is to stay at Bay Lake Tower. My parents really want to stay at OKW but my sister and I are very interested in Bay Lake Tower, because of the location and the contemporary design. We'll see who wins, because the parents are footing the bill! :-)

Meghan and Ellie are 16 and 13 right now, respectively, and at the time of this trip they'll of course be a year older. DH is pretty adamant about surprising them so we're probably going to hang on for awhile anyway. :)

The restaurants we've already tried, with our 2-word evaluation, are below. If there are some we've missed that any of you would find awesome please tell me!

Magic Kingdom
2001 Cinderella's Royal Table -- good
2001 & 2008 Liberty Tavern -- very good
2010 Tony's for character breakfast - ok

Animal Kingdom
2001 Rainforest Cafe - good (girls liked decor)
2008 & 2010 Flame Tree BBQ -- very good

Epcot
2001 & 2008 Tepan Edo (the hibachi one?) -- excellent
2001 Biergarten -- good
2008 & 2010 Le Cellier - very good
2008 Coral Reef - ok
2001 Askershus BEFORE it was a Disney Princess place - very good (this one is special to me because Meghan was "Chef for the day" and our waiter was very attentive to all her questions about Norway. He would come back to our table often, crouch down, and just talk to her about his home country. Since then she's wanted to visit Norway.)
2008 Askershus with character dining - ok (food was not nearly as good as it had been; we were looking forward to all the hot and cold Norwegian fish)
2010 - Le Chefs de France - very good (Meghan was captivated by Gabriel, our waiter, and worked on her spoken French with him)

Hollywood Studios
2008 Sci Fi Dine In - very good (the experience was a little better than the food, but not much. It was very cool and Ellie LOVED the tomato soup.)
2008 Pizza Planet - good
2010 Hollywood & Vine - ok

Resort Restaurants
2010 - 'Ohana - supremely excellent! It could have been that this was our first day in the World and that we were all very hungry and very tired. It could have been that my husband and brother-in-law had all the meat they could eat. It could have been that the kids could get up and dance, play, whatever, and no one minded much. It was, by far, the best eating experience of our trip that year.
2001 Artist's Point - excellent * infinity! I wish this was not a signature dining experience. But it's probably worth it.

Ok so much for my 2-word evaluation. And, it looks like I should keep Meghan away from waiters on this next trip. :)
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Re: WE'RE GOING TO DISNEYWORLD!!!

Post by mindflipper » Oct Fri 21, 2011 10:54 am

A long, long time ago Tony's and Coral Reef used to be very good restaurants. It's a shame they've ruined these two places over the years.

cy1229
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Re: WE'RE GOING TO DISNEYWORLD!!!

Post by cy1229 » Oct Fri 21, 2011 12:03 pm

I don't understand why, when it's a character meal, the quality of the food gets pushed aside and neglected. No offense to Mickey and his pals, but I'd rather eat a good meal and meet him and company elsewhere in the park then be given a mediochre meal along with the "privilege" of meeting the characters in person. Maybe the parents of the little kids who go ga-ga over the characters feel differently. My own girls are past the age of needing to meet the characters (but I still <3 Pluto!)
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Re: WE'RE GOING TO DISNEYWORLD!!!

Post by Leigh » Oct Fri 21, 2011 2:20 pm

Oh you have to tell them now! You can all plan the visit together! The character breakfast at the Contemporary was great -- the kids went wild with joy -- it was beautiful to see! I thought the food was very good, it's very rich food (not like I normally eat at home for breakfast) -- but really good. And the staff was excellent too, nobody was snooty or irritable that kids were crazed. :-) The waitress was so nice!

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Re: WE'RE GOING TO DISNEYWORLD!!!

Post by lonepalm » Oct Fri 21, 2011 7:45 pm

That is excellent and very exciting! Congrats! I am very jealous! Have a blast!

I would tell the kids now because you can do all sorts of fun stuff until vacation time comes. As a Disney travel planner, I would also recommend telling them so you can get an idea of what they want to do and get a feel for how they want to tour, as well as everyone else in your family! Back to the fun stuff.... you can watch the current vacation planner over and over again (once a month or something until your trip) and watch some other Disney movies once a week or every other week until trip time. There are endless possibilities and fun activities you can do meanwhile that everyone will have fun with and enjoy, but again, because I am a Disney vacation planner, I would recommend getting an idea from everyone on how they would like to tour (be there for rope drop? stay late for extra magic hours? see any shows? etc).
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Re: WE'RE GOING TO DISNEYWORLD!!!

Post by Goofyfan » Oct Fri 21, 2011 8:02 pm

We alway have had good luck at Chef Mickey for Breakfast. Food is very good. If you are running on a budget, the All Stars and Pop Culture are nice resorts. Very kid oriented and heck..... who spends much time at the resort when all that excitement at the parks are to be had. The only issue with the All Stars resorts is that the transportation buses are very crowded. I also agree with cousininmiami, The Biergarten is great. When we took our girls for the first time. We took three bowls and told the girls that for family vacation, we could not decide which place to go. we told them that under each bowl there is a vacation spot that we could afford to go to. 1- rent a cottage on the lake. 2- White mountains. 3- a week in Maine at the ocean. Under all three bowls we placed the word Disney World. When they both decided on what bowl to pick and saw Disney World as the choice of their bowl, I think my wife and I were more excited at their reaction then they were. Lots of happy screaming :D :D :D :mickey:
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Re: WE'RE GOING TO DISNEYWORLD!!!

Post by Amy » Oct Sat 22, 2011 8:13 am

I've heard great things about Artist Point. Maybe someday I will be fortunate enough to dine there...sigh.
cy1229 wrote:And, it looks like I should keep Meghan away from waiters on this next trip. :)
:lol: I was thinking the same thing :lol:

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