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Old 09-23-2008, 06:34 PM   #1
3inthefamily
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Quick Free Dining Reviews 9/17-9/21

We took advantage of the Free Dining Plan last week and had a great time! Here are the places we ate:

TS:
Whispering Canyon Cafe (d)
Cinderella's Royal Table (b)
Hollywood Brown Derby (l)
Tusker House (b)
Crystal Palace (b)

CS:
Pinocchio's
Cosmic Ray's
Auntie Gravity's
Rosie's All American Cafe
Roaring Forks
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Old 09-23-2008, 06:42 PM   #2
3inthefamily
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Whispering Canyon-

We were staying at the Wilderness Lodge, so it was an easy choice to try out the WCC. It was located right off the lobby of the hotel. The hotel is absolutely magnificent! I was so pleased with our choice and the service we got there.

We waited to be seated, maybe 15 minutes or so. My DS (5) played at the Lincoln Logs table at the front of the restaurant while we waited. At some point they called for all the kids to have a stick pony race and they let my son come ride even though we hadn't been seated yet.

Our server was Shortcake, she was very sweet and extremely accommodating. My husband is a pescatarian (fish, no meat or poultry) but wanted to try the all you can eat skillet that my son, brother in law and I were having. She hooked him up with a skillet with shrimp and salmon to replace the ribs, chicken and pork. So, we all had salad, cornbread, mashed potatoes, beans, coleslaw, shrimp. Us meat eaters had the chicken, ribs and pulled pork too.

Now, the vibe was great, the server was wonderful, the milkshakes and iced tea great....even though she embarassed me with one of those massive 10 cup glasses of tea and shouted to the restaurant that they should avoid going into the pool with me later! The food was just eh. I just didnt find anything to be out of this world. Still, we had a good time.

For dessert we had dirt and worms (that would be the 5 year old), smores cheesecake (yum!!), caramel apple pie - not so good, and a chocolate cake that was delicious!

So, fun place...food was just ok.
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September 2010 - BLT/MNSSHP
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November 2012 Port Orleans Riverside Royal Room
October 2013 - Port Orleans Riverside/MNSSHP
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Old 09-23-2008, 06:48 PM   #3
3inthefamily
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CRT-

First of all....Cinderella herself was AMAZING! She remembered my son's name when we left the restaurant an hour after meeting her. That made my trip!

Breakfast was wonderful! We had a great seat by the windows overlooking Fantasyland. Our server was very kind, and immediately brought us drinks, a basket of pastries and a goblet of fruit. We all chose the hot breakfast. The adult plates had sausage, bacon, potato casserole, eggs and a delicious "french toast" that he said was a cheese danish battered and fried with a blueberry compote on top. Oh yeah. That was good!!

The childrens meal was different, it was french toast sticks and eggs. I just gave my son my sausage and let him take whatever he wanted from my plate.

The princesses (Aurora, Belle, Snow White, Jasmine) were great. Belle was absolutely beautiful. I think they get a kick out of the little boys coming to see them...they spent lots of time with my son.

I LOVED this breakfast, and the experience of being in the castle was worth the 2 dining credits.
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First trip to WDW November 2006 - CSR
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September 2008- WL/MNSSHP
May 2009 - POR Riverside
Bought BLT DVC September 2009
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April 2010 - Vero Beach
September 2010 - BLT/MNSSHP
November 2011- SSR
April 2012 - Disney Dream
August 2012 - GCV Disneyland
November 2012 Port Orleans Riverside Royal Room
October 2013 - Port Orleans Riverside/MNSSHP
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:30 PM   #4
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We haven't had breakfast in the Castle ( well I did when I was a kid but that was about 20 years ago ) . It sounds like a good meal though, we might have to try it next time if we can get ADR's.

Great reviews so far
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:50 AM   #5
3inthefamily
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Hollywood Brown Derby

This was not in our original plans. We had used 2 credits for CRT and thought that we wouldn't be going to any other table service past our 5 credits. At the last minute we decided that we wanted to try to get some kind of sit down at DHS. The concierge at the lodge was able to get us into the Brown Derby at 1, no problem. We figured we would just pay OOP. As nice as it is, lunch there is not at all worth 2 TS credits.

So, we had a great waiter who spent a lot of time with us, checking out my brother-in-laws tattoos. He made suggestions, then brought us drinks. Sam Adams for the guys, lemonade for my son, and fresh brewed iced tea for me. He also brought some warm rolls and butter.

We all chose different entrees. My husband had the grouper, bro had the salmon and my son had the grilled chicken. They all liked it very much and said the quality was much better than anything they have had at Disney before. I chose the Cobb Salad, I love them to begin with so I thought it was fitting to have it at the place that invented it. They bring it out at toss it at the table. I have to say, I wasn't loving the salad! It was chopped so finely it (sorry to be gross here) was like it was already chewed! The flavor was good, but it was so mushy! I ate about half and gave up and snitched some yummy fries from my son's plate.

Dessert...again we tried all different types so we could share. DH had the pistachio cheesecake...it was SO good. I had the grapefruit cake. I liked it but wouldn't go back for more. BIL had the flourless chocolate cake. Again, delicious. My son had the Hidden Treasure...Vanilla ice cream, Oreo cookie crumbles and gummy snakes with a Tollhouse cookie. Surprisingly, he didn't eat much more than the snakes out of it!

All in all, I am glad we tried it out. It was about $120 for the 4 of us, not bad...certainly better than using 2 table service credits. It was a nice break from the heat and typical CS/TS in DHS park.
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September 2010 - BLT/MNSSHP
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Old 09-24-2008, 09:55 AM   #6
3inthefamily
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Pinnochio's

I have to say I was bummed that the menu here was different from last year. I was looking forward to the turkey panini, but it was gone. So, we ended up with pizzas and salad. Nothing spectacular. I was really sad to see that the cannoli was gone from the dessert menu! That was my favorite! We got chocolate cake, which was even better than usual because it was very cold. Almost like a cake-sicle! I would have liked to try the Figaro Fries but it looked like a stomachache waiting to happen!

So, nothing special here. Pizza, salad, chicken nuggets. Great location, no problem with lines and a super-helpful castmember found us seats right away.
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First trip to WDW November 2006 - CSR
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September 2008- WL/MNSSHP
May 2009 - POR Riverside
Bought BLT DVC September 2009
November 2009 - BLT
April 2010 - Vero Beach
September 2010 - BLT/MNSSHP
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April 2012 - Disney Dream
August 2012 - GCV Disneyland
November 2012 Port Orleans Riverside Royal Room
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Old 09-24-2008, 09:59 AM   #7
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Aloha Isle/Auntie Gravity's

After lurking on the boards here for years, I was finally convinced to get myself a Dole Whip float. I ended up with a pineapple/vanilla twist. i Loved the whip, but wasn't too into the pineapple juice part. Very glad I tried it out, but I fell hard for the smoothies at Auntie's.

It was very hot while were were there, and not a drop of rain in 5 days! We were happy about that, but totally sweaty! Too hot to eat dinner some nights, so we scored a strawberry-banana smoothie during MNSSHP. So yummy! I had to go back a few nights later for another one. Great use of a snack credit!
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September 2008- WL/MNSSHP
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Bought BLT DVC September 2009
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September 2010 - BLT/MNSSHP
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November 2012 Port Orleans Riverside Royal Room
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Old 09-26-2008, 04:53 AM   #8
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Old 09-26-2008, 12:17 PM   #9
3inthefamily
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Ok, guess I will keep going, wasn't sure if anyone was reading!

Tusker House Breakfast w/Donald

We had a 9:20 ADR and the check in area was chaos. We waited a good half hour to check in, with one line, then 2 lines, then one again. Not a good set-up. We were practically shoved into a quick photo session, then brought inside by a host who explained the character rotation.

This was the only server we had this trip that was a total mess. He would have been good in the Haunted Mansion, because I think he was one of the undead. The atmosphere was ok, very loud and not as pleasant as some of the other breakfast buffets we have been to. That said, the food was great.

They come around with Jungle Juice, a blend of tropical fruit juice. On the buffet there were loads of choices, and I liked how there were some African choices too. There were delicious sweet potatoes with raisins and coconut that we tried. Also a chocolate-mango bread. The carved ham was out of this world. Everything else was standard, good breakfast fare. Eggs, bacon, sausage, hash, fruit, breads, pastries, etc. It was clean and well laid-out, never a back up at the buffets.

We met Goofy, Mickey, Donald and Daisy. It was all pretty rushed, with a quick parade around the room. Im glad we tried it out, but will probably choose another place next time.
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September 2008- WL/MNSSHP
May 2009 - POR Riverside
Bought BLT DVC September 2009
November 2009 - BLT
April 2010 - Vero Beach
September 2010 - BLT/MNSSHP
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April 2012 - Disney Dream
August 2012 - GCV Disneyland
November 2012 Port Orleans Riverside Royal Room
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Old 09-26-2008, 01:55 PM   #10
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I've been reading. I'm looking forward to your Crystal Palace review!
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Old 09-26-2008, 02:10 PM   #11
3inthefamily
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Crystal Palace Breakfast

We came to the CP last year for breakfast and we all agreed that we wanted to do it again. The atmosphere is great, the food is yummy. I was worried b/c I saw a few negative reviews lately, saying it was dirty or the service was bad. We saw/had none of that.

We waited less than 5 minutes for a 9:25 ADR. Our server was Tracy and she was very friendly and attentive. She did not disappear and came back with refills at least twice!

The characters were slow to come around and we were advised to take turns going up, and not let our son go up at all so he didnt miss anyone. I just ended up making him a plate of food myself.

Ok, the food! Our absolute favorite is the puffed french toast. It is only found on the small (and short) kid's buffet, so if you walk by it you will miss it! Stop and scrunch yourself down to kid size and grab some of that french toast!

Again, all kinds of breakfast food. The center had cereals, breads, pastries, coffee cake and munchkins. The large buffet had made to order omelette, my husband had one and it was very good. There was fritatta, sausage, bacon, hash, red potato, cheesey potato, scrambled eggs, breakfast lasagna (a concoction that has fruit, crepe layers and a custard), lox, bagels, grits, and all kinds of yummy stuff!

The characters were all very friendly and played along with us! Tigger and my son bounced together, Eeyore showed us his tail, etc. They do a parade every 30 minutes or so. Not as long or as involved as last year for some reason. Still, it was cute. I love this place, and its so convenient! Right out the door and you are on your way to fun!
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First trip to WDW November 2006 - CSR
October 2007 - POR Riverside
September 2008- WL/MNSSHP
May 2009 - POR Riverside
Bought BLT DVC September 2009
November 2009 - BLT
April 2010 - Vero Beach
September 2010 - BLT/MNSSHP
November 2011- SSR
April 2012 - Disney Dream
August 2012 - GCV Disneyland
November 2012 Port Orleans Riverside Royal Room
October 2013 - Port Orleans Riverside/MNSSHP
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