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Old 03-25-2009, 11:38 AM   #31
Faldred
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Tusker House, Saturday Breakfast

Another day, another character breakfast. This time, with Donald and friends at the Tusker House in Animal Kingdom. This had multiple levels of appeal -- I've heard the food was good, a chance to see Daisy, getting to walk through a nearly empty park on the way, and hopping on the Safari right after breakfast.

We checked in on-time (again, it was a tight push due to having to go all the way across the park as soon as we could get in!) and were taken for pictures (yuck!) about 5 minutes later. Our server was efficient but rather abrupt. I never lacked for the jungle juice, though, and I must have had a full five glasses of it (yum!).

I have no complaints about the food, but I didn't see a signature item like the puffed french toast at Crystal Palace. It was good, hot (when it was supposed to be), and the lines weren't too bad.

I had heard the characters here were rushed, but I found it a mixed bag -- Donald and Daisy took plenty of time, Mickey was in the middle, and Goofy seemed very rushed. But he was in our room for the dance/parade, so that made up for the rush a little bit.




I let myself fill up a bit, since we were going to do a lighter lunch. It was also the only time all week I actually had Mickey waffles, though they were available at all the buffets.

The park was open before we were done, but we still had only 5 minutes wait for the Safari, which was very nice indeed.
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March 2009: Port Orleans Riverside ( Trip Report -- Dining Report ) -- May 2006: Vacation Village timeshare -- May 2002: Orange Lake timeshare

Last edited by Faldred; 03-30-2009 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 03-25-2009, 11:52 AM   #32
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Yak and Yeti Counter Service, Saturday Lunch

As much as I loathed passing on Flame Tree, we were on a mission to try new places this time. Besides, we had chicken and ribs the day before, and were getting chicken and ribs for dinner...

Still, there's nothing like waiting in yet another longish line (though the shortest of the CS lines I had to deal with) to then have to place 3 orders (meal credit, snack credit, OOP). Oh, well, seating was available and no one was asleep yet, so I dutifully used our last unspoken-for meal plan credit on a shrimp lo mein, diet coke, and mango pie. This was supplemented with "snacks" of egg rolls and chicken fired rice. The kids were ordered for OOP with chicken nuggets, applesauce, and cookie, along with the requisite milks.

I had the fried rice and snagged one of the kid's nuggets -- these were different from the generic park chicken... I think it's the same nuggets used in the chicken dishes, just without a sauce. Light and tasty, and the kids did a credible job splitting the remainder. DS3 had the applesauce and the three of them split the cookie. DW had the lo mein and the egg rolls, so she had a pretty full meal, leaving me the lion's share of the mango pie, which was surprisingly good.

I thought the fried rice was a good use of a snack credit. DW thought the lo mein and the egg rolls were OK. They offer good kid's meals here that are at least a little different than the typical park fare.
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March 2009: Port Orleans Riverside ( Trip Report -- Dining Report ) -- May 2006: Vacation Village timeshare -- May 2002: Orange Lake timeshare

Last edited by Faldred; 03-26-2009 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 03-25-2009, 12:03 PM   #33
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Hoop De Doo Revue, Saturday Dinner

We had to hoof it quickly out of Animal Kingdom to make the 5:00 HDDR show, arriving just 10 minutes prior, and waiting in line for yet another picture that didn't turn out well. The one from our own camera was marginally better:



We were seated on the floor, in the back, almost dead center. The view was actually pretty good from there. The show was fun, but loud, which caused problems with DS2, who had difficulty with shows all week due to the noise. This, unfortunately, hindered our enjoyment of the show, especially for DW, who was trying to soothe him as best as she could. He did like bits with Claire Delune in them, though.

On to the food. We ordered sangria, for the heck of it. For some reason, I expected it to be sweeter, so I only had the one. (Just as well, since I was driving.) I stuck with diet Coke after that.

The cornbread was tasty, and appreciated by all at the table. I was worried about the chicken, having seen bad reviews, but ours was perfect -- the white meat especially was juicy but fully cooked; it was also crunchy and tasty. The ribs were a little more generic. I still wound up (after having a really light lunch) having most of 4 pieces of chicken and about half a rack of ribs. Potatoes were good, even DS3 ate them (as long as I picked out the skin). Beans were OK.

We asked for an alternative for the critters, and got a bowl of mac & cheese, which they didn't eat. DS2 and DD2 did have some of the meat off our chicken, though, and DW and I liked the mac & cheese.

By the time the strawberry shortcake came out, I'm surprised I had room for it. Didn't stop me from having a fair bit of it, though. Not bad, but other options would have been nice. DS3 was too interested in the show to eat much, despite having looked forward to it, in theory.

This is one I'd like to do again when the kids are older. I love the schtick and I was pleased with the food.
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Last edited by Faldred; 03-30-2009 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 03-25-2009, 12:09 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRS_Are_Best View Post
DW here -- Faldred may have something to add or contradict ... The laundry facilities weren't far from our room also, which made life a bit easier on Wednesday when we DESPARATELY needed to run a couple of loads.
Actually, the laundry was about as far away from our room as you could get -- with each "cluster" of buildings having their own pool/laundry area, we were the furthest out, or very close to that, in our cluster.

It would have been nicer to have been closer to the main building -- as it was, we were on the opposite side of the resort, which made using our free mugs a bit of a hassle. We might have used them 4-5 times each all week.

In retrospect, I would have liked to have had a "resort day" where we spent more time just hanging out -- the resort is quite nice, and it would have been fun to just relax for a while. Not sure how well that would have worked with the critters in tow, though...
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Old 03-25-2009, 12:35 PM   #35
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Crystal Palace, Sunday Lunch

A fairly late addition to the ADR list, we decided to repeat CP, but for lunch, so that we could start the drive home on full tummies, especially under the assumption that the critters would all have something to eat.

This time, we didn't have to worry about the autograph book, or so we thought. I decided to buy the "deluxe" birthday goody bag for DS3, since we were celebrating his 4th birthday a couple of weeks early on Sunday... and so, the canvas bag that it comes in made for perfect signing fodder, no?

We also got more pictures with Pooh and the gang, and DS3 got to do the parades again.




As for the food... I found the "main dish" items to be underwhelming. The rotisserie chicken was tasty in its seasoning, but the meat was dry. The flank steak was again marinaded well, but overcooked. Still, the "side dishes", especially the spooned corn bread, were very good (the corn bread needed a fair amount of salt, but was otherwise very tasty). And I will admit to... um... sampling more desserts than would be considered good for me. And they were all excellent.

Service was spot on. Still, I preferred breakfast, even though I liked lunch as well.
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March 2009: Port Orleans Riverside ( Trip Report -- Dining Report ) -- May 2006: Vacation Village timeshare -- May 2002: Orange Lake timeshare

Last edited by Faldred; 03-30-2009 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 03-25-2009, 12:44 PM   #36
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Final Thoughts

The deluxe plan worked really well for us, given our need to stick with toddlers' schedules for meals and naps. I was happy with the food, on the whole, noting that, unsurprisingly, the out-of-park food almost universally was superior to the in-park food. (Notable exceptions: Boatwright's and Crystal Palace).

We were full, but typically not over-stuffed, but the idea of using all of the snack credits was crazy -- though we admittedly were more aggressive with them as the week went on.

Best and Worst

By my opinion... DW will have her own list...

Best beverage: Berry smoothie (Kona/Boatwright's)
Best bread: Kona Cafe
Best appetizer: Crab cakes, Wolfgang Puck Cafe
Best entree: Lamb two ways, Rose & Crown
Best dessert: Jack & Bailey's mousse, Coral Reef
Best counter service: Columbia Harbor House
Best buffet: Crystal Palace (breakfast)
Best character meal experience: Akerhaus

Worst beverage: Sangria, HDDR
Worst bread: Flatbread, Wolfgang Puck Cafe
Worst appetizer: 7 bean chili, Sci Fi
Worst entree: Prime rib, Boatwright's
Worst dessert: Celebration cheesecake, Sci Fi
Worst counter service: n/a (I can't bear to call any of them the "worst")
Worst buffet: n/a (ditto)
Worst character meal experience: n/a (ditto)
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Old 03-25-2009, 12:57 PM   #37
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Thanks for the reviews, Faldred! I enjoyed reading them all!
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Old 03-25-2009, 01:05 PM   #38
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This review was fantastic!!! I love your summary with "best and worst"!
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Old 03-30-2009, 10:13 AM   #39
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Added (non-food, sorry!) pictures where appropriate.
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