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Old 09-20-2012, 02:37 PM   #16
elaine amj
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Day 8

As usual, breakfast was something grabbed at the food court. By this time, I was constantly full and skipping breakfast many mornings. My DH and kids would more often than not share a Bounty Platter. I have to mention, I quite liked the french toast off the Bounty Platter.

For lunch, I craved sushi. We had ressies at Chefs de France I didn't want to miss (for Remy). Plus, we needed to stretch our TS credits for NArcoossee the next day. So we parked the kids in France to hang out while DH and I booked it to Japan so I could grab a quick sushi from the Katsura Grill CS.

I got slightly turned around looking for it as it is not well-signed. After asking a little, I found it. It's a beautiful spot perched in the midst of their gardens with lovely views. Very nice, relaxing spot.

We split a Spicy Tuna Roll and Tsukemen Combo with a Matcha Roll for dessert. The sushi was decent (it hit the spot!!) and I ended up really liking the Tsukemen! It's a very big bowl of noodles. DH ate most of this and it was PLENTY for a meal. The Tsukemen is served cold had the same flavor of seaweed salad (Which I'm nuts about) so it must use some of the same seasonings. I wolfed down my food really fast as walking here had taken longer than I expected and I didn't want to leave my kids for too long.

Raced back in time to grab them for Chefs de France with my husband joining a few minutes later (so he could relax and enjoy his food). Now what to say about Chefs...

WOW....a thoroughly enjoyable lunch experience for our family. We opted to just let the kids order meals here. Our waiter insisted on us having some baguettes which were completely yummy. Not as good as REAL baguettes...but so good compared to what we normally get. We ate, and kept nibbling all through the meal as it was hard to stop. Kids got to order an app, entree and dessert. My kids both ordered the cheese puff pastry instead of the salad. It came accompanied by a fair bit of salad anyway. We all shared the two pastries. My DH and DS preferred the pastries and my DD and I preferred the baguette. They both got chicken strips and pasta...and the strips were surprisingly good. Dessert was 2 flavors of sorbet each. My kids were in food heaven and loved every bite. I thought their tummies would explode. The app was a huge full size pastry. Then, Remy paid us a surprise visit

THis was an ADR I debated like crazy and was close to cancelling it multiple times. I'm so glad we didn't. The kids meals were great...and frankly, enough food for all 4 of us.

Our waiter really made the meal a pleasure. At the end, he managed to incorrectly process our dinner receipt and we weren't able to give him a tip. He insisted it was ok since it was his fault. But my DH was so happy with the service (and our happy kids), he insisted we order a $4 bottle of Perrier so we could give the guy a very large tip. Now we are a super frugal family and would NEVER pay $4 for WATER! But this guy really made our meal so wonderful we felt it was completely worth it.

Loved it!!! Highly recommend this!

Snacks today was at Karamel Kuche for my DD - she got a giant cookie (although I REALLY wanted the massive rice krispie they had there). My DS got a Kaki Gori in Japan - he loves snow cones so was super happy. I picked up a school bread at one point - YUM!! I really enjoyed this

Dinner was at Garden Grill - and again I was wowed. Another great meal. We didn't come for the characters...but as other reviewers have pointed out, this place has the absolute best character interaction. All of them came by about 3-4 times. Mickey insisted on taking a pic with me once when I didn't get out and kissed my hand and was sweet. Chip danced with my DD.

If you are only doing ONE character meal - Garden Grill is the best by far. It doesn't have anywhere near the hype as the other character meals - but I was so impressed with how GOOD the interaction was. We're not huge on character meals - I prefer to meet characters at their actual meets - so this really surprised us.

We sat in the perfect spot in a booth facing out. The food was not gourmet but decent, well -cooked food that we all enjoyed. We asked our waiter for more mac n cheese for my DD...and he brought back this absolutely ridiculously sized bowl. It was a hoot watching my DD attempt to tackle it! The best character meal by far and the revolving floor was a big hit - my kids were absolutely thrilled.

Loved it!!! Highly recommend this!
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Old 09-24-2012, 01:06 PM   #17
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Day 9
Brunch: Beaches & Cream
Lunch: Lottawatta Lodge at Blizzard Beach
Dinner: Narcoossee

Brunch today was super special - we were going to make an attempt on the Kitchen Sink at Beaches and Cream to celebrate my DD's birthday! After everything I read - I was determined we were going to finish this between the 4 of us. After all...it's $26 and we had no choice to to pay OOP!! So, my grand plan was no breakfast and no lunch. Just the kitchen sink all in it's lonesome grand glory.

We took a bus to BB and then another bus to the Beach Club. We actually got off at the Boardwalk because it was a shorter walk to B&C from there.

We got in just after 11am and had no problems getting a table. We immediately ordered the infamous kitchen sink, mentioning that it was for my DD's bday. Lights went out, sirens started flashing, and here it came in all it's glory!

My DD immediately started digging in - using the massive serving spoon! Oddly enough, my DS got in a silly mood and decided to just eat ice cubes for lunch. He was quite happy sucking away on his ice cubes and turned down all offers of chocolate bars, candy pieces, ice cream...everything. Oh well, the 3 of us gave it our best shot!

We made it about 2/3 of the way in and then finally called it quits. The thing is massive!!! We were all in this awful ice cream coma afterwards and I really regretted my last bowl LOL.

I'm glad we didn't order lunch. Burgers AND the kitchen sink would have been ridiculously too much. This was well worth paying OOP - mostly for the novelty and bragging rights. Ice cream for lunch...you can't get any more decadent.

Loved it!!! Highly recommend this!


We did eventually order lunch at Lottawatta Lodge in Blizzard Beach - several hours later. I had promised my kids the bucket meals so for once, we ordered kids meals at a CS. I can't even remember what they ordered - something. The green buckets were lots of fun though, and worth it. Even though the line was not long, food took quite a while to prep here.

Edible, but forgettable

Dinner tonight was at Narccoossee.

Earlier in the week we wrestled with a decision. After so much sharing we had extra credits remaining. So Narccoossee or 2 separate TS places? We ended choosing to go Narccoossee just because we hadn't done it before.

Our night started off on the wrong foot when our bus driver decided to take 1 hour to get to MK. We ended up out in the middle of Orlando when she left property!!! We ended up transferring to a Mears bus to get to the MK...and then she was so freaked out she couldn't open the doors! The Mears bus driver opened up the back door for us LOL! We had planned to watch Wishes on the boat dock before going in for our ressie. We ended up watching from the boat over from MK and watched the last bit from the boat dock. I really missed the soundtrack. Oh well - not the end of the world, we'd already seen Wishes twice by that point.

Our dinner at Narccoossee was really good. Our waiter was a sweetheart. I thoroughly enjoyed my lobster and filet. I rarely eat steamed lobsters - mostly I get the Chinese-style ones done in Ginger in Green Onion sauce. And this was my first time with a Maine lobster. It was sweeter than regular lobsters - but I think I still prefer my Chinese-style lobsters. DH liked his Seared Ahi Tuna a lot too - he said the flavors were unique for him and very good. My DS got the kids steak and my DD ended up with the Mac & Cheese. The Almond Crusted Cheesecake IS "to-die-for". For dessert, they gave my DD the Almond-Crusted Cheesecake because she really wanted it (it was to-die-for") and my DS got the Make Your Own S'mores. The S'mores was super cute and very "real" - a skewer of roasted marshmallows, a pile of graham crackers, and squares of milk chocolate. I got the cheese sampler for dessert. OMG it was so good!

This was one meal we decided to splurge like crazy and not share AT ALL. I did end up regretting not sharing though. We were all overfull. Dessert was half-eaten because we just couldn't manage another bite. My DD got so overstuffed with her valiant attempt to finish her cheesecake that she got a bad tummy upset. I ended up rushing her out to the back porch for some fresh air as she was nauseated. We had some tears because DH got impatient with her nausea. We ended up going to the GF pool and laying on the pool chairs for 20 mins before leaving just to give her the fresh air she needed (and some time to digest!).

All that said, we had awesome meals in so many places and I finally ended up feeling that while we appreciate great food - we're not really signature folks. My DH loved the Le Cellier filet much more - mostly because the mushroom sauce there is YUMMY while the Narccoossee filet came with very little sauce. My DD wouldn't even eat her steak until I asked for a butter sauce.

In future, it's regular 1 TS meals for us.

Loved it!!! Highly recommend this! (although we probably won't eat here again)
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Old 09-24-2012, 03:58 PM   #18
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We also ate at Chefs de France last week. I hesitated eating there after reading reviews but was glad we kept our dinner ADR. The meal was great and the service was exceptional. Our waiter was Sebastian he was wonderful, always there when we needed him, kept the dinner moving and the check came in a timely fashion. We also gave him a large tip as this was the best service I have every had at any restaurant.
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:50 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Nohal View Post
We also ate at Chefs de France last week. I hesitated eating there after reading reviews but was glad we kept our dinner ADR. The meal was great and the service was exceptional. Our waiter was Sebastian he was wonderful, always there when we needed him, kept the dinner moving and the check came in a timely fashion. We also gave him a large tip as this was the best service I have every had at any restaurant.
Sometimes the waitstaff really do make the meal Something in the air was just right that day and seeing our kids so happy and enjoying their meals so much just made incredible memories.
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:45 PM   #20
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I have just realised I neglected to include a tally of our snacks. Since this made a big difference in how we were able to stretch our credits, I have added them in. For now, I have only added them into the main list in the first post and will gradually add them into my day by day review.

I was actually very surprised we ended up with 12 credits to use for treats to bring home. We were consciously remembering to use our snack credits and really didn't restrict ourselves much at all...other than to not allow the kids to eat armfuls of candy. In fact, I was insisting we find and eat 4 snacks a day much of the time. We did get slightly conservative in the last couple of days and did consciously conserve our snack credits to buy treats.
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Old 09-29-2012, 07:41 AM   #21
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Excellent DR! Really useful.
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:17 PM   #22
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Excellent DR! Really useful.
Aw....thanks!! It helped me so much to read dining reviews when planning my trip...I hope this in turn helps others.

Even though we had plenty of food on our last 10 day trip with free dining, I still stressed a bit for this 12 day trip because I wanted to overindulge more than we had the previous trip. Doing all my planbing and tracking my credits each night really helped me feel more in control of it all. I ended up feeling thrilled with how we spent our crefdits this trip.
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:21 PM   #23
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Okay - I've been a super slacker about finishing this. My memory has faded a LOT by now so hopefully these will still be useful. Just 3 days left to go!

Day 10
Breakfast: Everything Pop
Lunch: Wolfgang Puck Express at DtD Marketplace
Snacks: 2 popcorns from DQ and 2 candy treats from Goofy's in DtD
Dinner: Planet Hollywood & Wolfgang Puck Express West Side

Day 10

Breakfast was again at Everything Pop.

Lunch today was at Wolfgang Puck Express. We were here already for brunch early in the trip. This time, we hoped the kids would like their food better. I got a Roasted Beet Salad. What can I say...it was big, it had beets (which I love), it was green. Not the "foodiest" experience, but a very decent foodie salad. My DS got the Cavatappi Chicken Alfredo and my DD got the 4 Cheese Macaroni. Overall, we didn't "LOVE" our meals the way we did last year. Must be getting a bit jaded by this time LOL

Good, will happily eat here again

For snacks we grabbed a couple of packages of candy from Goody;s - sour patches I think from the kids.

Dinner was at Planet Hollywood. We had two $15 gift vouchers that they give you in the WDW packages. We sat and asked our waiter if we could combine the vouchers. It was a yes...and they were valid on anything other than alcoholic beverages.

My DS got the World Famous Chicken Crunch. (chicken tenders in a cornflake batter). He also got a drink in a light up Planet Hollywood glass. (it was the first time we've ever let him buy one - and he LOVED it). However, he didn't much like his chicken tenders - didn't care for the coating. Still, he atea fair bit of it. his sister polished off the rest. However, the FRIES were the best things in the world. Both my kids went nuts for them. The best they've had in their opinion.

My DD got a Tomato and Mozarella Caprese (with the vinegar on the side). She didn't much like this although she loves both tomatoes and mozarella. I enjoyed them though

My DH ordered a Key Lime Pie. YUMMY. Seriously yummy. I was very, very impressed. (we later had the Key lime Pie at Wolfgang Puck Express...and it was blah compared to this).

The bill was very small as our $30 vouchers covered most of our order. The tip was the biggest expense as we tipped as if we had ordered for all of us. GREAT deal!

The atmosphere was a blast. Heavily themed with lots to look at. A first meal in a Planet Hollywood for all of us. The food is decent - like a Red Lobster. The theming was lots of fun. The value with those vouchers is EXCELLENT.

Loved it!!! Highly recommend this!

After this, we dropped our kids back in Disney Quest and left them to get some adult time and our own meal in Wolfgang Puck Express (West Side).

I timed it JUST before the Cirque crowd let out. I had 3 people in line....then immediately afterwards, the place was swamped. It made service very slow - but this was rather unavoidable. We managed to snag an outdoor table.

I had the Rotiserrie Turkey Cobb Salad (had salad on the brain) which was very yummy and hit the spot. DH had the BBQ chicken pizza he had been craving. YUM! Dessert was a fruit salad for me and key lime pie for him. The fruit salad was what it was. The Key Lime Pie was blah compared to what he had earlier in Planet Hollywood.

Good, will happily eat here again
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:37 PM   #24
elaine amj
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Day 11
Brunch: Cinderella's Royal Table @ the Castle
Snack: 1 smoothie from Auntie Gravity's, 1 frozen carbonated drink from The Lunching Pad, and 12 treats from Main St candy store to bring home as gifts (and snacks for school!!)
Dinner: 1900 Park Fare

Day 11

We skipped breakfast this morning and headed to MK. Brunch today was 10:30am at Cinderella's Royal Table.

The food IS good.

I started rolling in laughter after I saw the kids portion though!! $30+ and THAT is what they came up with??!!



OK OK - I have to be fair...my kids ate one of the bacon strips before I could snap a pic. This was RIDICULOUS! Thankfully, from the Dis, I knew that it was all you care to eat. My waiter certainly did NOT make that known.

When we sat, I told him I was dithering between the Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast and the crepes. He said nothing. I finally told him I wanted both. He "would see what he could do". He did show up with both The lobster/crab crepes were very good. The white sauce they came with were delish. I was thoroughly happy with this order. I gave most of the French Toast to my DD who said it tasted just like cheesecake. I would have said a Cheese Danish. DH ordered the Filet Mignon & Eggs. I only took a nibble of DH's steak and eggs. I don't think they were as good as the various filet mignon's we had for dinner, but a very nice choice for a fancy breakfast and he enjoyed it.

Halfway through we asked for more bacon which our waiter ungraciously got for us. Near the end, we decided to ask for a Quiche (which ended up being good). By this point our waiter was seriously unhappy with us - but after spending that much (well..2 TS credits anyway!) we were certainly getting our money's worth!! Besides, his attitude annoyed us and he disappeared for long periods of time.

To be honest, little of my attention was on the food. They move the characters very quickly through and most of my time was spent jumping up and taking pics.

Despite all our dithering and extra orders, we were out of there after a little more than an hour. Our VERY quickest meal in WDW by far! We were pretty much the very last to leave the restaurant LOL.

All in all, glad we did it - in no hurry to go back.

Good, will happily eat here again (not for this price though!)

We needed smoothies in the afternoon to fuel us up so we grabbed a smoothie and a slushie at about 2pm then left for an afternoon break.

At 5pm, we were back at 1900 Park Fare for dinner. Our cell was dead - but we lucked out with a table that had a plugpoint right beside it!

I booked this for the characters. They weren't as good as I had hoped. We were near the entrance. It was REALLY loud and we heard 2 words in 10 of what the characters said. My kids don't know Lady Tremaine and the stepsisters well and most of what they said went over their heads partly because they couldn't hear them properly. For our family, the characters were a bust.

However, the food was surprisingly good! We enjoyed it all. My DD LOVED the pizza there - and I took a nibble - much better than regular Disney pizza. There was a curry dish I pigged out on. The famous strawberry soup...tasted like a strawberry smoothie to me. It was fine. I was surprised with the variety. The food was buffet quality. Our waiter was sweet enough to pack some cookies to go for us when we were too full to eat much dessert. I might end up back here again just to eat!

Good, will happily eat here again
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Old 10-31-2012, 02:35 PM   #25
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Day 12
Breakfast: (whatever we had left in the room)
Lunch: Landscape of Flavors at Art of Animation

Day 12

Our last day at WDW Even after 12 nights, we were not ready to leave at all. Oh well, all good things must come to an end. We slept in after staying up for a late EMH at MK the night before.

Breakfast was leftover snacks and desserts in the fridge.

This morning, the kids wanted to hit the pool. I left them with DH so I could go to DtD to do some shopping and spend the last few snack credits we had and pick up lunch from Earl of Sandwich and Wolfgang Puck Express. However, I was running late after some issues with our check in luggage (overweight so I had to repack!). After waiting 15 mins and still no bus, I decided it was a waste of time and turned back. After they were done swimming and were showered, we headed over to Art of Animation for lunch at 11am.

We had 6 CS credits left to burn because we didn't end up getting breakfast and I had to strategize!! The kids got a medium pizza to share (2 CS credits). They couldn't finish their pizza. We brought home more than half of it and they had the fun of bringing it for lunch for their first day of school along with Mickey Pretzels. For dessert, they each got packable snacks for us to take home (we did this for all our CS credits). For drinks, they got 1 wildberry foam drink to share and a Nesquik for the plane ride later.

Then DH discovered cans of coconut water (our new fave drink) in the food court! This was exciting! Our last 4 drinks were cans of coconut water. DH drank 1 can there and we packed the other 3 cans for home.

DH got the surf and turf burger. He said it was good. I was so busy scrambling around getting our orders settled I didn't even get a bite! At this point, I got miffed with DH. My DD was dissolving into tears because I made her stand in line and order food by herself(she was being a baby). My DS was being silly and annoying his sister....I was scrambling around, and my DH sat and enjoyed his meal in peace.

We got a sushi and an order of penne alfredo to go. I brought this on the plane home and we had it for dinner.

After all this, I finally got my meal - a tandoori chicken. It was decent. Hit the spot as I don't get Indian food often enough. By now we were running late. I chased everyone off to meet ME while I wolfed it down in 5 mins.

My DH thought Landscape of Flavors was cool. Plus it was nice getting a variety of food we didn't have at Pop. We might have come over for breakfast once or twice if they had more in the way of unique breakfast offerings.

We got almost 3 meals out of our 6 credits here. Lunch, dinner at home for all of us, and lunch the next day for my kids.

Good, will happily eat here again
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Old 10-31-2012, 02:41 PM   #26
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Final Thoughts

Now I am officially FINISHED my Dining Review. Whew - can't believe I made it all 12 days.

Before our trip I was worried that:
- We wouldn't have enough to eat. I expected (and budgeted) to buy a few extra CS meals.
Reality: It was plenty - we even left with takehome food and had meals the next day. We were stuffed most of the time.

- Sharing would get annoying. Our trip last year we shared too and felt like sometimes we didn't get enough and that we had to compromise too much.
Reality: We had plenty of credits to share. Times we didn't want the same thing, we would just order our own. We had some small compromises, but it didn't get annoying.

It was so much fun trying out so many restaurants. We really explored the "World" hopping around to different resorts, etc. The food is overall just decent...rarely mindblowing, but our frugal mentality LOVED the psychological factor of free dining. it made everything taste better. It would have been much more stressful without it.
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Old 10-31-2012, 05:17 PM   #27
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Loved reading your reviews! Thank you so much for sharing! And I can't believe they are so cheap portion-wise at CRT!
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:36 PM   #28
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Loved reading your reviews! Thank you so much for sharing! And I can't believe they are so cheap portion-wise at CRT!
Awww..thank you!! Really helps to know when people enjoy the review.

And that's my biggest takeaway from CRT...how dreadfully awful their kids portion size was. Hilarious that they put it in such a big plate!! I was also annoyed that we weren't even allowed to order for our kids. If I hadn't known it was all you care to eat I would have been furious paying $30 for that. My DD doesn't eat eggs...so she would only have had 2 tiny french toast sticks and 2 of the smallest pieces of bacon I have seen! Oh..and the pastries of course. I really felt it was unacceptable at a place like CRT.

Hmmm..I think my waiter's crappy attitude colored my perceptions a lot too LOL!!
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:32 AM   #29
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I have absolutely loved reading your review!! Well done on doing so well with all your credits And thanks for sharing your experience! Its definitely given me food for thought for our next trip
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:25 PM   #30
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I have absolutely loved reading your review!! Well done on doing so well with all your credits And thanks for sharing your experience! Its definitely given me food for thought for our next trip
Thanks for reading! Sharing turned out to be much more pleasant than I had anticipated...especially since we were in an indulgent mood. Keep in mind though, we are used to being frugal and maximizing value and are very used to sharing.
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