Hey all! At the risk of causing a brouhaha of sorts, I have to confess that I’m not a huge fan of eating at Disney. I’ve gone with a Dining Plan and without, and there are definitely things that are enjoyable, but frankly nothing I’m terribly impressed by for the price. (Bear in mind, I live in an east-coast urban center so there are a TON of restaurants constantly accessible to me!) I find it more…enh. Cheesecake Factory-quality–which is fine but not worth some of the cost of the Disney Markup. Now, that said, I do have a few favorites that I plan to hit on our upcoming trip…LST for the sticky toffee pudding, BOG for lunch (worth it for the theming/quality vs. other QS places) and Oktoberfest (which I haven’t tried yet but have ALWAYS wanted to!). I also have a ressie for TH brunch this time. What are your faves/must-dos?
I am a fan of Disney signature dining experiences. Of course, like everything Disney, they come with a large price tag . My favorite is Jiko (the wild boar appetizer is my favorite dish anywhere) and Tiffins. For non signature dining I tend to think of Raglan Road for great food and entertainment and Homecoming.
I will also add Satu’ll Canteen’s bowls as a great cheaper option.
We disliked Tiffins. Thought it was way overpriced for just mediocre food.
@Redpanda where do you live? I’m not far from Baltimore. And yeah - tons of good food within a reasonable driving distance makes it hard sometimes!
We like Columbia Harbor House, Homecoming, TH, Be Our Guest. We both agreed that we would never force down another Casey’s hotdog again. I’d rather starve. DH was rather impressed with BOG and very disappointed with CRT.
I have not eaten at any of the signature restaurants, but my favorite place to eat was Ragland Road. If you’re going to be at DS, don’t miss it.
I’m just outside of Boston, but I grew up in MD! Miss that easy-access to crab, which is FAR superior to lobster IMO.
Ooh, good idea. We’re staying at POFQ so an easy boat ride, right? And my daughter used to take Irish dancing!
Checking it out! I am a HUGE fan of bowls. Bowls 4-ever!
The boat ride is very nice, and so much nicer than the bus.
Your daughter will love the entertainment then…mighty fine craic…
I believe I have asked this question before but what about House of Blues for dinner. Is it any good? Seems like the reservations are hard to get but no one out here seems to mention it. Will be trying Ragland Road for the first time as I hear it mentioned quite a bit out here. Loved the Blues Brothers and their music. From the Central US so the Southern food sounds interesting. Went to Bongo’s and was not impressed with that place at all.
I’m not a foodie, either. We are cheapskates when it comes to food and usually snack on protein bars and fruit roll ups on our trips. This time we are going to allow ourselves some of the lesser expensive foods onsite, though:
-Lunch at BOG
-Brats in Germany at EPCOT
-Gelato at Italy at EPCOT
-Carrot Cake Cookie at Sweet Spells in HS
-Dole Whip at AK (believe it or not, we have never had one!)
-Ice Cream at Beaches ‘n’ Cream
My “must dos” tend to change from trip to trip as I am always looking to try something new. On my next trip, whenever that might be, Tiffins and Skippers are on my “must do” list. I haven’t been to FF since the refurb, and Yachtsman is the one Disney signature that I haven’t been to yet, so if I can add more signatures, they will be on the list. As for “favorites” that I typically go back to, BG, VN, RR, HBD, and Sanaa are all high on my list.
tiffins is the best for me
HBD and Monsieur Paul also very good
In Universal the ice creams in HP world are incredible
I must agree with @PrincipalTinker my hubby and I loved Jiko and Tiffins. We actually ate 2x at Tiffins. We did splurge and get the deluxe dining for our trip.
I dined at FF last month. It was my first time, so cannot compare to pre-refurb days. But I LOVED it. Service was fantastic. Space was beautiful. Maple bacon manhattan is the stuff of dreams. Grilled swordfish was perfectly prepared. Looking forward to when I can go back there!
Ooh jealous of the DDP!
What are your dining plans for said trip???
Hi! That was the trip I went on after Thanksgiving.
We ate at Boma (bfast) and 1900 Parkfare dinner.
Crystal Palace (bfast) Cali Grill dinner
Candlelight processional - Coral Reef (for hubby)
The Wave dinner
Flying Fish dinner
Tiffins ROL package
Ohana (bfast) Tiffins (dinner)
I loved having the DDP!
Totally agree with what you set out in your post. In general, we find WDW restaurants to be rather meh - like you said, Cheesecake Factory. That being said, we really enjoyed dinner at La Hacienda and The Hollywood Brown Derby.
We do mostly Breakfasts (and characters) for two reasons… 1. Breakfast is usually about half the cost. 2. Food+characters= kill 2 birds with one stone. Not fond of waiting in long lines unless there’s some sort of a ride at the end of it.
Most memorable was my first Mickey waffle at Ohana breakfast. Great atmosphere, family style, not overly crowded, plenty of character time and those waffles, and bacon, and sausage, …yum
Loved TH and especially at 10:45am to get breakfast and lunch. A bit more congested than Ohana, it’s a buffet, food is above avg. for Disney, Plenty of character time. On a weird note, Lighting is odd and reflected poorly on all our pictures.
Another favorite for Breakfast is Crystal Palace. Buffet, great character interaction, food is good. Very nostalgic for us as it was the first dining experience we all did together as a family in WDW.
We love Garden Grill but have never done breakfast there. Family style, love the food, probably our best character interactions of all restaurants. We plan on breakfast for our upcoming trip in Oct.
We’ve also done 2 dinner shows. HDDR and SoA.
SoA is our family tradition dinner show but we skipped it last trip to try HDDR. Family style for both, food is different as SoA has a Polynesian theme and HDDR is more of a southern BBQ. Shows are also very different, SoA is more traditional while HDDR is definitely more fun and whimsical. Theres just something about the late show at SoA followed up by watching the electric water pageant on the poly beach and watching the MK fireworks. And we love all the photos of our family over the years at SoA.
At DS we’ve done RR and rainforest cafe. Really wanted to love RR, had a poor service experience right from the start that sort of killed the mood for us. Food was great though. As for RC, just a novelty, food is meh, will say the one in AK we found better than the one in DS.
We’ve also done QS in AK, POR, and SSR. With SSR being the better of the 3.
My must-do every trip is Be Our Guest, which is less to do with the food and more to do with me loving the magic of eating in the Beast’s castle. Also, the Grey Stuff is delicious.
My maybe-not-every-time-but-will-definitely-do-again is the Biergarten restaurant in Germany. Again, this was less about the food and more about the atmosphere. We all loved it. By chance or by Disney magic, we were seated with another military family that had girls the same ages as our girls. We listened to the music, and the kids danced down on the dance floor.
Other than those two, we have been making a point to try restaurants that we have not been to before, with mixed results. You win some, you lose some.
We had dinner at Biergarten last year and were very pleasantly surprised at how good it was. It’s definitely pricey, but it was one of the best meals on the trip (second to Jiko, which was delicious).
This year I’ve got us planned for a bunch of new places, but I liked Jiko and Biergarten so much that I’ve decided we have to go back!