By Shannon Stuemke
We have returned from our week long, grown up only, anniversary trip. I am now trying to play catch up after being away from real life for a week. This first post trip blog is going to be a short and sweet overview of the table service restaurants that we ate at and my personal opinions of them. I hope you find them helpful as you plan your dining reservations for your Walt Disney World trip. Remember, when staying on property, you get to make dining reservations 180 days (6 months) out from your travel date. If you are thinking character dining, then booking your trip more than 6 months out is highly important Chef Mickey and Cinderella's Royal Table are very popular and go fast! Don't miss out...book early!
Here is the list of table service restaurants that my husband and I visited during our anniversary trip. Some we had tried before and others were new to us.
Day 1-Crystal Palace-A Buffet with Character at Magic Kingdom
I wanted to try a new character dining restaurant to tell my potential clients about. As the name indicates, this is a buffet. There is grown up food and kids food alike. The food was decent. They had some nice meats being carved and the desserts were awesome! Kids foods included macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, corn on the cob, and mini corn dogs. The characters at this restaurant include those from Winnie the Pooh. They walk around to each table and greet guests. You are able to pose for pictures with them. We had a really good time for being two grown ups at a character dining restaurant. The service was great and the food was pretty tasty. This cost us one table service dining credit on our dining plan.
Day 2-Teppan Edo in Japan at Epcot's World Showcase
Awesome! This was a new one for us as well. At this restaurant you sit around a hibachi grill with other people you may or may not know depending on your party size. This can be awkward to dine with people you do not know however, we really enjoyed all the people we ate with. The chefs cook the food right in front of you on the grill. They put on a very entertaining show as well. The food was wonderful and plentiful. This will be another one we visit again. I recommend this for both families and singles/couples. This cost us one table service credit as well on the dining plan.
Day 3-Hollywood Brown Derby and 50's Prime Time Cafe at Hollywood Studios
Brown Derby was a new one for us. I know a lot of people love this one but honestly, my husband and I just didn't enjoy it. I really wanted to like it but for the price and for being considered a "signature dining", it was really lacking. The ambiance didn't do much in the way for helping it out. The food was not horrible but again, for the price, I just thought we would enjoy it more. I know that we will likely not do this one again. This cost us two table service dining credits on the dining plan.
We also dined at 50's Prime Time Cafe as well this day. This is one we visit almost every time we go. The atmosphere is so much fun at this place and the comfort food they serve is excellent. The staff makes the dining even more pleasurable. They have two rules and will let you know if you have broken them. They are...no elbows on the table and eat all of your veggies! The wait was a bit long even with dining reservations but it is very popular for a reason. Highly recommend! This cost us one table service credit on the dining plan.
Day 4-Cape May Cafe at Disney's Beach Club Resort
On day 4 we had dining reservations at Cape May Cafe at Disney's Beach Club Resort. We had dined at this restaurant 10 years ago for my birthday and had loved it. Our return visit was not disappointing. This restaurant has a terrific seafood buffet. Besides seafood there are also carved meats and delicious soups.The atmosphere at this restaurant is mediocre but the food more than makes up for it. This restaurant can be a little tricky to get to if you are not staying at one of the surrounding resorts. Your best bet is to head to Hollywood Studios and get on the boat launch right outside of the park. This will take you to the Beach Club Resort. Our dining experience at Cape May Cafe cost us 1 dining credit on the dining plan.
Day 5-Jungle Cruise Skipper Canteen at Magic Kingdom
On Thursday we had the Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom. I will go into more detail about the party in another post but we decided to try something new this night as well. The Jungle Cruise Skipper Canteen is a newer restaurant. The ambiance is great and the wait staff is fantastic. For those of you familiar with the Jungle Cruise attraction at Magic Kingdom, you know the skippers of the boats tell very corny jokes. Well, expect the same at this restaurant that is located right across from the Jungle Cruise. As for the food...I thought mine was delicious. My husband, on the other hand, did not enjoy his. He felt his pork did not have much flavor and not being much a veggie lover anyway, he did not enjoy the vegetable medley that accompanied the pork dish. I would still recommend to give this restaurant a try. The atmosphere alone made it worth the visit. This meal cost us 1 dining credit on our meal plan.
Day 6-Raglan Road Irish Pub at Disney Springs
This was by far my favorite new restaurant! Located at the all new Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney), Raglan Road Irish Pub is not to be missed! We both enjoyed the Fish and Chips and the entertainment was superb! There were Irish step dancers dancing to a great Irish band. The crowd was very enthusiastic and it was just a really fun place to be. Although this is more of a pub type setting, there were plenty of families in the restaurant enjoying food and the entertainment as well. This cost us 1 table service dining credit on our dining plan.
Day 7-Sci Fi Dine-in Theater at Hollywood Studios
On our last day, we found ourselves at the Sci Fi Dine-in Theater located in Hollywood Studios. This is also one we have eaten at on every visit to Disney. The food is good and the atmosphere is top notch. Dining takes place in old car replicas and you actually feel like you are at a drive-in theater. There are scenes from old movies playing as you dine. This one was my kids' favorite restaurant that we ate at last year and is probably one we will continue to do on every visit as long as it is around. This cost us one table service credit as well on the dining plan.
I really planned on this being short and sweet but I as go back and review my work, I see that there was much more to say about dining than I originally thought! When you go to Disney, you really eat like a king. For some, the cuisine is the reason they come to Disney. I hope you find these reviews helpful as you make your dining choices. Happy dining!
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