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  • [Question] Where to Eat Sit Down meals at WDW

    I think this is my first post. We are going to our first trip to WDW, and probably only, considering the cost ;^)

    My question, we have the meal add-on where we get one sit down meal each day of our trip - I don't want to hear if it's not worth it, etc., I'm just curious what are the best places to eat a sit down meal at each of the parks.

    Also, we'll be staying at the Contemporary, anyone know if the sit down meal is exchangeable for the character dining there?

    I just read that I should be getting reservations, hopefully it isn't too late yet, but we'll be going early October...and I'm hoping to get some good opinions so I can try and book everything on Monday.

    We'll be going for 8 days.

    Thanks for any opinions!

  • #2
    Re: Where to Eat Sit Down meals at WDW

    You want advice? You need to offer some parameters.

    Do you like/dislike certain ethnic/national cuisines? Do you like buffets? Will you be dining with children (and are they young)? Do you prefer quiet places with atmosphere or loud places? Do you like gourmet quality food? Do you have adventuresome tastes or does the idea of chicken on pizza seem exotic to you? Do you want to dine at any of the signature locals (that require two credits a person) or just places that take one per person?

    I could go on but if you want really good advice, you need to help us out. I'm sure if you do you'll get lots of great suggestions.

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    • #3
      Re: Where to Eat Sit Down meals at WDW

      Consider booking the Contemporary Grill to correspond with the MK fireworks. If you're not going to Mickey's Halloween party, you can even time it to see those fireworks. They pipe in the music and have a viewing deck, accessible only by restaurant patrons.

      I don't think I had a bad meal in WDW, but I don't recall any meal in particular as being better than the rest.

      If you want to choose based on specific items, check out full menus here: http://allears.net/menu/menus.htm

      Doing the Brown Derby Fantasmic package was kind of handy, though it did use 2 meal credits per meal. Not a big deal, as you can live without doing a sit-down meal every day, particularly in the Magic Kingdom, which has the least appealing food of all the parks IMO.

      Corral Reef at Epcot is nice for the atmosphere. Sci-Fi Dine-In has fun atmosphere, but not the best food (from what I've read). 50's Prime Time Cafe sounds like fun too.
      My Micechat cruise trip report, Part 1:http://micechat.com/14795-disney-wonder/

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      • #4
        Re: Where to Eat Sit Down meals at WDW

        My personal faves (from my own experience):

        With kids: Sci-Fi...not the best food but it definitely scores points for atmosphere!

        Fancy sit-down: 'Ohana...It's great to time it with the fireworks as you have a great view plus every dish is tasty!

        Food court: Sunshine Seasons...some of the best food in the whole resort!

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        • #5
          Re: Where to Eat Sit Down meals at WDW

          The one thing you want to do is get your ADR's once you decide where you want to eat. Without that you may find your locked out of some of the sold out restaurants. Restaurants book 180 days prior to arrival, so get those all in order for your trip. If you booked through a travel agent they should be able to help you with your dining so your don't have reservations in one park when you won't be in that park that day. You'll spend too much time running around. And to answer one of your questions, yes, table service meals can be used for character dining as well....
          Lindsy - former Res Center CM (10 years)
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          • #6
            Re: Where to Eat Sit Down meals at WDW

            Le Cellier at EPCOT (Canadian steakhouse...SO YUMMY!!)

            O'Hana at Polynesian Resort (GREAT FOOD! And lots of fun!)
            With great pride: Disney Store Cast Member August 2011-Present

            D23 Charter Member - 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

            WDW Trips: June 2012, 2010, 2008, 2007, 1997, 1996, 1994

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            • #7
              Re: Where to Eat Sit Down meals at WDW

              You may be locked out of some of the super popular places allready, but you should still be about to get decent ADRs.

              Sit down restaruant choices in the Magic Kingdom are limited.

              Liberty Tree Tavern - Family style (platters at the table) all you care to eat dinner. Fixed menu. Turkey, beef, mac&cheese, mashed potatos, stuffing, apple cobbler, beans (I think) etc. - Dinner has characters (Mickey, Minne and friend in colonial garb)

              Cryatal Palace - Buffet restaruant, just a general buffet. Has characters (Pooh and friends)

              Tony's Town Square - Italian. If you like Olive Garden, then you will be OK here. If you think Olive Garden is musy pasta and overly sweet ketchup for sauce, then you will feel the same way.

              So, there are your choices for MK

              For AK, your choices are even more limited. You have Yak & Yeti - which I would avoid. Does Rainforest Cafe participate in the DDP? Rainforest Cafe is, well, Rainforest Cafe, take that as you will.

              DHS and EPCOT on the other hand have loads of choices, many of which are quite good. There are also a load over very good resort restaruants. It does help to know what your tastes are and what level of "formality" you are comfortable with.


              -dave
              "I'm gonna build my own amusement park. But with gambling and hookers!" - Bender
              "You should never underestimate the predictability of stupidity." - Bullet Tooth Tony

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              • #8
                Re: Where to Eat Sit Down meals at WDW

                My favs are (in no particular order)
                Crystal Palace
                Boma
                Ohana
                Mama Melrose

                We ate at other places, but I found the combination of food at atmosphere at these places to be outstanding.

                Allears clearly defines character dinning. We booked as many CD options as possible. My kids loved it!
                "First of all I would like to make one thing perfectly clear.
                I never explain anything." Mary Poppins
                http://www.flickr.com/photos/26132873@N00/

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                • #9
                  Re: Where to Eat Sit Down meals at WDW

                  Thanks for the suggestions so far. In response to WDW1974:

                  Do you like/dislike certain ethnic/national cuisines? Pretty much all the ethnic foods we've eaten we like and are certainly open to try things we haven't

                  Do you like buffets? We don't want to do exclusively buffets, but sometimes if the kids are finicky, it's good to do one day at a buffet to get them eating again...ha ha - waht's a good one of these?

                  Will you be dining with children (and are they young)? Yes, 15, 12, and 9

                  Do you prefer quiet places with atmosphere or loud places? I think a couple of places with a good atmosphere would be nice, we eat at Blue Bayou when we go to Disneyland, and it isn't for the prices or food, but we really enjoy the atmosphere. The kids love it.

                  Do you like gourmet quality food? Yes we do, but this isn't a requirement

                  Do you have adventuresome tastes or does the idea of chicken on pizza seem exotic to you? Chicken on pizza is good - so we might be adventuresome


                  Do you want to dine at any of the signature locals (that require two credits a person) or just places that take one per person? I didn't even know about this, why do the signature locals require two credits?

                  Someone mentioned we might be late on some of the ADR (I'm guessing this is advanced dinner reservations?). After we booked the trip, I noticed they took 180 day reservations, and figured, oops, I was already within that window. So rather than spending time looking up all the restaurants, etc., I figured I'd post here get some opinions, and start dialing Monday to hopefully book the desired restaurants.

                  Thanks for the opinions.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Where to Eat Sit Down meals at WDW

                    My favotites are Boma, 'ohana, San Angel Inn, Chefs de France, Whispering Canyon Cafe
                    www.jamboeveryone.com
                    Celebrating Disney's Animal Kingdom

                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      Re: Where to Eat Sit Down meals at WDW

                      here is a great site to look over menu's
                      http://www.allearsnet.com/menu/menus.htm

                      I made all my reservations today, Loved doing it and can not wait. I did make them 2 weeks ago but the hours for November were not out so I had no idea where to be on what day. now I do and I am thrilled.
                      I made my reservations for

                      day 1.... rainforest cafe in down town disney
                      day 2. prime time
                      day3..liberty tree
                      day 4... Biergarten
                      day 5..crystal palace
                      day 6.. not sure....
                      day 7 rainforest in the animal kingdom
                      day 8.... chef mickeys

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                      • #12
                        Re: Where to Eat Sit Down meals at WDW

                        I love

                        LTT
                        Yachtsmen Steakhouse
                        Cali Grille
                        Garden View Tea at the GF
                        Kona Cafe
                        I know alot of people dont like Rainforest Cafe but I do. The one at Animal Kingdom is fun.
                        Kelly

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                        • #13
                          Re: Where to Eat Sit Down meals at WDW

                          Hubby and I ate at 50's Prime Time(DHS) when we went in Jan. 08. We walked right in and got a table within 15 minutes. The food was really good and the atmosphere was great as well.
                          In May 08 we ate at Rainforest Cafe in DTD. That was very good too. The theming of the restaurant was great. It was quite costly...$123 for 2 adults and 4 kids(hubby and I had 3 drinks total)!!
                          :ap: AP Holder. :ap:
                          Stay at home mom of 4 - Austin, Tyler, Sierra and Ashlyn.


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                          • #14
                            Re: Where to Eat Sit Down meals at WDW

                            MK: Crystal Palace (full service, buffet, character dining), Pinocchio Village Haus (counter service)
                            EPCOT: Chefs de France (full service), Sunshine Seasons (counter service)
                            Hollywood Studios: 50's Prime Time Cafe (full-service), Pizza Planet (counter service)

                            Never been to Animal Kingsom so can't help you there.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Where to Eat Sit Down meals at WDW

                              Originally posted by scriabin24 View Post
                              Thanks for the suggestions so far. In response to WDW1974:

                              Do you like/dislike certain ethnic/national cuisines? Pretty much all the ethnic foods we've eaten we like and are certainly open to try things we haven't

                              Do you like buffets? We don't want to do exclusively buffets, but sometimes if the kids are finicky, it's good to do one day at a buffet to get them eating again...ha ha - waht's a good one of these?

                              Will you be dining with children (and are they young)? Yes, 15, 12, and 9

                              Do you prefer quiet places with atmosphere or loud places? I think a couple of places with a good atmosphere would be nice, we eat at Blue Bayou when we go to Disneyland, and it isn't for the prices or food, but we really enjoy the atmosphere. The kids love it.

                              Do you like gourmet quality food? Yes we do, but this isn't a requirement

                              Do you have adventuresome tastes or does the idea of chicken on pizza seem exotic to you? Chicken on pizza is good - so we might be adventuresome


                              Do you want to dine at any of the signature locals (that require two credits a person) or just places that take one per person? I didn't even know about this, why do the signature locals require two credits?

                              Someone mentioned we might be late on some of the ADR (I'm guessing this is advanced dinner reservations?). After we booked the trip, I noticed they took 180 day reservations, and figured, oops, I was already within that window. So rather than spending time looking up all the restaurants, etc., I figured I'd post here get some opinions, and start dialing Monday to hopefully book the desired restaurants.

                              Thanks for the opinions.
                              OK. That helps.

                              I also noticed that you said you want locations in the parks. With a few exceptions, the better choices are at the resorts generally speaking.

                              As to the signature locations, they require two credits each person because they are more higher end, more coveted and, generally, better. Whether it's worth it to use two credits once or twice and wind up paying for an extra few meals is a decision you'll need to make for yourself. Some of my personal favorites, and some of WDW's most popular locations, that require two credits would be the California Grill (absolutely my favorite place for a WDW meal) at the Contemporary, Brown Derby at Studios, Jiko at DAK Lodge, Flying Fish at the Boardwalk and Artist Point at the WL.

                              If you're looking to dine strictly at the parks and on one credit, I'd advise the following locations in no particular order:

                              Coral Reef, Le Cellier, Tepan Edo, and Tuto Italia at EPCOT ... hell, I'd actually do all four of these before anywhere else that's one credit.

                              Liberty Tree Tavern at MK.

                              Yak and Yeti at DAK.

                              You asked about character dining and Chef Mickey's at the Contemporary is one credit as are all buffets. I honestly don't think much of the place. The food is decent, but not special. The dining area is just open and the place is loud. But that may be what you're looking for. A better choice for a buffet, although sans characters, would be Boma at DAK Lodge ... lots of amazing soups, salads, entrees with an African twist (but not THAT out there). If you want characters I've found the food and ambience at the Crystal Palace to be much better than Chef Mickey's.

                              If you are looking for really enjoyable one credit meals away from the parks, I'd try the Wave (even though I haven't yet since it just opened) and it's at your resort, the Kona Cafe at the Poly, Captain Jack's at DD and Wolfgang Puck Cafe (also DD).

                              Hope that helps!

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