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 Orlando-Mouse Food Recommendations?

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billyboy

  • Total Posts: 2363
  • Joined: 1/23/2005
  • Location: New York City, NY
Re:Orlando-Mouse Food Recommendations? Tue, 04/13/10 12:01 PM (permalink)
Mosca, great breakdown!  Thanks!  There were 7 of us on our recent trip and he managed to hit the 4 main parks (Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios) as well as Downtown Disney twice each!  A lot of walking in 7 days. 

We had booked our dinners months in advance and decided to meet up for a few certain events, but for the most part to go our own way, do our own thing and then meet up for dinner each night. 

I'm not a big fan of cell phone texting, but it sure came in handy when we were trying to find each other at the park, orderding food for lunch on a long line while one of us scoped out a table, etc...

We definitely had some hits and misses with the food but enjoyed it overall.  I liked the experience at the 50s Prime Time Cafe more than the food.  It reminded me of a combination of my grandparents' house and the first apartment I lived in until I was 6 years old!

One thing I'll say is that everyone we had interactions with:  cashiers at gift shops, costumed characters (princesses), people running the rides, waiters/waitresses, etc were all very polite and helpful.  I'm sure they let it out in the breakroom and sometimes in front of the paying public, but I never saw anyone working there who broke character or lost their cool.
 
#61
    Mosca

    • Total Posts: 2936
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    Re:Orlando-Mouse Food Recommendations? Tue, 04/13/10 8:08 PM (permalink)
    It's us (3) and the inlaws (also 3); we tend to do about half together and half apart, and we usually eat together. I have to say, I really cherish the relationship. They are good people.

    A couple Disney World tips: first, join disboards; it is to Disney what Roadfood is to road food. If you have an iPhone, download eTicket, the disboards Disney iPhone app. Also, if you have The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, and you are a member of their website, you can download WDW Lines, which gives a realtime list of all the lines at all the parks (right now it's 57 minutes for Soarin'). WDW Lines also available for Droid and Palm. There are also maps of the parks available, which is -eh- to me; easier to carry, but mighty small. Better to me is that the Droid is GPS enabled; just go to Google Earth to see where you are and where you want to go. And there are several other apps, including a WDW Dining app that I haven't seen (iPhone only, I have Droid). Remember, with dining reservations available online, and an internet enabled phone, you can search for what is available.



    The Unofficial Guide Walt Disney World 2010 to be invaluable. The research is astonishing; for example, there is a page with a graph titled "Number of Days in Advance Needed to Book Theme-park Sit-down Restaurants" (180 days for Le Cellier, Coral Reef, Crystal Palace dinner, 1 day for Marrakesh, Tokyo Dining, Nine Dragons, Tusker House [lunch], Yak & Yeti). But at a whopping 850 pages, it is much, much more than a dining reference. It covers everything from planning to time allocation to traveling with children to nightlife in Orlando and much, much more. And you also get a discount to the Touring Plans website, which includes advice on the most efficient order in which to visit each park, including access to the WDW Lines app mentioned above. Whether you are the type of person who plans your trip down to the minute, or the type who likes to play it by ear (that's us) THIS is the book that will save you from making those fatal mistakes. For $13 you maximize the magic that is within your personal style. No affiliation, of course, but this IS a forum that makes recommendations; that is mine.
    <message edited by Mosca on Tue, 04/13/10 8:19 PM>
     
    #62
      billyboy

      • Total Posts: 2363
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      • Location: New York City, NY
      Re:Orlando-Mouse Food Recommendations? Wed, 04/14/10 12:33 AM (permalink)

      TUESDAY 03/30/10 -   Just a little tip for anyone using the Disney bus system to travel from their hotel to the various parks.  If your hotel has more than one bus depot, use the one that is the first stop at your hotel.  Better odds for a seat. The East Depot was the closest one to our room, but the last one of four at the hotel and after a couple of days we realized that it was always packed and sometimes standing room only.  

      I'm not sure exactly what we had for breakfast this morning, but this apple pastry tasted exactly, I mean EXACTLY like a warm McDonald's apple pie!  Ohhh, sooo goood!

      Dayna and I skipped lunch today and just shared a pretzel and some fresh fruit from this stand.  I bought a bottle of water once while I was on this trip and then just kept refilling it at the water fountains in each park.  I was sure glad I kept hydrated each day with the heat and all of the walking we did!

      I considered getting a leg but it was too hot and the line was pretty long.  They did look good though.

      Dinner was at the 50s Prime Time Cafe in the Echo Lake section of the park.  

      This place REALLY reminded me of my grandparents' house.

      These cupboards were the same ones we had in the apartment I lived in until I was six years old.  

      I half expected to see cigarette commercials come on the TV!  Part of the schtick here, which I liked, were the waitresses who may be your "cousin", "aunt" and so on.  One in particular was mouthing off, in character of course, to the people at her table and they were all invested in it and having fun.  "I may be out of the room, but I'm not deaf!"  "Finish your vegetables!"

      Some the fare that you might find at mom or grandma's house.  We had Tuna Noodle casserole more nights than I care to remember.





      I waited until the family eating at this table had cleared out so I could get this shot.  There were TVs at most the the tables and while they didn't show any full episodes, there was a continuous loop of clips from shows such as:  The Real McCoys, My Little Margie, I Married Joan, Father Knows Best , My Three Sons, I Love Lucy and Topper among many others.

      My brother-in-law started out with the iceberg wedge which I don't normally like, but this one was cold and crisp (the generous coating of blue cheese, bacon and chives went a long way too!).  

      We split some onion rings for the table which, sad to say, were mushy and not at all appealing to any of us.

      I went for the cherry coke which I thought was awesome.  I've mixed my own homemade version many times and this was definitely not pre-made but mixed with cherry syrup, just the way I like it.

      My sister had the meatloaf which I tried.  It was tasty enough but it doesn't compare to my mom's meatloaf.  Does any restaurant version ever measure up to Mom's?

      My brother-in-law had the pot roast which he said tasted good but was a bit on the fatty side for his liking.

      Dayna really didn't like her entree, the grilled pork loin.  I tried some and I must say that the texture was very rubbery and off-putting to me.  Pork Loin should never feel like that in my mouth.  Ever.

      My fried chicken was very good.  Juicy, crispy and well seasoned.  Not the best I have ever had, but I was happy with it and the potatoes were good too.  The collards were a disappointment as they were quite bland.  They were lacking that salty, porky flavor that I really love.

      Our waitress, Mandy, had really bought into the concept and busted my chops, referring to me as "Mr. Elbows" as I kept putting them on the table.  Man, my posture has taken a nosedive since childhood.  I do remember sitting around the table each night for dinner with my family and Sunday dinners at my grandmother's house with HOMEMADE food.  No TV, just talking to each other about our day.  Times have sure changed.  I do miss it very much.  Mandy was kind enough to take pictures of us, she checked to make sure we had cleaned our plates enough to warrant dessert and during our chat with her she said she had just cut her very long hair and donated it to a local charity for kids with cancer.  Pretty cool, Mandy.

      My sister's S'mores, while not wholly traditional (no Hershey bar or campfire), were excellent.  Sign me up for anything with toasted marshmallows!

      Dayna's Apple Cobbler.  I liked this, but didn't love it.  It had more of a granola-y (is that a word?) top and I prefer biscuit/pie type of crust.

      My Dad's Brownie Sundae.  This was so wrong that it actually came all the way back around and was so right!!  Excuse me, miss, but a pinata exploded on my sundae!  A very moist brownie with hot fudge AND caramel sauces?  M & Ms and what is that, caramel corn?  So unexpected but it totally worked!  The molded chocolate mouse ears and tiny mouse ear confetti candies were a nice touch.  I actually consumed this whole thing.  I can't believe I ate the whole thing!  You ate the whole thing, Billyboy.  But so worth it.

      Dennis' cheesecake.  I didn't try this but I love the presentation.

      I thought this was the coolest touch to this whole experience.  The pictures of all the desserts can be seen on the View Master before you decide what you want.  How cool is that?!  I had a red one when I was 7 years old.  



      We went on the Great Movie Ride and the Studio Backlot Tour which seemed lackluster to both Dayna and I although the audience didn't seem to be into it so that may have been part of it.

      I must heartily recommend the Toy Story Midway Mania! in the Pixar Place section of the park.  I am a huge fan of that movie to begin with.  The best movie I saw all year when it had come out.  The lines for this ride were between 1-2 hours long.  However, we had wisely procured "FAST PASSES" upon arriving at the park.  I really have to make a plug for these as they were very helpful to us.  When you enter the park, you can go to a ride and enter your park pass into the FAST PASS machine at the ride.  It will issue you a ticket that tells you to come back between say 2pm - 3pm for example.  When you come back, you go in an express line that is about 10-15 minutes long.  Very useful for the more popular rides.  It's most useful if you have a flexible schedule that will allow you to come back later in the day.  Be aware though that many times the FAST PASSES are sold out for a particular ride for the day by 12noon or 1pm.  I was "Travelin' Manned" a couple of times because I waited too long to get one.

      Anyway...the Toy Story ride has you sitting in a car playing midway games in 4-D (break the plates, knock the bottles over, pop the balloons with a dart and many, many more).  It's all like virtual reality though and you interact with character from the movie and you wear special glasses to play the game.  I wanted to sneak back in and play again!!  Like being a kid at the local fair!

      Before we move on to Day 5 (back to Magic Kingdom, my buddy Warren and Downtown Disney), take this opportunity to relax for the evening and bask in an Orlando twilight's glow and just admire the beautiful palm trees (I know I do.  Not being near palms makes me appreciate them more when I do see them):





      <message edited by billyboy on Wed, 04/14/10 12:39 AM>
       
      #63
        BillyB

        • Total Posts: 2851
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        Re:Orlando-Mouse Food Recommendations? Wed, 04/14/10 9:17 AM (permalink)
        Hey Billyboy, We make a darn good meatloaf in our cafe, But I know what you mean, Moms is/was the best. When we make it, we ask with gravy or are you putting ketchup on it.
          Most people plan their day at Disney with Entertainment, main attractions, and rides, you plan your day around Breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food at the 50"s Prime time looked great.The BBQ restaurant at the Animal Kingdom was one of the better places to eat, if I remember we were surprised on the Quality. I also remember you had to ask for a corn muffin, or you didn't get it. ..............Thanks for the memories, seeing your reports are like being there........Your a quality guy with with a big heart, thanks for sharing...................Billyb
         
        #64
          leethebard

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          Re:Orlando-Mouse Food Recommendations? Wed, 04/14/10 9:23 AM (permalink)
          Me too...one of the BEST parts of Disney World is the food!!! Unlike park food years ago, Disney has made eating a pleasure...so many quality places...the food tour at Epcot's World showcase is a gastronomic delight!!!!!
           
          #65
            Mosca

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            Re:Orlando-Mouse Food Recommendations? Wed, 04/14/10 11:04 AM (permalink)
            billyboy,

            Our memory of 50s Prime Time matches yours; we love it because it's fun first, and the food is decent/acceptable. Stick to the popular 3: fried chicken, meatloaf, and pot roast. My wife will tell you to avoid the tuna casserole. Desserts are big and good looking, but not worth the sugar hit, IMO; save it for something better. FWIW, this is one of our "must go" places. Between the meat loaf and the pot roast, I prefer the pot roast (remember, it was fatty when mom served it to you in the '50s and '60, too).

            You just gotta give it up for The Great Movie Ride; it's a dark, slow moving air conditioned haven on a bright hot summer day! The first time we went on it, our daughter was 7 and we were in the front car; she really thought... it was pretty funny. Since then, we never miss it. Haven't been on Toy Story yet, the last time we were there was its first year and you couldn't get near the thing. Not a fan of the Backlot Tour, seen it once seen it too many times. The best thing in Hollywood is at Christmas, the Osborne Family Lights; incredibly impressive, with real snow.
             
            #66
              billyboy

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              Re:Orlando-Mouse Food Recommendations? Wed, 04/14/10 11:28 AM (permalink)
              Mosca, thanks again for those boards tips and apps above!  My girlfriend downloaded something like that for her IPhone and we were able to see up-to-date wait times for all of the rides.  She used the map function but I stuck to my paper map.  What can I say, I'm a tactile person who is stuck in the 20th century!

              I've seen the Unofficial Guide before and it is pretty helpful.  My mom bought us all the Birnbaum's Guide as a stocking stuffer for Christmas and told us all we had to study up on the parks before the trip!

              It is hard to go back, in the mind at least.  Tastes and palates change over the years and that fatty pot roast you loved as a kid may not taste so good to the adult mouth.  I remember going into a grocery store one day and seeing a big metal can of Hi-C Orange Drink and getting all nostalgic about lunch time as a kid.  I bought the can and upon the first sip, spat it out.  I couldn't believe I actually loved that stuff!! 

              I think the hard thing for me about those backlot/movie rides is that I'm being "shown" something and I'm more of a "hands-on doer" type.  Give me some kind of interactive experience and I usually buy right in.  I remember hearing about the Osborne Family lights on the Magical Express Bus on the way back to the airport and all I could hear in my head was Ozzy screaming, "SHARON!!"  What kind of twisted nightmare would be in THAT light display?

              BillyB, thanks for the kind words!  I've always put ketchup on my meatloaf 'cause that how mom did it.  She even coated the top with it and cooked it in to intensify the tomato flavor.  Good stuff.
               
              #67
                TJ Jackson

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                Re:Orlando-Mouse Food Recommendations? Wed, 04/14/10 12:03 PM (permalink)
                leethebard

                Me too...one of the BEST parts of Disney World is the food!!! Unlike park food years ago, Disney has made eating a pleasure...so many quality places...the food tour at Epcot's World showcase is a gastronomic delight!!!!!

                At the world showcase in Epcot, this is mostly true

                At the front part of Epcot, and most spots in the rest of the parks, this is not true.  The actual difference is that now, if you do the research, you can find some decent/ok food. 
                 
                #68
                  leethebard

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                  Re:Orlando-Mouse Food Recommendations? Wed, 04/14/10 12:09 PM (permalink)
                  I disagree, somewhat. We found many of the buffets in all the parks worth it...and including all the drinks on a hot day, a good deal. We loved Chef Mickey's at the Contemporary...the Crystal Palace at The Magic Kingdom had great food and several others...it's a deal rather than be nickle and dimed to death on sandwiches and sodas...one big buffet meal at lunch(when most are enjoying the park)...will do the trip. Many positive comments at those buffets seem to agree!
                   
                  #69
                    Mosca

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                    Re:Orlando-Mouse Food Recommendations? Wed, 04/14/10 12:19 PM (permalink)
                    One point made in the Unofficial Guide... the cost of dining inside the parks is so high that you could rent a car and eat outside the parks, and more than cover the cost of the rental car in the difference in $$ saved. We're not going to do it, because the inlaws like to stay on property the whole time... but if it was up to me, we'd have a car.
                     
                    #70
                      ScreamingChicken

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                      Re:Orlando-Mouse Food Recommendations? Wed, 04/14/10 12:23 PM (permalink)
                      billyboy


                      We met my family for dinner in the country of Norway in the World Showcase at the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall. Aside from Cinderella's Castle, this restaurant was supposed to have one of the best character dinners for kids. It did not disappoint. My niece got to meet, get autographs from and have her picture taken with: Belle (Beauty & the Beast), Alice (from Alice in Wonderland, Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Show White and Ariel (The Little Mermaid) and she loved every minute of it!
                       
                      I wanted to go for a traditional Scandanavian dish, so I opted for the Kjottkake.
                      We started out with a trip to the buffet for many Scandanavian fish dishes. Being a "fish frowner" I was skeptical that I would actually like any of it. I wish I had taken better notes. There were some fish items like herring in a red sauce that I just couldn't abide, but the salmon in the middle of my plate (smoked, I think) with dill sauce was very good. Moist and not fishy tasting. The other fish just above it on the plate was a smoked fish whose name I forget, but was very tender and flaky. The shrimp salad and the cocktail shrimp were both good too. Haven't made a fish lover out of me yet, but I'd try it again.


                      What, no lutefisk???
                       
                      And now a general Orlando question:
                       
                      When my wife and I were there in 1989 we had what I remember as a pretty good dinner at The Crab House; I think at the time it might've had 3 locations.  The tabletops were covered with brown paper and we were given wooden mallets for breaking shells.  Have any of you Orlando "regulars" eaten there recently?  I don't see a visit in my future but am curious to know what others think of the place.
                       
                      Brad
                      <message edited by Brad_Olson on Wed, 04/14/10 12:46 PM>
                       
                      #71
                        TJ Jackson

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                        • Location: Cincinnati, OH
                        Re:Orlando-Mouse Food Recommendations? Wed, 04/14/10 1:43 PM (permalink)
                        leethebard

                        I disagree, somewhat.

                        Well, consider the difference between what you said originally

                        leethebard

                        one of the BEST parts of Disney World is the food!

                        and what you say here

                        leethebard

                        We found many of the buffets in all the parks worth it

                        The former is a rather extreme statement about all of the food at all the parks, while the latter is well stated, even tho I have to wonder how you see these buffets - at 30 dollars a person (approx average cost to eat at one of these buffets) - are 'worth it'.  It isn't like you are getting all you can eat crab/lobster/filet mignon at these places.  And yes, I know about the character visits, and that alone makes it worth one (1) visit if you have young kids along.

                        The food at Disney remains - overall - expensive and subpar.  But one does not eat at every eatery - one can choose where one eats, and if one does one's research and picks well, one can and will eat fairly well.  It'll be expensive no matter where you go in any of the parks, but I personally prefer expensive and good over expensive and crappy.
                        <message edited by TJ Jackson on Wed, 04/14/10 1:52 PM>
                         
                        #72
                          Mosca

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                          Re:Orlando-Mouse Food Recommendations? Wed, 04/14/10 3:56 PM (permalink)
                          billyboy


                          Mosca, thanks again for those boards tips and apps above!  My girlfriend downloaded something like that for her IPhone and we were able to see up-to-date wait times for all of the rides.  She used the map function but I stuck to my paper map.  What can I say, I'm a tactile person who is stuck in the 20th century!


                          You're welcome! I think we're going to use a combination of maps and apps... hey, that rhymes!

                          billyboy
                          It is hard to go back, in the mind at least.  Tastes and palates change over the years and that fatty pot roast you loved as a kid may not taste so good to the adult mouth.  I remember going into a grocery store one day and seeing a big metal can of Hi-C Orange Drink and getting all nostalgic about lunch time as a kid.  I bought the can and upon the first sip, spat it out.  I couldn't believe I actually loved that stuff!!


                          Ugh. How about, Hawaiian Punch. Sometimes I read old cookbooks; the difference from then to now in what is considered palatable is jarring. You want to have some fun, try The Gallery of Regrettable Food.

                          billyboy
                          I think the hard thing for me about those backlot/movie rides is that I'm being "shown" something and I'm more of a "hands-on doer" type.  Give me some kind of interactive experience and I usually buy right in.  I remember hearing about the Osborne Family lights on the Magical Express Bus on the way back to the airport and all I could hear in my head was Ozzy screaming, "SHARON!!"  What kind of twisted nightmare would be in THAT light display?


                          LOL... I think the problem with the backlot tour is that it is a big educational downer in the middle of an amusement park. Otherwise, you just gotta see those lights.

                          TJJ, me and you pretty much see WDW the same way; our families should meet there someday! We will get to Le Cellier eventually. My attitude toward WDW was ingrained on me by someone's advice before we went the first time, and it was something along the lines of, "If you don't see everything you want to, relax. You can go back. It will still be there next year." Since I can sometimes get pretty wound up, combined with having serious travel anxieties, I have to remember to turn the switch off as soon as the plane lands. If I get there, great. If I don't, well, it was magical anyhow! In 9 trips, this will be our first Hoopty Doo, for example.

                           
                          #73
                            leethebard

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                            Re:Orlando-Mouse Food Recommendations? Thu, 04/15/10 4:33 PM (permalink)
                            TJ Jackson


                            leethebard

                            I disagree, somewhat.

                            Well, consider the difference between what you said originally

                            leethebard

                            one of the BEST parts of Disney World is the food!

                            and what you say here

                            leethebard

                            We found many of the buffets in all the parks worth it

                            The former is a rather extreme statement about all of the food at all the parks, while the latter is well stated, even tho I have to wonder how you see these buffets - at 30 dollars a person (approx average cost to eat at one of these buffets) - are 'worth it'.  It isn't like you are getting all you can eat crab/lobster/filet mignon at these places.  And yes, I know about the character visits, and that alone makes it worth one (1) visit if you have young kids along.

                            The food at Disney remains - overall - expensive and subpar.  But one does not eat at every eatery - one can choose where one eats, and if one does one's research and picks well, one can and will eat fairly well.  It'll be expensive no matter where you go in any of the parks, but I personally prefer expensive and good over expensive and crappy.


                            wow...someone who has the time and patience to research what I said in other posts....Well, I don't see any inconsistancy...read the rest of that first quote...I think the buffets are a value when compared to much fast food served around the park...and when it is your main, big meal...it's been 4 years since we were there, and I see the prices are higher...but I'm sure hotdogs, burgers and the like have gone up too........"sub par" seems to go against what many say here....California Grill has won many awards......I guess if you're hgappy with the quality, enjoy.....if not brown bag it!!!
                             
                            #74
                              leethebard

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                              Re:Orlando-Mouse Food Recommendations? Thu, 04/15/10 4:37 PM (permalink)
                              Oh and a big part of our trip is doing a culinary circle tour at Epcot's countries...it's fun and a Great part of the experience.......or am I contradicting myself?????????
                               
                              #75
                                billyboy

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                                Re:Orlando-Mouse Food Recommendations? Thu, 04/15/10 4:41 PM (permalink)
                                Mosca, that gallery is insane!  I love it!  Have you ever read "The Amazing Mackerel Pudding Plan"?  Check out this link:  http://www.candyboots.com/book.html
                                Click on the Original Collection and take the tour!  She gives a nod to the Gallery in her thank yous.  The scary thing is that my mom used to have these cards at home when I was a kid and I was freaked out by the visuals even then!

                                The last time I was at Disney was for Spring Break in 1990.  Honestly, if I don't go for another 20 years, I'd be just fine.  I did enjoy myself, but it was really more for my niece and seeing it through her eyes for the first time.  I think I'm a bit more jaded than I was in college and having worked for Disney twice I've seen the difference between their public face for paying customers and their private face for those who work for them. 
                                 
                                I might go back to see other elements of Disney:  restaurants, golf courses, resorts, but the big four theme parks really came off as giant never ending gift shops to me.  Constant merchandising of tchotchkies all throughout the parks, on the way to rides and hey, exit the ride through our wonderful gift shop!  It was a bit much for me.  Sorry for the venting.

                                <message edited by billyboy on Wed, 08/29/12 12:04 AM>
                                 
                                #76
                                  billyboy

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                                  Re:Orlando-Mouse Food Recommendations? Mon, 04/19/10 5:11 PM (permalink)
                                  WEDNESDAY 03/31/10 - before heading back to Magic Kingdom for a second time, I had to try one of the Mickey Mouse waffles at the hotel's food court!  I could almost hear Mickey cry out, "Oh no, Mister Bill!"  as I bit off an ear.  Silly Mickey!

                                  The grits were alright. Creamy and grainy, they were improved by a pat of butter. I've never had grits in the south so I have no idea how these would stack up.   
                                  We made our way to many of the Magic Kingdom sights and rides:  The Hall of Presidents, Splash Mountain, the Haunted Mansion, the It's A Small World ride (which has still held up for me all of these years later) and the Country Bear Jamboree (which seemed a little too slick and theatrical than the hoe-down atmosphere I seem to remember.  The animatronics seemed to be off-rhythm which made the show drag on).      

                                   
                                  Next door we grabbed lunch at Pecos Bill's Tall Tale Inn and Cafe.  They had a pretty good hot and cold condiment bar for the burger and sandwiches.  I grabbed some tasty sauteed onions and mushrooms along with the usual topping suspects.  
                                   
                                  And a BBQ bacon cheeseburger with an onion ring on top.  I'd put this at the middle of the pack.  I've had better and I've had worse.  Might be worth eating a second time.  
                                   
                                  We had dinner reservations at the Cape May Cafe at Disney's Yacht Club/Beach Club resort.  We really liked this hotel with the beach setting and cool breezy atmosphere.
                                   
                                  Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of this dinner.  Just wasn't in the mood for the camera for some reason.  It was an all you can eat buffet which I'm not normally a fan of, but the King Crab legs, shrimp cocktail, roast beef with horseradish sauce, roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, grilled vegetables, Key Lime tarts and mini molten chocolate cakes (among many, many other dishes) somehow won me over.  Two thumbs up from billyboy!  
                                   
                                  We split up at Downtown Disney and the rest of the group headed back to the hotel while Dayna and I walked through the shopping area.  My one must-do was the Ghirardelli shop!  While I was bummed about not getting any ice cream with hot fudge (the line was waaay too long!), I did console myself with an 80 count bag of mixed chocolate squares that managed to ease the pain.  ;)




                                  Our last stop of the evening was Goofy's Candy Co.  I picked up some goodies for myself as well as some for my co-workers back in NJ.  Now THIS is my idea of a birthday cake!  
                                   
                                  Can you guess what this sign is made of?  We did end up taking the Sassagoula River Water Taxi from Downtown Disney right back to our hotel.  It was a nice relaxing 20 minute ride down the river that perfectly capped our day.


                                   
                                  And a for the parting shots of the day:  This is my buddy, Warren, who was the conductor for the Frontierland Railroad in the Magic Kingdom. He was giving a lot of "in character" lip to the passengers, and when he saw my Red Sox cap, he, being a Cubs fan, busted, my chops. He was kind enough to make peace and shake hands with me as we departed.

                                  Be on the lookout for the new Disney live-action/animated film, "Steamboat Billyboy". Coming soon to a theater near you!





                                  <message edited by billyboy on Tue, 04/20/10 1:26 PM>
                                   
                                  #77
                                    cavandre

                                    • Total Posts: 1598
                                    • Joined: 3/14/2008
                                    • Location: Melbourne, FL
                                    Re:Orlando-Mouse Food Recommendations? Tue, 04/20/10 8:17 AM (permalink)
                                    leethebard


                                    Oh and a big part of our trip is doing a culinary circle tour at Epcot's countries...it's fun and a Great part of the experience.......or am I contradicting myself?????????

                                    That circuit is even more fun during the annual Food & Wine (and beer) Festival, when about 2 dozen additional stands/kiosks selling food & bevarages are added to the mix. (Festival dates vary a bit each year, but in general it goes from late Sept. thru early Nov.)
                                     
                                    #78
                                      TJ Jackson

                                      • Total Posts: 4486
                                      • Joined: 7/26/2003
                                      • Location: Cincinnati, OH
                                      Re:Orlando-Mouse Food Recommendations? Tue, 04/20/10 8:57 AM (permalink)
                                      leethebard

                                      California Grill has won many awards

                                      Exactly the point

                                      California Grill is one of the EXCEPTIONS that one can learn about if one does the research - an exception, not the rule

                                      Note that California Grille is also not the kind of place most kids would enjoy - it's pretty grown-up eats

                                       
                                      #79
                                        billyboy

                                        • Total Posts: 2363
                                        • Joined: 1/23/2005
                                        • Location: New York City, NY
                                        Re:Orlando-Mouse Food Recommendations? Tue, 04/20/10 9:06 AM (permalink)
                                        THURSDAY 04/01/10 - Back to EPCOT! Dayna slept in and the rest of the family got an early start, so I made my way solo to EPCOT and started at the Flavors Around the World Coca-Cola building.  I love the idea of being able to get free samples of different Coke products that are marketed in other countries.  The ginger ale in Mozambique, Watermelon soda from China and the orange flavored German soda were my favorites.  The Italian soda with bitters had to be one of the worst things I have ever tasted!  It reminded me of the novacaine that my dentist uses.  
                                         
                                        Based on the recommendations on this thread, I stopped in to the Rose & Crown pub in England for lunch.
                                          I started out with the Imperial Sampler of beer.  I really liked the Strongbow cider and the Boddington's.  
                                         
                                        And my fish and chips.  Just greasy enough, crispy and complemented with some tartar sauce and lemon, it was exactly what I was craving.  The bartender, Carl, was great and engaged in some great banter with the patrons as well as showed us a few bar tricks, like balancing a pint of beer on a dime at a 45 degree angle!
                                         
                                        After a quick trip to France for some pastries which were most tasty...

                                         
                                        ...I met up with Dayna in Germany for a pretzel and a bratwurst.  the pretzel was warm and soft, but the brat left much to be desired.  Not very flavorful and it seemed like it had been steamed.  I prefer grilled for that great charred flavor.

                                         
                                        After checking out the American Experience and a going on the Finding Nemo ride with my niece (which she loved!), we had dinner at 
                                         
                                        the Coral Reef restaurant.  This was great as I had really loved dinner here over 20 years ago and I was eager to see if it had held up over time.  
                                         
                                        My brother-in-law's beet salad.  I'm not a fan of beets, but I love the composition of this dish.
                                         
                                        My corn chowder with smoked paprika oil.  Lots of corn and a great smoky flavor.
                                         
                                        My entree of Grilled Mahi-Mahi with a ragout of rock shrimp over jasmine rice and topped with hearts of palm.  Great presentation and great flavor.  A mild white fish, it was moist and flaky.  I forget what Dayna had, but it was the seasonal catch and the wild mushroom risotto that was paired with it was the best I have had in a number of years.  I'm a huge risotto fan and this was earthy, rich and very comforting.  
                                         
                                        I'm not sure what these first two desserts are, but they look beautiful.  

                                         
                                        Cheesecake Napoleon with a fruit compote.  
                                         
                                        And my Butterscotch Creme Brulee.  This was a good rendition of creme brulee, which I love, however the butterscotch flavor didn't come through which was disappointing as I really love all things butterscotch.   




                                        <message edited by billyboy on Thu, 05/20/10 9:59 PM>
                                         
                                        #80
                                          billyboy

                                          • Total Posts: 2363
                                          • Joined: 1/23/2005
                                          • Location: New York City, NY
                                          Re:Orlando-Mouse Food Recommendations? Tue, 04/20/10 9:11 AM (permalink)
                                          FRIDAY 04/02/10 - Hollywood Studios, dinner in Downtown Disney and a surprise find in he Cincinnati airport! On our last full day in Disney, we all decided, like Fleetwood Mac, to go our own way and then meet up for dinner.  I spent the most of the day by myself in Hollywood Studios as there were a few rides I still wanted to check out.  My first stop was to get a Fast Pass for the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ride.  I saved a couple of hours on line by doing that.  Before I returned to have my heart stopped by a 13 story drop, I went to the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular and was chosen to go onstage and be an extra in the show.  Let's just say it's a good idea if you lack the "shame gene" before doing this.  I had a blast!

                                          I met up with Dayna and my family for dinner at Raglan Road Irish Pub in Downtown Disney.  Dayna and I took a very relaxing water taxi ride there from our hotel which was much more fun and easygoing than the bus.  


                                          Once again, I went for a sampler of beers.  I'm not sure about all of these beers although I do remember liking them.  The dark one on the far right is my most favorite beer, Newcastle Brown Ale.
                                           
                                          We started out with some Irish Soda bread for the table (2nd picture below), which came with a dip consisting of olive oil, honey and Guinness beer.  The bread was moist, nutty from the oats and hearty.  The dip was sweet and full-bodied at the same time. 

                                           
                                          I had a reinterpretation of a classic, Shepherd's Pie and they nailed it.  I think it was  combination of ground beef and ground lamb which gave the dish a very rich taste.
                                           
                                          The fish and chips were pretty good too.
                                           
                                          Since I don't often have the chance, I ordered a side of Colcannon (mashed potatoes with Irish bacon and cabbage mixed in).  Very filling and delicious. 
                                           
                                          I'm not sure what this dessert is but I'm guessing some kind of cobbler.
                                           
                                          I can't believe I ordered the bread pudding!  This was insanely rich and decadent.  It also came with two warm sauces: butterscotch and creme anglaise.  It was so buttery and moist, but I could only knock out half of it partly because...
                                           
                                          I was saving myself for two scoops (chocolate and vanilla) at Ghirardelli's with their most excellent hot fudge sauce!  Well worth the wait.
                                           
                                          On our way back to NYC, out flight passed through Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.  A bit of sleuthing a few weeks before the trip revealed that there was a Gold Star Chili outpost in out terminal.  Well, lunch was settled!  I had never tried a 4-way or a chili-cheese coney so I was very excited for this stop.  

                                           
                                          The cheese coneys are so small!  I could have had a couple more.  I really liked the combination of flavors on this.

                                          I was really digging this 4-way though.  A definite winner in my book.  The chili sauce had a slightly sweet, spicy balance to it and the crunch of the raw onion and the crackers along with the gooey cheese worked for me.  I can't wait to travel to Cincy to sample other chili parlors!
                                           
                                          I checked out the local gift gift to see if there might be any regional specialties in there and I found some cans of Skyline chili along with some from Gold Star as well.
                                           
                                          My favorite find were the Buckeyes.  My grandmother used to make these when I was little and for some reason I had it in my head that they were called "buckballs" and would ask for them at the holidays by that name only.  
                                           
                                          A sweet, peanut buttery treat and a great way to end the trip.  Hope you all enjoyed the pics and the write-ups.  Happy Eating!



                                          <message edited by billyboy on Wed, 08/29/12 12:09 AM>
                                           
                                          #81
                                            cavandre

                                            • Total Posts: 1598
                                            • Joined: 3/14/2008
                                            • Location: Melbourne, FL
                                            Re:Orlando-Mouse Food Recommendations? Tue, 04/20/10 12:31 PM (permalink)
                                            At Coke's "Flavors from around the World", did you try the Beverly flavor from Italy?
                                             
                                            #82
                                              leethebard

                                              • Total Posts: 6086
                                              • Joined: 8/16/2007
                                              • Location: brick, NJ
                                              Re:Orlando-Mouse Food Recommendations? Tue, 04/20/10 9:21 PM (permalink)
                                              Lots of great looking food!!! Those who think most of Disney food is bad...just haven't tried it all..or....well I just don't know "or what...you guys fill it in...yes some is typical park food...but so much out there isn't!!!
                                               
                                              #83
                                                billyboy

                                                • Total Posts: 2363
                                                • Joined: 1/23/2005
                                                • Location: New York City, NY
                                                Re:Orlando-Mouse Food Recommendations? Tue, 04/20/10 10:26 PM (permalink)
                                                cavandre, I did and really, really wish I could un-ring THAT bell!  

                                                More narrative to come.  I was experiencing technical difficulties with the software and lost a big chunk of my report, so I decided to tease with the photos and add the text soon thereafter.  
                                                <message edited by billyboy on Wed, 08/29/12 12:10 AM>
                                                 
                                                #84
                                                  TJ Jackson

                                                  • Total Posts: 4486
                                                  • Joined: 7/26/2003
                                                  • Location: Cincinnati, OH
                                                  Re:Orlando-Mouse Food Recommendations? Wed, 04/21/10 9:28 AM (permalink)
                                                  leethebard

                                                  Those who think most of Disney food is bad...just haven't tried it all..or....well I just don't know "or what...you guys fill it in...yes some is typical park food...but so much out there isn't!!!

                                                  I have spent 14 days there in the last 18 months

                                                  I have also done the research, reading post after post on Disney specific boards.

                                                  I think I can speak with some authority here.
                                                  <message edited by TJ Jackson on Wed, 04/21/10 10:54 AM>
                                                   
                                                  #85
                                                    Mosca

                                                    • Total Posts: 2936
                                                    • Joined: 5/26/2004
                                                    • Location: Mountain Top, PA
                                                    Re:Orlando-Mouse Food Recommendations? Wed, 04/21/10 10:21 AM (permalink)
                                                    Jeez, you're both right, because tastes and experiences are individual. Those who experience flavors like TJ does will agree with TJ; those who do so like leethebard will agree with leethebard.

                                                    As with using any critic, learn how your own tastes agree and disagree with theirs, and the critic becomes useful. The only standard is consistency. If a critic is consistent, then he/she is good, regardless of degree of agreement; the value is in the constant ratio of that degree.

                                                    TJ, leethebard, thanks to both of you for your voluminous contributions and consistency. Despite your differences, you have both been remarkably worthwhile contributors, IMO.
                                                     
                                                    #86
                                                      leethebard

                                                      • Total Posts: 6086
                                                      • Joined: 8/16/2007
                                                      • Location: brick, NJ
                                                      Re:Orlando-Mouse Food Recommendations? Wed, 04/21/10 3:26 PM (permalink)
                                                      Thanks for the kind words...If I've learned one thing over the years here at Roadfood, we all differ...ketchup on a hot dog,yes or no...Waffle House, yes or no....Pizza Hut, no or no...etc. We have,too, spent weeks and weeks at Disney, often in 10-11 day spurts and own every guide book...I should have said ,I guess, "in my humble opinion".....for what it's worth, I  still like a nice portion of the  food places better than some of the rides...and our family of four loves Disney!!!!!
                                                       
                                                      #87
                                                        The Travelin Man

                                                        • Total Posts: 3699
                                                        • Joined: 3/25/2003
                                                        • Location: Central FL
                                                        Re:Orlando-Mouse Food Recommendations? Wed, 04/21/10 5:10 PM (permalink)
                                                        TJ Jackson


                                                        leethebard

                                                        Those who think most of Disney food is bad...just haven't tried it all..or....well I just don't know "or what...you guys fill it in...yes some is typical park food...but so much out there isn't!!!

                                                        I have spent 14 days there in the last 18 months

                                                        I have also done the research, reading post after post on Disney specific boards.

                                                        I think I can speak with some authority here.


                                                        Dude.  You and I don't see eye to eye on everything, but you are arguing with the guy who recommends that people go to Bubba Gump Shrimp in New York City.

                                                        Process that for a minute.
                                                         
                                                        #88
                                                          saps

                                                          • Total Posts: 1553
                                                          • Joined: 8/18/2003
                                                          • Location: wheaton, IL
                                                          Re:Orlando-Mouse Food Recommendations? Wed, 04/21/10 5:28 PM (permalink)
                                                          T.J. has spent 14 days at Disney in the last 18 months. 

                                                          Leethebard has spent "weeks and weeks at Disney, often in 10-11 day spurts". 

                                                          Both do research and have guidebooks.

                                                          I, for one, am very happy for them.
                                                           
                                                          #89
                                                            wesleyman

                                                            • Total Posts: 57
                                                            • Joined: 2/1/2005
                                                            • Location: Cincinnati, OH
                                                            Re:Orlando-Mouse Food Recommendations? Wed, 04/21/10 7:52 PM (permalink)

                                                            Our anniversary dessert at Le Cellier

                                                            We just got back from WDW a few weeks ago.  Went for our 10th anniversary and both of our kids birthday celebrations.  Had a great time.  My wife is a super planner, so we had the whole experience down to a science.  Loved Le Cellier, Prime Time Drive In, and the buffet at Chef Mickey's.  
                                                            <message edited by wesleyman on Wed, 04/21/10 7:59 PM>
                                                             
                                                            #90
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