Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Eating at Disney

I love eating at Disney. But I hate paying Disney prices. You really don't go there on vacation to save money you suck it up and charge it to the room.

Or you can get the Disney Dining Plan. I have a love/hate relationship with this though. Essentially, you pay upfront for your food, and get a set amount of meals with it. For us, it was $40 a day for a grown up and $10 for a kid. That got us one snack (pretty much anything under $5), one counter service meal (usually between $10 - $15), and one sit down meal (these can run anywhere from $15 - $40.) If you use it well, you can save a lot of money.

The one thing I hate about the sit down meals (whether using the dining plan or paying out of pocket) is that you have to make your reservations months in advance (180 days at the earliest.) So, you really have to know which park you are going to be at on which day. And then you have to guess about when people in your family are going to be hungry, not taking a nap, and not outrageously cranky.

This trip went pretty we for us with meals. No one went hungry, and only one time did the food go to waste.

Here were my favorites on this trip:

Boma - This was at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. We ate here for dinner and for breakfast. Lots of yummy African type food, but normal enough for the kids to eat. It's a buffet, so for us that meant Chris and I practically eating separately since either he or myself had to run up for food for the kids. The desserts were delish - especially those zebra domes!

Liberty Tree Tavern - This is in the Magic Kingdom and was hands down our favorite meal. For one, it was served family style so we didn't have to keep running up to a buffet. But, mostly we loved it for the food - Thanksgiving Dinner! We had rolls with honey butter, salad, turkey, ham, roast beef, stuffing, mashed potatoes, macaroni and chesse, green beans, and the apple crisp with ice cream. Perfect!

The Crystal Palace and Askerhaus were places that Maria went to "on dates" with Chris and I. The Crystal Palace, in Magic Kingdom is always Chris' favorite. The characters from Winnie the Pooh come around to visit each table and the food is always classic and delicious.

I took Maria to Askerhaus for breakfast (which I enjoyed much more than a dinner there previously.) There the princess characters come around to chat and take pictures. I fell in love with the potato casserole.

Now, here is the biggest disappointment for us: Le Cellier at Epcot. This is the most sought after reservation in all of Epcot, if not all of Disney. I was thrilled to have landed one here. This meal was the one I anticipated the most. What could be better than pretzel bread, cheese soup, and steak?

To be fair, most of the problems here were our fault. We had a cranky baby and an even crankier Luke. No one was really hungry. Most of our food had to be boxed up to go so we could get our circus show out of there. We skipped dessert (which I was really looking forward to - maple creme brulee.) The server was excellent though. But the food was nothing that really made us feel like we need to go back.

Tomorrow, I will highlight the most incredible dining "experience" we had all week.

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