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Old 20 Mar 18, 06:51 PM  
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collybird
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collybird vs Deluxe Dining Plan [a Fall 2017 Report] - COMPLETE

Better late than never!

Please excuse my tardiness, when we left for our trip last September I had the best of intentions regarding writing a dining report, but I have had those every trip, and every year something has conspired against me, forgetting to capture photographs, breaking my phone, the cat ate my notes etc... 2017 was different, I remembered to take pictures, and I took notes of every meal in my cute little 101 Dalmatians Cat Kidston notebook, things were looking promising.

Then I got home, I started writing, but three weeks later we completed on the purchase of our first house. I had to grow up, and I didn't like it, it meant not a lot of time for Dibbing. Then in January I moved workplace (same job, different location), this has been (and continues to be) challenging to say the least.

For months, my notebook lay sat next to my bed taunting me, reminding me that I was a failure, so I moved it to a drawer I found it last week when I was searching for a pen, and thought 'I've started, so I'll finish...' So here we are, my very first dining report.

I hope my musings, however outdated, are helpful to some of you. Thank you for reading, I am so nervous, please be gentle!

THE CAST
I’m Colette, and my boyfriend is Nik. Last year we completed our sixth trip to Disney World. Food plays a huge part in our trips, other than travel day, ADR day is my most anticipated day of the year! I love reading about Disney food, looking at food pictures, planning and tinkering with our dining line up. It’s a goal of mine to eventually eat at every onsite restaurant, unfortunately, I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to talk Nik into a jacket at Victoria & Albert’s.



DxDP – REALLY?
We have stayed on site for five visits now, each time we’ve had the regular Disney Dining Plan but have always booked extra table service meals and paid out of pocket for them. We enjoy table service breakfasts, evenings outs at Signatures, prefer Appetizers to Desserts and I’m keen to eventually see all of the dinner shows. As far back as our first on-site trip in 2013 I have wanted to try out the Deluxe Dining Plan. Whenever the pros and cons of the DxDP are discussed on the Dibb the consensus is the same, it’s too expensive, too much food, and too time consuming, I wholeheartedly agree, but I still wanted to try it out for myself just once.

In the past, the dollar rate being in our favour has always meant that it didn’t make financial sense to make the pricey upgrade to DxDP, but with the pound struggling I decided to throw caution to the wind and upgrade. The cost was an eyewatering £1,024, which at the time of upgrading would have given me $1,310.64 if I had used that money to top up my currency card instead.

We left the UK with 39 ADRs in place, how many did we cancel?! Did we break even?! Did we manage to use all our credits?! Who won the battle of the DxDP plan?! All will be revealed.

I used my phone for pictures, so unfortunately quality isn’t the best

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Pre-Travel Day - KFC
Travel Day - Frankie & Benny’s, Thomas Cook In-Flight Meals, Planet Hollywood
Day 1 – Chef Mickey’s, Hollywood & Vine, Olivia’s
Day 2 – Boma, Rainforest Café, Trail’s End
Day 3 – Tomorrowland Terrace, ‘Ohana
Day 4 – McDonalds, Early Morning Magic Breakfast, Be Our Guest, The Boathouse
Day 5 – Trattoria al Forno, Chefs de France, Narcoossee’s
Day 6 – Cinderella’s Royal Terrace, Captain Cook’s, Boma, Star Wars Galactic Spectacular
Day 7 – Garden Grill, Captain’s Grille, Pecos Bill, Tomorrowland Terrace Dessert Party
Day 8 – Café Rix, Whispering Canyon Café, Citricos
Day 9 – Tusker House, Paradiso 37, Jiko
Day 10 – The Mara, Grand Floridian Café, Tiffins
Day 11 – Crystal Palace, Las Ventanas, Tusker House
Day 12 – Rose & Crown, Hoop-De-Doo Revue
Day 13 – Coral Reef, Spice Road Table
Day 14 – Tokyo Dining, Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater
Day 15 – Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’, The Diamond Horseshoe, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe
Day 16 – Paddlefish
Conclusion


Edited at 12:33 PM.
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Old 20 Mar 18, 06:53 PM  
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PRE-TRAVEL DAY
Tuesday 19th September 2017

We were staying at the Holiday Inn at Glasgow Airport and I had originally planned to eat at their restaurant, unfortunately Nik had to work until 6, so we decided to get something quick so we could hit the road ASAP.

KFC
KFC is Nik’s favourite thing in the world, I work there, so I can’t say I’m as excited as he is about a meal there! We both ordered Big Daddy Meals with 2 Extra Hot Wings and a Garlic Mayo dip.





A Big Daddy Meal consists of a Big Daddy Burger, a piece of Original Recipe chicken, a side order, large fries and a large drink, a Big Daddy is an Original Recipe Fillet Burger with lettuce, black pepper mayo, cheese, a hash brown and a slice of bacon.

Obviously, I eat a lot of KFC, but I don’t like black pepper mayo so I don’t ever eat a Big Daddy ‘as it comes’, today I did and actually really enjoyed it. The burger was well built and everything was fresh, including the fries.

I was too full to eat my Hot Wings, Nik said they were ‘alright’, but he only had one bite which means they were probably not great.

This cost £15.46, a little pricey for fast food for two but KFC is real food, none of that rubbish you get at McDonalds.
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Old 20 Mar 18, 07:02 PM  
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Oooo, exciting! Looking forward to reading along x
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Old 20 Mar 18, 07:03 PM  
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TRAVEL DAY
Wednesday 20th September 2017

I never eat breakfast as I’m either hurrying off to work, or asleep, so I’d been anticipating this for a while. We had really enjoyed our breakfast at Frankie and Benny’s at the airport last year so there was no contest, we were heading there again!

FRANKIE & BENNY’S – GLASGOW AIRPORT
We were seated quickly, and had a short wait for our server to arrive, when she did she was extremely brusk and didn’t write down the order. Not writing down the order instantly made me nervous as this is a huge pet hate of Nik’s.

I ordered a Big Breakfast Two rashers of bacon, two fried or scrambled free range eggs, sausage, black pudding, Heinz baked beans, roasted tomato, a flat mushroom and your choice of herb potatoes or a tattie scone




Surprise, surprise, my order was wrong – I had ordered herb potatoes but got a potato scone, which I don’t like, the waitress placed the food on the table and then turned away before I had the chance to say anything. It was just okay, it looks nicer than it actually was.

Nik ordered a Three Egg OmeletteThree free range egg omelette served with cubed potatoes and half a roasted tomato with cheese and tomato with a side of white toast




Nik’s toast was also missing, no-one checked in on us during our meal so we never got the opportunity to ask for it. Nik wasn’t overly impressed with this, it needed more variety of fillings.

We had a long wait for the bill, this is my dining pet hate, in the end Nik had to go in search of the waitress to settle up, we hadn’t been charged for the missing toast.

This came to £24.80, not bad for an airport breakfast but overall a disappointing experience, next year we’ll eat at the Wetherspoons. We didn’t tip and Nik pointed out that this would be the last time we would have bad service for a while.

I originally planned to take menu pictures but most are so big they never turn out well, so I’ll link to the menus instead, you can view the breakfast menu here.

THOMAS COOK IN-FLIGHT MEALS
Ah, plane food, the kindest thing I can say is that it tasted nicer than it smelled! We had bought sandwiches from Boots but I took the meal to take up some time. Lunch was Roast Chicken, Lemon, Herb and Leek Pearl Barley Risotto, I took one bite and it was awful. Someone across the aisle had the other option, which was beef, this looked nicer. Dessert was cheesecake, which I don’t like so I didn’t have. In the end I ate the cheese and crackers. I appreciated that the roll and butter weren’t rock hard like they often are on planes.





Thomas Cook only offer tea, coffee or squash with meals, this wasn’t a big deal, as being aware beforehand we had brought drinks with us. They do bring a trolley around a few times offering drinks and snacks for sale and the prices aren’t too bad - £1.80 for a nice chilled can of Pepsi, £1.30 for a Kit Kat and £1.80 for a mini tub of Pringles.




Later in the flight we were brought a mini Lily O’Briens ice cream cone which was nice. Closer to landing we were brought Afternoon Tea which was lovely; cheese & onion and egg & cress finger sandwiches, a scone with clotted cream and jam and a mini shortbread. I don’t like egg sandwiches, I find them a love/hate them kind of thing and am always surprised how often you see them on planes, so Nik gave me his cheese one in exchange for mine.




PLANET HOLLYWOOD
Many a time the topic of whether or not a table-service meal on arrival night is a good idea has arisen on the Dibb, I always advice against it because you are guaranteed to be exhausted. Last year, we attempted a travel day table service meal for the first time at T-Rex, I didn’t eat a bite as I was so tired and hot I felt sick. This year I was adamant we would have quick service on our first evening, but then I upgraded to DxDP and was determined to get the best value out of it, and all common sense went out the window.

Originally, we had booked Wolfgang Puck Café, but this closed during the summer, so we settled on Planet Hollywood as it was somewhere we hadn’t eaten before, and also, we weren’t particularly fussed about eating there so if we were too tired to enjoy it we wouldn’t feel disappointed.

Our server was Faith, she was great, asked if we were on Dining Plan and explained everything; we weren’t allowed to pool our credits together for any sharing appetizers (no nachos – boo) and the New York strip ($50) wasn’t available.

To start, we ordered Five Cheese Dip a flavorful, gooey dip made of Swiss, mozzarella, provolone, Parmesan, and Asiago cheeses with spinach, artichoke hearts and roasted tomato, served with corn tortilla chips and toasted herb flatbread




I had been looking forward to trying this after seeing it in other trip reports, it was nice enough but disappointingly just tasted like regular nacho cheese sauce, I did enjoy having the choice of chips or flatbread though.

We would have been happy to share this, but the DxDP pushed us into ordering a dish each so we also opted for the Twice-Cooked Buffalo Wingschicken wings baked and then fried to perfection and tossed in buffalo sauce, served with celery, carrots, and blue cheese dressing




I loved this, one of the best things I ate all trip! They were very spicy, but so juicy with plenty of meat which just fell off the bone. Both appetizers were massive portions made for sharing!

For his main Nik ordered Bird is the Wordcrispy fried all-natural chicken breast, buttermilk ranch dressing, pickles, cheddar, slaw and honey hot sauce on a garlic-buttered brioche bun



I used to think of Nik as a picky eater, but now I’d say he is more cautious, he likes to stick to what he knows but every year he seems to be growing in confidence with his meal choices and I am really proud of him, in the past this dish would have been out of question because he would have been worried about the honey hot sauce. He loved this and was amazed at how juicy and tender the chicken was.

We enjoy Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives so I was excited to try out one of Guy’s burgers. I went for the Straight-Up with CheeseCheddar, SMC, LTOP, and donkey sauce on a garlic-buttered brioche bun




The menu explains Guy’s lingo, SMC = super melty cheese, LTOP is lettuce, tomatoes, onions and pickles, and Donkey Sauce is mayo, roasted garlic, mustard, Worcestershire and salt & pepper.

As you can see the toppings come on the side and you build your burger yourself. I had been starving before I sat down but the mammoth starters had defeated me and I was ready for bed now, I could barely force myself to take a bite of this. I did, and it was nice enough, not the best burger I’ve had in Florida! The bun was really nice and I enjoyed the donkey sauce, it was a bit of a faff having to add the toppings myself.

Both burgers came with fries, these were a little odd, there was a mix of two-different types of fries, regular skinny fries, and then some which were more like wedges, they were seasoned with something that made them quite spicy and very salty. I didn’t eat many of mine, and I love salt!

Faith knew that we had just endured a long-haul flight and after noting that I hadn’t eaten much offered us dessert to go, which we accepted. The dessert menu wasn’t extensive and only certain ones could be taken to go, we opted for key lime pie and a brownie, these were sadly stuck in the fridge back at the resort and never touched, so no pictures, sorry! Their milkshakes looked awesome and Nik was sad not to get to try one.

Faith efficiently brought the check alongside desserts, everything came to $92.57. Annoyingly she didn’t offer us the option of charging the gratuity to the room; I was really keen to leave so didn’t want to have to wait for her to bring another check for me to sign so just left cash, this wasn’t ideal as I had only brought $100 in cash, all small bills intended for tipping mousekeeping and when valet parking.

I was a little worried about the atmosphere at Planet Hollywood, concerned that it would be loud like Hard Rock, but it wasn’t too bad. There was no movie memorabilia in the area we were seated in, which was disappointing, and I didn’t feel comfortable wandering around in search of it when people were trying to eat. The inside of the ‘observatory’ has multiple huge screens but instead of playing movie clips like I had expected it was music videos. Nik is a film buff so would have liked to have seem a bit more movie theming but we enjoyed our meal and would definitely come back, there was a lot of things that appealed to us on the menu.

We’ll definitely be eating quick service on travel day next time!

Planet Hollywood Observatory menu

TOTAL SPEND SO FAR $92.57
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Old 20 Mar 18, 07:04 PM  
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Originally Posted by loves2plan View Post
Oooo, exciting! Looking forward to reading along x
Thank you Vickie!
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Old 20 Mar 18, 07:12 PM  
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Ohhh, this is going to be good <3
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Old 20 Mar 18, 08:07 PM  
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Eeek, I'm about as excited as I can possibly be, haven't read a single thing! U just saw your reply to me and got as far as the first sentence and hopped over here! Will be back later to reply properly. I'm so glad you went ahead and posted, I bet it's going to be awesome!

Xx
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Old 20 Mar 18, 08:26 PM  
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Right, hopefully you won't get cross with me clogging up the report with inane replies...I've just got to the end of your first post.

The notebook sound beautiful, I'm glad you put it away in a drawer so it could stop taunting you . Work sounds like it has been hectic, I hope your day isn't too long now.

I'm worrying that I will have made some wrong ADR choices and might need to go and make amendments after I see your photos and read about your meals. You know what I discovered last summer was the dibbers on the reports forums are fairly forgiving about a lack of photos of the actual food and when they finally get photos they didn't seem to mind the photo's being pretty blurry, or the complete opposite and getting an excess of photos of all the pages of the menus. At least they told me it was ok, maybe they were just being kind . I'm sure your photos are going to be great and your report will be a hit.

I love that you've given us some teasers! I can't wait to find out if you actually managed the 39 ADRs or if you had credits left over! I hope you got through all your signatures, actually, no I don't, because what I mean is I hope you enjoyed all the signature restaurants and that you didn't just get through it, as it's supposed to be fun and not just a mission.

Oh and my final thought on post 1 was that, it's your 2nd favourite day of the year in just 4 days . Have you got your ADR plans in place for this year? I'm curious to know if you're tempted by BOG as it's now a 2 TS meal. I've done something really naughty, I've got a reservation for liberty tree tavern and BOG for the same day about an hour apart while I make up my mind which to go for . I know it's not fair to have both when we definitely won't be using both and I will cancel soon, but i just can't decide if BOG is going to be worth 2 TS!

I'm so glad you are back as you can see I've got lots to pick your brain about!

I'm going to read post 2 very carefully and will be back again later.
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Old 20 Mar 18, 08:27 PM  
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great start, you really don't need to worry about delayed posting - eventually finished my first report 2 years and 6 months after getting back so 4 months is nothing We're off on the deluxe plan in July and have many of the same choices so looking forward to the rest!
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Dining/Trip Reports:
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The Prisoner of Vineland Mall (2019) 6 days of passion, romance and fine dining...ok so it's mainly eating
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Old 20 Mar 18, 08:41 PM  
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Looking forward to following along - soooooo much food to vicariously enjoy.
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