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Old 23 Oct 18, 10:05 AM  
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#51
DollyDimples
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There's nothing more fun than planning ADRs, you must be very kind to allow DH and DS some input Do you have any must-dos you have decided on?
So far no absolute must do's which makes things more tricky! I am enjoying looking though.

Input from DH and DS is to try to avoid the situation you had with your mum but I suspect I will end up making the final call on what we do and then end up annoyed when DH and/or DS grumble. DH struggles with an answer of what do you want for tea tonight so realistically getting a proper input of what he wants to eat 6 months in advance is going to be hit and miss!

We are 12 nights on site with DDP but we don't pick up our hire car until we move offsite. So far I think we are sorted for AK with Tusker House (most likely breakfast) and Yak and Yeti for TS meals. Satu'li and Flame Tree are on the list of possible QS for there. For MK no definite decisions yet apart from Crystal Palace breakfast. HS only definite is Mama Melrose (this is the only place that me and DH can actually remember eating onsite when we had our only previous trip to Orlando in 2005). For Epcot, Garden Grill Breakfast is likely but struggling to chose between others. Think we are mainly going to be itinerary driven with what we choose rather than fitting the itinerary around where we want to eat. Like the look of several hotel restaurants but as no hire car I suspect we will mainly stick to in park or DS places this trip. We also haven't decided on whether to just stick to 1TS restaurants or to do a couple of 2TS options, as planning to spend the whole 12 days on-site we wont have any spare credits because of off-site meals. Decisions, decisions...
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Old 24 Oct 18, 11:13 AM  
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#52
collybird
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Originally Posted by DollyDimples View Post
So far no absolute must do's which makes things more tricky! I am enjoying looking though.

Input from DH and DS is to try to avoid the situation you had with your mum but I suspect I will end up making the final call on what we do and then end up annoyed when DH and/or DS grumble. DH struggles with an answer of what do you want for tea tonight so realistically getting a proper input of what he wants to eat 6 months in advance is going to be hit and miss!

We are 12 nights on site with DDP but we don't pick up our hire car until we move offsite. So far I think we are sorted for AK with Tusker House (most likely breakfast) and Yak and Yeti for TS meals. Satu'li and Flame Tree are on the list of possible QS for there. For MK no definite decisions yet apart from Crystal Palace breakfast. HS only definite is Mama Melrose (this is the only place that me and DH can actually remember eating onsite when we had our only previous trip to Orlando in 2005). For Epcot, Garden Grill Breakfast is likely but struggling to chose between others. Think we are mainly going to be itinerary driven with what we choose rather than fitting the itinerary around where we want to eat. Like the look of several hotel restaurants but as no hire car I suspect we will mainly stick to in park or DS places this trip. We also haven't decided on whether to just stick to 1TS restaurants or to do a couple of 2TS options, as planning to spend the whole 12 days on-site we wont have any spare credits because of off-site meals. Decisions, decisions...
For your first visit in so long I think planning the meals around the itinerary rather than the other way around is perfect. We didn't really venture into resort dining until we had had a few trips (and we didn't have a car until our third one).

It's an option to pay OOP for cheaper TS meals then that can free up credits for a 2TS. For example, Beaches and Cream and The Plaza are both very reasonably priced. Although the majority of the 2TS are in the resorts so something you may not have to worry about.

Tusker House, Yak & Yeti, Mama Melrose, Crystal Palace and Garden Grill are all solid choices, we didn't do Garden Grill this year and we missed it!

Happy planning! Thank you for taking the time to share you thoughts with me, I love reading about other's plans.
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Old 24 Oct 18, 11:51 AM  
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DAY 3

This morning we headed to the Beach Club, we were spending the day at Epcot so we valet parked ($33 for the day, I give a $2 tip when dropping off the car and $5 when collecting - I know parking prices have increased so valet might have jumped slightly too, this was correct September 2018).

Cape May Café


We arrived early for our 7.30 am ADR and the check-in desk wasn’t open, when it eventually opened we were seated a few minutes afterwards. Cape May Café offers a breakfast buffet featuring character meets with Donald, Daisy, Goofy and Minnie.

We were seated in a side-room which wasn’t ideal for getting to the buffet but I actually really liked it as it was much quieter than the main room and you didn’t feel like the usual madness of a character meal.

Once again, I managed to grab some buffet photos, unfortunately they were not the best as it was getting busier all the time and I was having to snap them as quickly as I could. I am still pleased I managed to get anything at all.

Since our last visit to Cape May they have introduced an omelette station, none of us tried one because they looked enormous!



The usual baked goods were on offer.



Cereal



Sausages, bacon, eggs, breakfast potatoes and biscuits. The breakfast potatoes were the cubed ones, I feel these are Disney's weakest breakfast carb, they always taste soggy.



Sausage gravy, pancakes, banana foster sauce, French toast, Mickey waffles



Whipped cream and strawberry topping, I was thrilled to see these, they have been missing at Crystal Palace our last few visits. I love these with Mickey waffles. There’s also a syrup jug behind.



Some cold meats and cheeses. I enjoyed these.




Smoked salmon and bagels with a variety of cream cheeses. These were a hit with me.



Croissants, bread and muffins for toasting. I'd have liked them to have some sliced cheese on offer (they only had cubes) as I'd have liked to have made myself a breakfast muffin.



Kids station with tater tots and blueberry pancakes



A shrimp dish, asparagus and Hollandaise sauce



Breakfast potatoes and Mushroom frittata



Bacon, sausages, scrambled egg, Corned beef hash and scrambled eggs with Goat’s cheese. The last time we were here they had chorizo scrambled eggs which were out of the world good and we had spent 3 years talking about them, I was so disappointed they didn’t have them!



Oatmeal and grits



Some fruit



More fruit, other cold items, including yogurt, toppings and cottage cheese. The little jars at the back weren’t labelled but I believed they were yogurt parfaits.



Our server was from England and she was really lovely, she offered to take pictures of all three of us with the characters, and only one server in all our trips has offered us this. The character interaction here was very good, and I felt like we got a little extra time with the characters due to being in the side room. I had brought along my character bows from Lilliboo Bows and these made for some great interaction, Donald in particular loved his.



Breakfast came to $107.35 or 3 TS credits. This was our most expensive breakfasts so far, of course, this is due to the premium you’re paying for characters. Last year, I did feel that we had had our fill of character meals but we’d loved the food on our previous visit here and were keen to return for that alone, unfortunately I felt the buffet selection was quite uninspiring; compared to The Wave and Boma, who both have unique items, Cape May just seemed very run-of-the-mill – they used to offer a crepe station which was something different, but I presume the omelette station has replaced this. Everything was nice enough but I don’t think we’ll be going out of our way in future to come back. As Epcot was our park of choice today I really wished we’d opted for Garden Grill instead.

CREDITS USED 24
TOTAL IN $$ 592.71

***

We had a booking for Via Napoli for lunch, I hadn't cancelled this one as I felt it wouldn't have made for too heavy a lunch, BUT...

Vanity got the better of me Before we’d left the UK, I’d bought a more expensive foundation (Rimmel) than I usually use in the hope my make-up would stay fresh for longer in the heat, but I suffer from rosacea and I really wasn’t happy with the coverage the new stuff offered. I got it into my head that I really needed to go to Disney Springs so I could go to Sephora and pick up a new one. This obsession lead to us leaving Epcot earlier than I had planned and our Via Napoli ADR being rescheduled. We had plenty more World Showcase time planned so I was certain we’d get to eat there another day...

Visiting Disney Springs killed three birds with one stone as we had to collect our gift cards from World of Disney and I finally got to try…

D-Luxe Burger

D-Luxe Burger accepts Mobile Orders which is great as I know it can get busy. I pre-ordered our lunch prior to leaving Epcot and when we arrived we entered through the doors specifically marked ‘Mobile Order’. On arrival, we were then given a tracker to sit on our table and our food was brought to us when it was ready. As it was lunchtime the restaurant wasn’t overly busy and the Mobile Ordering wasn’t really necessary, although there wasn’t a long line to order food there wasn’t any free tables indoors we had to sit on the stools at the bar that runs opposite the drinks station. D-Luxe was another restaurant I was surprised at the size of, I had expected it to be bigger.

Mum let me order for her and I chose the Southern Burger - Signature Blend Beef Patty topped with a Fried Green Tomato, Pimento, Lettuce, Grilled Onion and Bacon.



She really enjoyed this, I had thought the pimento would be spicy but she said it wasn’t. I was very surprised at the size of the burgers, you really can’t tell how big they are from photo. I always imagined the burgers to be the size of the ones at Shake Shack, but these are monsters.

I agonised over what to go for but eventually settled on the Barbecue Burger - Signature Blend Beef Patty topped with a Fried Onion Ring, Smoked Gouda, Bacon, Barbecue Sauce, Grilled Onion and Lettuce.



I have only just started to enjoy barbecue sauce over the last year or so, with that in mind it was a bit of a gamble to have ordered this. I did think the barbecue sauce was too overpowering for my tastes, although the patty itself was delicious. You often read about how messy these burgers are, and they really are, you can see in the photo that the juices from the meat have soaked into the bun. I’d definitely recommend trying to eat with the burger still in the wrapper.

Nik had Classic Cheeseburger - Signature Blend Beef Patty topped with Cheddar, Lettuce, Tomato, Grilled Onion and Picked.



We had intended to split this and the Barbecue one but they were just too messy to even attempt that. This is our new favourite burger in Disney, just like the burger we loved in Sci-Fi, but for a QS credit!

We also had a side of fries each.



This was a mistake! I had read that the portions of fries were huge, and I should have kept this in mind, one portion would have easily done all three of us. These were delicious, we couldn’t stop eating them. D-Luxe offers a selection of dipping sauces that you help yourself to, we tried the Garlic Ranch, Chipotle Mayo and Buffalo. The Garlic Ranch, was just as good as the Garlic Parmesan at Chicken Guy, I loved it.

D-Luxe accepts the QS dining plan, for a QS credit you select any burger and a soft drink. If you want fries, you can use a snack credit for those. You are free to use your DxDP TS credits at QS restaurants, all part of the flexibility of the plan.

Lunch came to $54.94 for the 3 burgers and 3 drinks. The fries, covered by 3 snack credits, cost $15.94. I had been looking forward to D-Luxe for so long that I was worried it wouldn't live up to the hype but I am thrilled to say it did, it will be a must-do for us in future.

If you have the Dining Plan and you are placing a Mobile Order the system should automatically deduct the applicable credits from your total. If you don’t have the Dining Plan, the card linked to your MDE account will be charged. The system is still in its infancy though and can be glitchy. A few days after eating at D-Luxe, I realised that instead of deducting credits my card had been charged, this happened at two different restaurants. I visited the Concierge at my resort, it was a manager on the desk, and he said that the Dining Plan can’t be used for Mobile Orders. This is incorrect. I had to show him our Satu’li Canteen order to prove that I was right. I then had to find the emails confirming my Mobile Orders. It took a while but he credited my room the amounts my card had been charged and deducted the credits from my account.

I discovered that when you log on it will occasionally tell you that you cannot use DP for Mobile Orders, this isn’t correct, so I had to keep refreshing until it would say I could. This is something to watch out for if you’re placing Mobile Orders using Disney Dining Plan.

CREDITS USED 27
TOTAL IN $$ 608.65

***

We headed to the Grand Floridian for dinner, we were able to valet park as our ticket from earlier was valid for the entire day, this was great as it saved us the hike from the The Villas where they get all visitor to park. I was very excited for this evening’s meal as I felt we’d just been flirting with the DxDP the last few days and now we were going to start enjoying the benefits of it.

Narcoossee’s

This was quite a last-minute ADR, I had taken it out of contention after it being relatively underwhelming last year, and my mum wasn’t the biggest fan of it in 2016. In the end, nostalgia won me over and I booked it.

Here is a terrible menu picture.



Lovely fresh bread



To start I had Barbecue-grilled Shrimp and Grits - Wild Florida Shrimp with Barbecue Sauce, Low Country Grits, Cherrywood-smoked Bacon, and Pickled Green Tomato Chow-chow.



This is a really gorgeous dish, the shrimp are plump and juicy, and the grits have a nice texture, I prefer them to be quite ‘gritty’ and these definitely are. The barbecue sauce isn’t over-powering and adds a nice sweetness. I let Mum taste this and she said she thought it tasted like a KFC Rice Box, I can’t confirm or deny this.

Nik and Mum both had the Maine Lobster Bisque - Butter-poached Lobster, Coral, Chives.



Before we left the UK, Nik said he didn’t feel like he had had much Lobster Bisque on the last trip (readers from last year will doubt the validity of this statement ) so this year he was going to try and have it more. He, of course, is somewhat of a lobster bisque connoisseur and he maintains this is Disney’s best one.

For mains, I had the Surf & Turf - Sirloin Steak and Lobster Tail served with Yukon Gold Rustic Mash, Roasted Carrots, Green Bean, Cipolini Onions.



I had my lobster tail butter-poached, this was really, really nice. The sirloin was really disappointing, it was cooked perfectly (medium-rare) but was very bland. I should have added the Bearnaise that I had last year. The mash is still lumpy

Mum had Seared Native Hebridean Salmon - Succotash of Summer Corn and Hominy, Creamy Corn Puree and Piccalilli Relish



I wish I’d had this, doesn’t it look lovely!? She was very happy with it.

Nik had Wild Caught Shrimp and Camanelle Pasta - Wild Gulf Shrimp, Savoy Spinach, Oven-roasted Tomatoes, Basil Pistou, Comte Cheese, Chardonnay-Garlic Cream. Although, he subbed the shrimp for chicken.



Nik’s favourite meal we eat at home is Lisa29’s version of the Cheesecake Factory’s Farfalle with Chicken and Roasted Garlic and this was quite similar to it, although Lisa’s is yummier! This was a great dish, and I thought it was pretty 'safe' for pickier eaters.



Nik was adamant that he was going to order the Coconut and Chocolate Crème Brulee - Layered Coconut and Chocolate with Whipped Chantilly Cream and Toasted Coconut, but I told him that he had had this last year and thought it was too sweet. He refused to believe me, so I had to pull up my review from last year and quote it to him! Instead, I ordered the Crème Brulee.



Nik’s deduction that it was ‘very tasty, but very sweet’ is very true, it was a bit sickly even for my sweet tooth. It tasted like a Bounty, just as you’d imagine a coconut and chocolate crème brulee would taste, there was lots of the toast coconut which added a really nice texture.

Nik eventually settled on Narcoosee’s Candy Bar - Dark Chocolate-Mocha Bar with House-made Guanaja Chocolate Gelato.



I don’t think we’ve watched enough Masterchef as he said of this ‘oh, it’s slid across the plate' I thought he was trying to be funny, but I’ve just shown him the picture to ask his thoughts and he’s said it again, so he obviously doesn’t care for Disney’s stylish presentation of dishes. He said this was also very sweet but it was very nice. I think I’d have preferred this to the crème brulee, but I was put off by the gelato as I don’t really like ice cream.

Mum had the Almond-crusted Cheesecake - with Lambert Cherry Sauce



If Mama Melrose’s steak is the best entrée on property this is the best dessert! Faultless, and the only reason I didn’t order it was to make the dining review sound more interesting! Mum loved it and mentioned it a few more times throughout the trip so I knew she really did enjoy it!

Dinner came to $242.27 and used 6 Table Service Credits. I was glad we returned here as it’s a lovely restaurant and everyone enjoyed their meals, it turned out to be one of Mum's favourites. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a window table, instead we were sat on the upper level of the restaurant, we actually had a lovely view of the Castle from here so if you go to the restaurant intending to watch the fireworks don’t be too disappointed if you don’t get a window table.

CREDITS USED 33
TOTAL IN $$ 850.92
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Old 24 Oct 18, 11:52 AM  
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#54
DisneyKim416
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Absolutely love your food reports, excited for the rest of this one!
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Old 24 Oct 18, 12:14 PM  
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wilma-bride
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So glad this was a better day food-wise. I have always been reluctant to eat breakfast at Cape May because the smell of fish at the Clam Bake at night puts me off. I have it in my head the food will all be tainted by the smell (stupid, I know). D-Luxe Burger looks good, but I don't like burgers at all. And Narcoossee's, while the food looks delicious, is just too fancy for me. So all my ADRs are currently safe, you haven't swayed me yet
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Old 24 Oct 18, 01:37 PM  
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Ohhhhhh no... you’re totally reeling me in with D-Luxe Burger! I was thinking a breakfast and a signature whilst on DxDDP but now I may need to find a day for no breakfast and a QS instead.

Your starter at Narcoossees looks fab! Might have to try that though I’ve never actually had grits.
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Old 24 Oct 18, 04:07 PM  
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#57
gjdjud
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Cape May Cafe is the only character breakfast we've not been tempted to go back to.

We loved D-Luxe Burger but it isn't on the list for next time but your pictures certainly are tempting me to revisit that decision!

Good info about the Mobile ordering issues when on the dining plan Wasn't aware of that so will look out for it
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Old 24 Oct 18, 04:40 PM  
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Goldia
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Don't leave us hanging...did you get your foundation sorted out in sephora? I thought you looked lovely in the photo with Donald.

Wish we had gone to Narcoossee now...why did I cancel that?
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Old 24 Oct 18, 04:53 PM  
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Every time I see a D-Luxe burger review I kick myself that we didn’t make the effort the last two trips! Definitely next time!

Narcoossee’s is a favourite of ours. Your review has made me want to have dinner there tonight!
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Old 24 Oct 18, 05:55 PM  
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glad Narcoossee's went well, I loved that Surf and Turf dish too, maybe your steak was served underseasoned Lol'd at the sliding dessert comments

We actually liked the Cape May Cafe breakfast experience but it is a little low key. The omelette's are worth a try next time

Enjoying the write-up and keep it coming
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