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Old 1 Nov 18, 03:51 PM  
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#101
SquishTheWhale
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Same as others I was looking at the beef picture thinking 'ooh that looks absolutley lush! ' Before I scrolled down and saw your verdict! What a disappointment. The dessert sampler looks yummy though.

My ADR day is Monday and my boss has just scheduled a skype meeting for 11am Monday! Couldn't be any worse timing. I feel like I will be very distracted on that call lol.
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Old 2 Nov 18, 11:28 AM  
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Getting so many tips thanks for taking the time to share.
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Old 2 Nov 18, 03:46 PM  
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#103
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Originally Posted by wilma-bride View Post
Oh, I love the fact that you went offsite AGAIN (although am very disappointed you didn't properly push the boat out and get yourself to Keke's or Peach Valley Cafe). Denny's is not a favourite of mine. We ate there loads on our first visits to the US in 2004, 2005 and 2006 but since then every time we've been, I've left disappointed. And I got really bad upset stomach after eating at one in Vegas the night before my 40th, which completely ruined my Birthday. We haven't set foot in one since then.

I can't believe you felt bad about posting off site reviews - I LOVE reading about off site dining, probably more so than onsite. I always like to get ideas of what I might have, or where we might go, on future visits. As it is, I'm taking SquishtheWhale's advice and trying those red velvet pancakes next time we go to IHop.

Sorry that Tiffin's was disappointing. That beef looked so good, it's a shame it didn't live up to expectations. And the Dining Package does sound like a good deal, given the price of many of those entrees.

Looking forward to more...
There's so much choice off-site it's going to take us forever to catch up, I just looked up Peach Valley Cafe and it looks like somewhere we'd love, I'm going to show Nik later Have you been to Teak Neighourhood Grill? That's somewhere I'd really like to try.

I don't usually read offsite reviews (I was afraid they'd tempt me in the past) but I've got lots of research to do for the future!

Thank you for reading!


Originally Posted by Goldia View Post
I have to agree with Nik and your mum I manage chuckled more than a little at the cheesecake swirl dessert!

Dennys looked yummy for breakfast. I'm wondering where else you sneaked off to! I bet you felt really naughty going outside the compound...I mean bubble!
The compound I really did feel naughty, I felt like I was cheating on Disney.

Thank you for reading!


Originally Posted by Eccle View Post
I’d just been looking at the beef picture thinking it looked lovely, what a shame it was such a disappointment! And that you didn’t make it to Rivers of Light either (though not a huge loss as I wasn’t much of a fan of it).

Denny’s looks good too, we have had a couple of breakfasts there though last time I didn’t think the server was great. I might have to go back to IHOP on our next visit too after seeing your food!
We've only seen Rivers of Light once and we just didn't get it, so we weren't too disappointed to have missed it

Definitely do iHOP, next time I'll try something breakfast-y from Denny's as that seemed like their strength.

Thank you for reading!


Originally Posted by SquishTheWhale View Post
Same as others I was looking at the beef picture thinking 'ooh that looks absolutley lush! ' Before I scrolled down and saw your verdict! What a disappointment. The dessert sampler looks yummy though.

My ADR day is Monday and my boss has just scheduled a skype meeting for 11am Monday! Couldn't be any worse timing. I feel like I will be very distracted on that call lol.
I'm stressed on your behalf about ADR day. A few years ago my ADR day coincided with a conference, so I made a 'fake' booking for a 11 night day beginning the day before our arrival day, bringing my ADR day forward a day. I obviously lost my £50 deposit as I cancelled the new booking afterwards, but it was worth it for the peace of mind of having my ADRs. Yes I am crazy.

Thank you for reading!

P.S. A Skype meeting sounds horrific, I thought conference calls were bad but that's a whole new level


Originally Posted by ohana_mama View Post
Getting so many tips thanks for taking the time to share.
Thank you for reading!
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Old 2 Nov 18, 04:28 PM  
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#104
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DAY 7

The arrival of our last breakfast ADR, and the favourite of all three of us.

TUSKER HOUSE

Or ‘Toska House’ if you’re my mum Our ADR was for 8 am but we were held up at check-in by two parties who had two different reservations and had checked in separately, but wanted to be seated together Clearly Disney are supposed to be psychic.

We were seated in the main room as close to the buffet as possible so I was happy with that, I ran off as soon as our drinks orders had been taken to get some buffet pictures before it got too busy. Mum asked Nik if I’m always like this

Croissants and Coffee Crumb Cake



Biscuits and gravy, and something completely unidentifiable, I’m guessing bread pudding!?



Krispy Kreme Donut Holes and Chocolate Twists



Some more baked goods, the Raspberry Chocolate Chip Bread was delicious, and I think quite a new addition.



Blurry bread and bagels



Yogurt and toppings, Nik was pleased to see they had strawberry here.



Smoked salmon and toppings, salmon and hard-boiled eggs.



Apple sauce and some fruit, Nik felt that the fruit selection wasn’t as good as in the past



This is clearly a very popular station untouched healthy stuff



Plantain (or hot bananas as I heard one mum referring to them as ), eggs, bacon and waffles



Bobotie, rice and curry. This curry is nice, but not for breakfast!



Cereal



Kids station




Pre-made omelettes, roast potatoes (these are very nice), frittata and eggs



The best breakfast item available anywhere, ever, the round sausage! Mealie Pap, Scrambled Eggs and Bacon



Carved ham with mustard sauce



We were speed eating as we were rope dropping Na’vi River Journey after breakfast (we were on and off before it was even 9 am). Breakfast came to $108.63 but we, of course, used 3 Table Service credits.

Everything was fabulous as per usual, and I'll always champion Tusker House to anyone who asks for breakfast recommendations.

CREDITS USED 54
TOTAL IN $$ 1,602.61

***

We were meeting my Great Aunt Trish and my gran at the Grand Floridian for Afternoon Tea today, but as our reservation wasn’t until later we decided to get some lunch to tide us over

Gasparilla Island Grill

Gasparilla Island Grill is the Grand Floridian’s Quick Service restaurant. To find it, turn left when you walk out the back of the main building then left again and you’ll find it tucked around the side. You can view their lunch menu here

Mum had Roasted Turkey Sandwich - with Florida Orange Vinaigrette and Pickled Onions served with House-made Chips



I think she found this a bit dry, she left around half of it. It does look lovely though!

I had Roast Beef Sandwich - with Horseradish and served with House-made Chips



This was also very dry. I had thought that the sandwiches might be toasted, and this would have really benefited from being toasted and some cheese added. The chips were as bland as always. On the plus side, it was jam packed with beef. I have read that some guests have been asked if they would like their sandwich toasted, so if this is something you'd like be sure to ask if they don't offer.

Nik had a grilled cheese which came with tomato bisque, I can’t seem to see this on the current menu.



This doesn’t look particularly exciting but he enjoyed it. I don’t know why I didn’t take the lid of the soup before I took the picture!

We had forgotten our refillable mugs today so had to take the drink that came included with our meals on the dining plan, if we had remembered them we would have been free to switch the drinks for a side, snack or dessert.

There are some tables outside the restaurant and this is the view, how lovely.



When I first came across that photo I was very confused as to why I’d taken a picture of a bin…

Lunch came to $46.27 and we used 3 dining credits. I wouldn’t say that Gasparilla Island Grill is somewhere you should go out of your way to try eating at, there was nothing particularly special on the menu, and if you’re paying OOP Grand Floridian Café has more appealing options for not much extra cost. Nevertheless, I was glad we ticked another place off our list.

CREDITS USED 57
TOTAL IN $$ 1,648.88

***


Afternoon Tea at Garden View Tea Room

When we checked in I was mortified to be told I had mixed up the ADR time and we were an hour late! I am never late for anything, ever! The lady on the podium said she could fit us in but it may not be for a while as she had other big parties arriving. I was so embarrassed and apologised about a hundred times, but the lady definitely had an air of a disapproving school teacher about her Luckily, they actually managed to squeeze us in straight away, I was very grateful for that!

We all opted for The Bedfordshire Tea - First Course Medley of Finger Sandwiches accompanied with Berries, Cheese and Lavosh – Second Course Buttery Scone and Jam Tart – Finale Choice of delicate House-Made Pastries, Strawberries and Crème, or English Trifle Accompanied by your choice of tea This costs $35 each.



I had the Nutty Chocolate - rich Assam is a perfect partner to the flavour of delicious chocolate and creamy hazelnuts like a praline truffle This really did taste like a chocolate truffle, I only added one sugar, but I should have added more as it wasn’t sweet enough for me. Our server, who was lovely, asked if we would like some milk, which I was grateful for as I’d never noticed it in Afternoon Tea reviews before.

Nik and Mum both had Enchanted Forest - ripe forest fruits of raspberry, strawberry and blueberry, a rich creamy vanilla to compliment the depths of this black China tea They both enjoyed it, again I thought it tasted like medicine!

Gran had Earl Grey but I didn’t take a note of what Trish had.

The sandwiches are curry chicken, egg salad, pear and Gorgonzola, cucumber and roasted tomato with goat’s cheese.



Now, I knew that Nik wouldn’t enjoy the majority of these, so I asked him beforehand if I wanted me to ask if he could have the kids’ selection of sandwiches instead. He did, but he felt awkward about it, so to put him at ease I said I would ask for the kids’ ones for myself too. I had been trying to Google for months if this was possible but couldn’t find an answer, I’m sure I’m not the only person with this question, so if you were wondering you’re about to find out that…

Of course, you can! The server just smiled when I asked, so I’m sure they hear this all the time.



Our sandwiches were PB&J, tuna salad and ham and cheese. To his surprise, Nik loved PB&J!

Next came the scones, and much debate over how to pronounce their name (we say it to rhyme with gone). On top, you can see Granny’s strawberries and crème.



Nik and Mum both had the trifle, it changes seasonally and this one was lemon and blueberry. It was very lemony!




Trish and I had both had the pastries. I loved the swan, it was made from choux and was delicious, the filling was a really light vanilla mousse.



Afternoon Tea cost $186.38 for five adults, unfortunately it is not included on the dining plan so we paid OOP for this. Trish lives in Florida and has an AP, I completely forgot to ask if they offered discount here. Trish and Granny both felt like this was overpriced but the rest of us understood we were paying for the experience and it was lovely. The tea room was much smaller than I expected, and we didn’t have a window table, which meant we didn’t have a great view of the gardens but we still enjoyed it. Afternoon Tea was something I had wanted to do for years so I was so pleased to have finally done it, and got to show off the Grand Floridian to my family.

***

This trip was booked way back in January 2017 and since then Mum changed her plans a little, initially she was going to spend a day with Trish and Granny. Then it was a night, then the weekend, and eventually it was decided she go from Friday until the following Wednesday evening when we would all meet up again for a meal at Flying Fish.

Mum’s absence meant that we were never going to get the full use of DxDP, which will probably enlighten you all as to why I seemed to have such a laid back attitude towards it this year.

With Mum gone, it was just the two of us that headed to the Yacht Club for dinner. It was a Friday evening during Food & Wine, yet I stupidly thought half an hour would be enough time for us to get from CBR to YC, park and get to the restaurant. Of course, standard parking at the YC was full, as was the conference centre parking. I would have valet parked but as we were only popping out for dinner I hadn’t brought any cash (I won't make that mistake again!), so we wouldn’t be able to tip. Eventually we were sent over to the conference centre overflow parking at the Beach Club and had quite the walk to the restaurant.

Yachtsman Steakhouse

We were late for our ADR (shock!) but I explained it was due to parking and the manager who checked us in couldn’t have been nicer about it. The restaurant was very, very busy, the busiest I’ve seen any Disney restaurant ever, but we were seated relatively quickly.

I think that visually Yachtsman is a little lacking, and also feels a little more pretentious than other Signatures, but that’s my only criticism of it, and is very much nit-picking.

Our server was Lulu, and she was wonderful. She was so genuine, and I told the restaurant manager who visited our table after we had finished eating this, and he said he was so pleased to hear us say this as it’s very true. We also tweeted a Cast Compliment for her.

Onto the food!



We both had virgin strawberry daiquiris.




These were much nicer than the ones we had last year at Narcoossee’s. I’m sure they are actually exactly the same but these ones didn’t taste as sweet.

Then came the famous bread service, a mix of sour dough and onion rolls with salted butter and roasted garlic.



Nik was sceptical about spreading an entire clove of garlic onto a roll but he was converted as soon as he had tasted it! These were incredible, and I would pay for them as an appetizer anywhere. I hate to be a cliché but they are amazing.

Usually a charcuterie board is my go-to starter but I was a little wary after really not enjoying the one I had at Artist Point, and I couldn’t find any pictures of the Yachtsman’s online to decide if I wanted to try it or not, so I was really torn over what to have to start. I didn’t want to be boring and have a salad, and I didn’t want anything too heavy as I wanted to save room for my main. In the end I went for French Onion Soup - Sourdough Crouton/Gruyere Cheese/Rich Onion Broth



I really don’t know why I ordered this, as I know I don’t like French Onion Soup. I didn’t like it, but Nik thought it was delicious. I can’t deal with the texture of the huge crouton in the middle of the bowl, it makes me feel like I’m eating a sponge. I had thought maybe I could just eat the cheese but it was too stringy for me. When Lulu came to take my plate away she asked if I hadn’t enjoyed the soup, I explained that it just wasn’t for me but there was nothing wrong with it, she offered to have it removed from the bill! I had to insist three times that this really wasn’t necessary.

Of course, Nik ordered Lobster Bisque - Maine Lobster/Crème Fraiche/Preserved Lemon/Fine Herbs



This looks beautiful, and he loved it. Initially, he couldn’t decide if this or Narcoossee’s were the better dish, but eventually Narcoossee’s won out, but I’m sure if you’re a lobster bisque fan you would be more than happy with either of them.

I had the 16-oz Rib-Eye Steak - Truffle Fries/Black Garlic Aioli/Point Reyes Blue Cheese Butter



Go to Yachtsman if you want steak, this was delicious, cooked perfectly, and really flavourful piece of meat. I was a little nervous about the blue cheese butter, as I don’t like blue cheese, but it was really subtle and added a nice glaze to the meat. The truffle fries were excellent, I’m quite a dab hand at homemade chips and these were even better than mine

I also ordered a side of Sauteed Mushrooms - Maitre d’Butter/Chicken Jus.



These were perfect for mushroom fans, great texture, and just a really simple, yet well-executed dish.

Nik had 8-oz Black Angus Filet Mignon -Mashed Potatoes/Cabarnet Wine Sauce



This was the best fillet he had. Again, something really simple, but cooked perfectly. As for the mash, the learned amongst you will know that Tesco Finest Creamy Mash is the best mash money can buy, and the Yachtsman’s was just like it. Sorry chef if that’s not what you were aiming for

And, of course,Truffle Macaroni & Cheese - Orecchiette Pasta/Smoked Gouda



This was my second favourite after the Tiffins one, but Nik thought it was the best of all the mac and cheese we tried.

We were absolutely stuffed and had no room for dessert, I asked if we could take it to go and this wasn’t a problem at all. You can see the dessert menu here.

I had The Admirals Cake - Decadent Layered Cake of Valrhona Chocolate Brownie, Caramel Crunch, Dark Chocolate Ganache, Chocolate Sponge Cake, Banana Fosters Jam, Caramel Ganache



The dessert pictures are of the desserts in the to-go boxes we were given so I'm sure they'll be plated more elaborately in the restaurant.

I ate this for breakfast the next morning, why oh, why did it have to include banana?! If you left out the jam then this would probably have been one of my favourite desserts of all time. It was delicious and every mouthful had a different texture due to all the different layers, I had to eat around the banana haha.

Nik had White Chocolate Cheesecake - Pickled Blueberries, Caramel Ganache, Anise Twist



He never got around to eating this as he initially forgot about it, then by the time he remembered we weren’t sure if it would be okay to eat. If I’d known he was going to forget I’d have eaten myself as it sounded tasty!

The DxDP covered $175.71 of our meal tonight, including the extra sides and the two Cokes we added on it was $206.57. This was our favourite meal, and just an overall fantastic experience, we would absolutely pay for this OOP.

CREDITS USED 61
TOTAL IN $$ 1,824.59
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Old 2 Nov 18, 04:48 PM  
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#105
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I would love to know how much you have spent on the tips at the end of this holiday. Did you keep a total?
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Old 2 Nov 18, 07:03 PM  
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Originally Posted by collybird View Post
There's so much choice off-site it's going to take us forever to catch up, I just looked up Peach Valley Cafe and it looks like somewhere we'd love, I'm going to show Nik later Have you been to Teak Neighourhood Grill? That's somewhere I'd really like to try.
Peach Valley Cafe is delicious - thought I'd post a couple of pictures to tempt you







Yes, we've been to Teak Neighbourhood Grill - absolutely loved it. We are planning to go to their Sunday brunch on our February trip.
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Old 2 Nov 18, 07:04 PM  
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Ooh now I'm considering if I can fit the Yachtsman in our plans (yeah probably not!). I've gotten into steak recently, especially fillet, and that looks soooo good. I would also dissaprove of the banana in that dessert, why would they do that lol.

I bet you enjoyed a few nights away from your mum (in the nicest possible way! Just that you could do your own thing and so could she)

Edited at 07:05 PM.
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Old 2 Nov 18, 07:14 PM  
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wilma-bride
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Caught up with the latest update now. Tusker House looks like a good buffet option - I like the fact that it has a few things which are a bit different to the standard buffet, although not sure about bobotie and curry for breakfast

The afternoon tea looked lovely. I'm really fussy about sandwiches and I don't drink tea but I would love the pastries and scones (rhymes with bones)

Your dinner at Yachtsman looked delicious. Have you eaten at Flying Fish? We currently have a reservation there for our Anniversary in Feb, but I am dithering between there and Yachtsman. If you have done both, which would you choose?

Interested to know if you managed to get through your Mum's unused credits?
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Old 2 Nov 18, 07:36 PM  
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I think the night you were at The Yachtsman was the night we wanted to eat there but missed out on a slot and ended up at Le Cellier. After your review I wish we’d taken The Yachtsman slot! I do love it there.
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Old 2 Nov 18, 08:05 PM  
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Originally Posted by Mrs Valentine View Post
I would love to know how much you have spent on the tips at the end of this holiday. Did you keep a total?
I didn't keep a tally actually but we always tipped 20% (occasionally more if the service was very good) so you can roughly estimate from our total spend, it's quite eye-watering when you think about it.

Thank you for reading!


Originally Posted by wilma-bride View Post
Peach Valley Cafe is delicious - thought I'd post a couple of pictures to tempt you







Yes, we've been to Teak Neighbourhood Grill - absolutely loved it. We are planning to go to their Sunday brunch on our February trip.
Oh my, you've got me at the muffin, I'll show Nik when he gets home! There really is a whole new world


Originally Posted by SquishTheWhale View Post
Ooh now I'm considering if I can fit the Yachtsman in our plans (yeah probably not!). I've gotten into steak recently, especially fillet, and that looks soooo good. I would also dissaprove of the banana in that dessert, why would they do that lol.

I bet you enjoyed a few nights away from your mum (in the nicest possible way! Just that you could do your own thing and so could she)
The Yachtsman was our favourite meal, I'd highly recommend it, definitely try and squeeze it in! (This is not helpful advice, I know )

I think Mum was very glad to be going off for some rest

Thank you for reading!


Originally Posted by wilma-bride View Post
Caught up with the latest update now. Tusker House looks like a good buffet option - I like the fact that it has a few things which are a bit different to the standard buffet, although not sure about bobotie and curry for breakfast

The afternoon tea looked lovely. I'm really fussy about sandwiches and I don't drink tea but I would love the pastries and scones (rhymes with bones)

Your dinner at Yachtsman looked delicious. Have you eaten at Flying Fish? We currently have a reservation there for our Anniversary in Feb, but I am dithering between there and Yachtsman. If you have done both, which would you choose?

Interested to know if you managed to get through your Mum's unused credits?
We do love Tusker House but I'm inclined to say Boma edges it, purely because it's more relaxed without the characters.

I don't drink tea or particularly like sandwiches either, it was all about the desserts for me. I was actually going to ask them for apple juice instead of tea (that's what the kids get) then I just decided to embrace the experience

We have eaten at Flying Fish twice, the first time was pre-refurb and was my favourite ever Disney meal. It's a fabulous restaurant, definitely keep your ADR, it's a little more special than Yachtsman. You can have pre or post dinner drinks at Abracadabar at the Boardwalk too.

Thank you for reading!


Originally Posted by sha9 View Post
I think the night you were at The Yachtsman was the night we wanted to eat there but missed out on a slot and ended up at Le Cellier. After your review I wish we’d taken The Yachtsman slot! I do love it there.
You're right it was that night, wouldn't that have been funny if we'd have ended up in the same place at the same time!? Funnily enough, we originally had Le Cellier booked for this evening.

Thank you for reading!
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