I've decided to leave our home in California and take the family out to a trip to Disneyworld.
My parents, brother, and myself (4 adults) are just looking at having a relaxing time and feeling like a kid again. We've never been to Disneyworld so I don't know what to expect. I'm also the one funding this trip so I would like to keep costs down.
I've read some of the past reviews from other Chowhounds.
. I figure breakfast and lunch would be more simple- probably grab some coffee/pastry for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch. Here is the planned restaurants for dinner. Please let me know if you have an recs about what to order, if I really should skip out on these places and try to go somewhere else. Thanks for any input you may have.
We'll be there for 4 nights, 5 days.
1st night: Wolfgang puck cafe
2nd night: Coral reef in Epcot (will be at Epcot that day)
3rd night: Flame Tree BBQ (at Animal Kingdom that day)
4th night: Columbia Harbor House or El Pirata yel Pero
The only one I can attest too is Wolfgang Puck's Cafe and I will say I was a little disappointed. I've eaten at other of Wolfgang Puck's eateries and this was the most disappointing. Granted I heard that he has been working with his staff to bring it up to his standards so I don't know if this transition has happened as of yet. This was reported by Orlando Sentinel's food critic earlier this year
"Central Florida almost lost a celebrity chef recently. Wolfgang Puck tells me he was so put off with the quality of the food that is being served at Wolfgang Puck Cafe that he came close to demanding that his name be removed. WPC is owned by Levy Restaurants, which used to have a reputation for good food at its other restaurants, which include the once-wonderful but now unrecommendable Fulton's Crab House. Puck still has creative control over the restaurant and is working with the chefs to up the quality. Stay tuned."
I do recommend either Boma or Jiko at the Animal Kingdom Lodge (right across from the park). As for the other places you mentioned, I have no knowledge of what is good or bad. Do remember if you are coming down before November 11th they have the Food and Wine festival going on at EPCOT, where they have little kiosk's set up throughout the park where you can try sample size tastings from different countries. Have fun and report back when you get back home.
If transportation isn't a problem, consider an evening trip to Universal for Emeril's or Tchoup Chop
I ask you to spare your family the horrendous food at the quick-service counter of the Wolfgang Puck Cafe (I don't know what it's called, but it is on the first floor, facing Disney Quest and the Cirque du Soleil arena). Because it appears to be the cheapest option (comparatively, only) of the eateries there on the West Side of Downtown Disney, we have fallen prey twice already. I had cold mac and cheese there that seemed to be swimming in margarine and nothing more. For me, it encapsulated perfectly the reason why foreigners generally think that American food is atrocious. My wife has also had a couple of things there (a pizza and something else I can't remember) that were not only terrible, they also inspired belligerent animosity.
I cannot speak, however, for the other eateries within the Wolfgang Puck Cafe roof. (But I have not heard good things.)
If you are looking for an inexpensive option at Downtown Disney, I recommend Earl of Sandwich. It is a bit of a trek to the other end of the complex, but I think it's worth it, given the price.
If your budget is larger, you may enjoy Raglan Road -- also at Downtown Disney -- but without the live entertainment thrown into the mix, I don't think the food alone is worth the price. (Fish and chips are sold by themselves at a counter behind [or on the side of] that restaurant, and I have had generally good to very good results there, too.)
Enjoy your trip.
I have been upstairs to the better part of Wolfgang's twice, while not knock your socks off it is solid & probably your best bet at Downtown Disney. I liked it better than Jiko & thought it was on par with Artists Po[nt. I would avoid Fulton's at all costs. Over priced & terrible service.
I have eaten at Wolfgang's a few times over the year and really enjoyed it. If you want the experience of a really neat meal, I would consider Blue Zoo at the Swan. I agree with the recommendations for Jiko or Boma they are both really good. I like eating at the living seas in epcot because the scenery is really neat. I have never had a bad meal there. The only problem with Columbia Harbor House and El Pirata is that they don't serve wine or beer. The magic Kingdom is dry and a lot of people are suprised by this. Depending on where you are staying the restaurants in Downtown Disney or at the Boardwalk might be on your way back from the Magic Kingdom and a better option.