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Orlando WDW - suggestions (BlueZoo, Jiko, California Grill)

Heading to WDW from NYC next week. Last summer, my charming 4-year old daughter informed me that she was taking me to WDW for my birthday this year in Feb. With little or no info, I picked out the following places for dinner: BlueZoo, Jiko (we are staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge) and California Grill. I guess the first question is whether I am making a mistake with any of these (or could I do better?). If these are OK, any views out there what is good at these laces?

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  1. I'm a former cast member (Chef) so I'll try to help but that's a pretty broad question.
    Have you been to WDW before and what are you doing for transportation?
    Many do no understand that the AKL is completly seperate from all points so you must drive or take the bus to ALL parks including the AK. This can eat a LOT of vacation time.
    California grill is not my favorite but that is personal choice if you go try to get a reservation during the fireworks. Blue Zoo is a Todd English restaurant in the Dolphin hotel. As such it is not a Disney Restaurant but is very good. Jiko is interesting and if you are staying at the AKL I definatly would suggest it. I'm no fan of Buffets but in the AKL Boma is excellent.
    My favorite on property dining spots.
    Full service;
    Either of the French restaurants in the Epcot World Showcase. Do NOT miss riding on Soarin!
    Le Cellier in the world Showcase.
    The Flying Fish at the Boardwalk.
    Shulas steakhouse in the Dolphin hotel.
    Narcoossee's at the Grand Foridian

    Counter service;
    Boulangeri Patisserie -France-World Show Case.
    Kona Cafe-Polynesian.
    Tusker House- Animal Kingdom
    Flame Tree BBQ- Animal Kingdom

    With a 4 YO I assume you will be spending some time at the MK. Don't miss getting a pineapple whip or float in adventureland at aloha island.
    A list of menues;

    http://allearsnet.com/menu/menus.htm

    Enjoy! :)

    1. I think your choices are superb. bluezoo has fabulous food. California Grill has very good food and a birds-eye view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks--so, something for you and for your daugther. Most people adore Jiko; I prefer Boma, the buffet across the hall. Enjoy the magic!

      10 Replies
      1. re: rudykins

        Docsknotinn-(sorry Billybob-I am hijacking you thread :)

        We are heading there next week also. We have a 5 yo and a 2 yo. This is probably our 10th trip. We have made reservations for the following:

        Sun-Raglan Road (irish family-no choice)
        Mon-Cape May Cafe-I know buffet, but with kids-it is easy
        Tues-Date night-La Cellier-our all time favorite
        Weds-Biergarten-again kids and german food lovers
        Thurs-Tempenido-Japanese steakhouse-newly remodled
        Friday-Coral Reef
        What do you think? I am a frustrated foodie in a nonfoodie family.(but I think I have made some headway) I would love to try one of the French places but I get big NO's. We are on the dining plan-so I appreciate your feedback and we will try your recs for the counter service places. BTW, which restaurant did you work at disney? TIA

        1. re: chocchipcookie

          I was at the LTT in the MK. :)
          In non Disney Speak the Liberty Tree Tavern. No longer what it used to be I'm afraid.
          I like your picks except for the Cape May buffet. I personally find seafood buffets a "no go" but I will freely admidt to being a buffet snob. I'm just not a fan. Boma in the AKL is the exception. I hear people comment all the time about how they had to drag their families there but every one loves it. In spite of mixed reviews (usually based on price alone) I continue to enjoy the Coral Reef. The kitchen in this place is incredible.
          I'd rather do the Rose and Crown pub in the world show case or the San Angel Inn over the Biergarten but they are all very good. So much personal preference based on theming and taste but all good choices. Have you ever taken the kids to the hoop de doo review?

          1. re: Docsknotinn

            We tried to get resv for Boma but they have been booked since Dec! Believe me, I would rather go anywhere than the Biergarten but my DH loves that german food-they don't even serve veinerschnitzel! Ugh!

            I saw the Hoop de doo when i was a teeneager and remember loving it. Maybe we'll give it a try-I haven't been over to Fort Wilderness land since then-definately want to go check it all out.

            1. re: chocchipcookie

              Don't give up trying, check reservations the closer you get to your trip. There are usually last minute cancellations. There is another fish & chips service counter at the Rose & Crown called Yorkshire County Fish shop. I'm sure you will have a great time. I miss Disney and it hasn't even been a year since our last visit.
              If you ever decide to drive up by Universal Emerils Tchoup Chop is excellent and very reasonably priced. Well worth the drive and easilly the best Emeril establishment we have been to.
              Enjoy! :)

              1. re: chocchipcookie

                If you don't mind eating at 5:00 try getting to Boma then and walking up. I was there a few weeks ago at that time and it was only a 20 min wait.

                1. re: chocchipcookie

                  Also another suggestion is Mickey's Barkyard BBQ, it has characters and roping tricks.

              2. re: chocchipcookie

                You know I keep hearing the raves about Le Cellier. I have never been real impressed (outside of some excellent Food and Wine Show special events) at le cellier. The lunch steaks are puny (i understand that you can upgrade to a dinner steak upon request). I used to love going just for the cheese soup, but lately that hasn't been very good either. It is one of the hardest places to get in these days so obviously i'm in the minority. All the other recomendations I agree with.

                1. re: herbert1

                  I hope Le Cellier hasn't gone downhill too! We have always had a great experience there. I'll report back!

                2. re: chocchipcookie

                  Raglan Road is actually pretty good, as far as Irish pub grub in the 'States. Of course I've never been to Ireland, but they definitely have the best fish and chips and bangers and mash I've ever had at any American pub. Prices are a bit high for what you're getting, but hey, it's Disney -- and the portions are a good size.

                  1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                    Thanks for the input-I can't wait for GOOD fish and chips!-I've been on a "diet" since December in anticipation of this trip.

              3. The original comment has been removed
                1. If you would like additional input, try the link below...

                  http://allearsnet.com/reviewpost/

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: cavandre

                    I went with my husband a few weeks ago to a conference at the Swan and we had our 16 month old with us. We ate at Blue Zoo and it was fantastic. It is mostly seafood, so if you are not a seafood buff it is not the restuarant for you. Even though it is a high end restaurant, it handled our son beautifully. One of the waiters even made an animal out of a napkin which brought laughs from all. My husbands favorite part of the evening was the Grand Marnier Flight....a tasting of several different ages of Grand Marnier it was delicious.

                    The next night we ate at Il Mulino in the Swan and it was fairly good, but our son was the only kid in the restaurant.

                    1. re: Miami Foodie Girl

                      I'ts been awhile since I have been but Kimonos in the Swan used to be excellent for Sushi. Kareoke at 9 pm though...

                  2. Love, Love, Love JIKO!!! I posted on this a few days ago in response to a question, but I will say again, it was awesome! We went with our 11 year old and 7 year old and we all thought it was great. My son had a kids meal, but my daughter, husband and I shared a bunch of appetizers, and the cheese plate. My favorites were the Artichoke and Peppadew Flatbread, the Maize and Sweet Potato Tamales and the Golden Chanterelle soup...hubby and daughter loved the cheeses and my husband liked the spicy Taste of Africa dips and breads. The pistachio creme brulee wasn't too shabby either, and the kids enjoyed the white chocolate puzzle sundae...
                    Have a great time!