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NY Foodie heading to Disney needing opinions on the below:

I'm heading to Disney with my DH for our 2nd Anniversary last week of October...We are staying at the Grand Floridian and aren't renting a car. I'm a big time foodie but my hubby not so much. He will go along with my choices but I want to make this fun for both of us. I've narrowed my choices down to the following below...Am I missing anything? We are staying for 6 nights and I think we will do the wine and food festival at Epcot one night...Also opinions on the Not so Scary Halloween Parade (if any hounders have been)...we are thinking of skipping it, as it seems corny and WAAAYYY over priced for what they offer but I just want to make sure I'm not missing out.
Ok here are my tentative thoughts
Artist Point
Victoria and Alberts (for Anniversary dinner)
California Grill (to see the fireworks)
Jiko
BlueZoo
Bongo (DH is Puerto Rican and I wanted to do something familiar, plus on the website they advertise Disco/Freestyle Friday night and I figured Late dinner and then dancing, or should we eat somewhere else and just go for drinks and partying?)
Paradiso 37
Tokyo Dining - Lunch Maybe?
Raglan Road - Also Lunch?

Any suggestions would be VERY appreciated

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  1. When visiting EPCOT we went to Moroccan restaurant on recs from a friend. It was fabulous. On a Food TV show we saw that the King of Morocco sent his personal chef and staff to set up and run the joint. You can't go wrong with the Moroccan at EPCOT.

    5 Replies
    1. re: phantomdoc

      Bongo's is better for dancing than eating, so beware. Maybe grab a bite at the Wolfgang Puck Cafe next door first. Also, add Sanaa to your list. It's a new restaurant at the Animal Kingdom Lodge's Kidani Village. African-Asian hybrid with fabulous flavors, but it's Disney so I'm sure they'll have simpler foods for your husband too. The food is really incredible. And you can see many, many animals--we're talking zebras, giraffes, etc.--right out the window.
      ronagindin.com

      1. re: Rona Gindin

        Thanks Rona! I will take a look at Sanaa...Hubby is pretty adventurous (he loves Indian, Thai, Ethiopian etc), but Victoria and Alberts (the super high end/small portions type of spots are definitely not his thing). Thx for the suggestion regarding Bongo's. I looked at reviews of it and was beginning to get suspicious, and we are well aware of what really good Cuban food tastes like. Disney is so hard because in NYC we have so many great ethnic (and non ethnic) spots and Disney can get really "theme park" in their food.

        1. re: Rona Gindin

          Sanaa looks really good! How authentic is it? Is it "Disney'd Down?" Spicy???? We love well spiced food.

          1. re: gremlin608

            It has really authentic elements and very bold flavors, but it's not authentic in that it mixes and matches flavors from Africa and India. So, a meat itself might be prepared in an African style yet the condiment served with it may be an Indian pickle. Sounds bizarre, I know, but it works. I won't be surprised if the menu is dummied down for tourists eventually, but the place is new so right now that's not the case. I don't remember anything being super spicy, more super flavorful, so you might be disappointed--but ask; most restaurants are happy to adjust spice levels for guests.
            ronagindin.com

            1. re: Rona Gindin

              I have the Sanaa menu here at my desk. If anyone wants, I can scan it in and e-mail it so you can get a better idea of what's cookin'. (Think: pulled duck wth red curry sauce. Tandoori lamb chops. Spice-crusted cornish game hen with turnips and cherries.) Write to me at rona@ronagindin.com.

      2. I'd skip the Not-So-Scary parade. You pay an additional admission & a lot of the park attractions are closed while it's going on. In general, we try to avoid eating in the Magic Kingdom whenever possible, as I think it has the worst food choices of the 4 parks.

        We always enjoy the food, drinks & atmoshere of Raglan Road.

        You can check menus & reviews of all Disney restaurants at:
        http://allearsnet.com/reviewpost/

        3 Replies
        1. re: cavandre

          Thx for the link! And for the advice on the parade, we are thinking that we will see the fireworks from it at a distance and skip the parade...any other cool things to do for Halloween? We read about a haunted carriage ride, but anything else?

          1. re: gremlin608

            The one reason to attend the Not So Scary Halloween if you don't have little kids with you is this: There are no lines for the rides that are open. You can stroll only Space Mountain, for example, over and over. If that's not your thing, it's not worth it.

            1. re: Rona Gindin

              Love Space Mountain...too bad it's under construction until Nov 21st...I'm praying that for once constuction is finished ahead of time instead of after the anticipated date...Maybe Disney gave an incentive to have it done by Halloween instead of Thanksgiving...Wishful thinking on my part I think!

        2. i hear alot of good things about boma at the animal kingdom lodge
          http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/reso...

          its a buffet

          3 Replies
          1. re: pdpredtide

            It's excellent. I usually loathe buffets, but the food at Boma is superb -- top-quality and very interesting. I highly recommend it.
            ronagindin.com

            1. re: Rona Gindin

              I second Rona's recommnedation of Boma.

            2. re: pdpredtide

              I can't do buffet...conceptually it grosses me out but thank you for the suggestion, I've heard great things about Boma.

            3. Avoid Bongo for food,, Paradiso 37 is a neat atmosphere for having drinks (they have about 40 different tequila's and entertainment), the food (mid scale mexican) is pretty poor though. Raglan is decent for both atmosphere and food.. JIko, V and A, California Grill, Boma, and Flying Fish all have excallent food. Think about putting Emeril's Tchoup Tchoup and Primo on your list as well.

              BTW For locals reading this, Primo is offering some lower priced entree's this week only as Citron being refurbished.

              1. i haven't been for a couple years but California Grill has had excellent food and an incredible view of the fireworks over the magic kingdom. During the show they dim the lights and pipe in the music. Make sure to book a reservation asap during the show. I strongly recommend it.

                4 Replies
                1. re: RevrendAndy

                  It's definitely a must do at least once event. The only real complaint that I ever hear about California Grill is that it can have have a lot of kids running around so it is a noisy restaurant and the dress code could be enforced more rigorously (they have people coming straight from the parks to dine). But it's excellent food and a unique experience with the fireworks.

                  1. re: herbert1

                    I've been reading reviews on California Grill (recent reviews) and people are saying that the food has gone WAAAY downhill because they got a new chef...Anyone out there been recently? I'd love to hear a comment or two about it. I was worried about Paradiso 37 but Bongo seems terrible, and we will want some Latin American/Puerto Rican/Cuban food at some point during the week, and we don't think we will be renting a car (not worth it because we want to really take advantage of everything Disney)...I will take a look at Flying Fish. Any other Latin American options? Is Paradiso worse than Bongo? How about the Dining Room Wolfgang Puck?

                    1. re: gremlin608

                      The new CG chef came over from Jiko four months ago. I think the food is still excellent, although I recently had the soft shell crab entree an was disappointed in the way they were prepared. They have excellent sushi as well, the chef has been there since the opening.

                  2. re: RevrendAndy

                    Second that recommendation, great view and just fun