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daveypoo
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:45 am    Post subject: Meals in WDW Reply with quote

We’ve always planned our WDW trips around the favorite places we like to eat (in addition to EMH and other crowd measurements). We’re not foodie’s, we just have certain places we like due to the meals they offer and the atmosphere they have. But what we discovered on this past trip in May, was that our dining experiences were just ok for the most part.

The resorts we ate at were The Polynesian (for breakfast), Wilderness Lodge (dinner and breakfast), The Contemporary (breakfast) and Fort Wilderness (Hoop Dee Doo). At the parks we ate at 50’s Prime Time (lunch), Tusker House (breakfast) and 9 Dragons (lunch). We also had quick meals or counter service for the other meals of the days.

Now, what did all these places have in common? Well, it seemed everything. We found that, except for a couple of minor things, the foods were EXACTLY the same at each location. The two exceptions were 9 Dragons and 50’s Prime Time. And the character meals…it was all the same there too. No real difference except in characters and their costumes. It was the same routine, and had very little variety.

Breakfast food was the same in every place we had breakfast. I never once saw an omelet station at any of the buffets. They all had the same food. Even Whispering Canyon offered the same food in their skillet. When we had dinner at Whispering Canyon, we got the same food at Hoop-Dee-Doo. The quick meals and counter service were the same also, but it’s always been like that, so we expected nothing more.

Now, that’s not to say we didn’t have our highlights. For the most part, service was great. The two best were 50’s Prime Time and Whispering Canyon (both meals). Hoop-Dee-Doo is an awesome show and should not be missed if possible. And the food was good. We never had a bad meal.

My disappointment was the lack of originality. Everything seems to be cookie-cutter. Same character meal format, same menu offerings, same process. I know that is efficient and makes things somewhat easier, but where’s the magic? What’s the real draw to come to these places? I can spend $35 a person for a character breakfast, or $20 for the same food and a staff that’s really more entertaining. I asked my wife and daughter the same question and after thinking about it, they also agreed. Initially I thought that maybe we’ve outgrown the character dining experiences, but I think its not so much that but that they are bland, mundane, and unoriginal. I fear that this is a trend for lots of things in the parks in Florida. I don’t get that feel in California.

So, what are your thoughts? Do you think I’m right, or am I full of Pooh?

Thanks!
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kray
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Joined: Nov 11, 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:35 am    Post subject: Re: Meals in WDW Reply with quote

daveypoo wrote:
So, what are your thoughts? Do you think I’m right, or am I full of Pooh?


Trick question...the answer to both is YES: you are right and you are full of Pooh Wink

For me, the process started with kids menus - they used to have more variety. In fact we tried Le Cellier for the first time because it offered grilled chicken and steak, not just mac n' cheese, pizza and chicken nuggets. The homogenization has spread to menus throughout the parks. The resorts still offer some creative menus (think Jiko at Animal Kingdom Lodge or Flying Fish at Boardwalk).

The same thing has happened with Disney merchandising. I used to have the attitude that if I saw something I liiked, grab it before I left that park, because I might not see it at another park. Well, not so much anymore. Besides ride-specific themed merchandise, the offerings are pretty the same from park to park Crying or Very sad

I understand the need to keep costs under contol, but I'm with you - a little more magic please.
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daveypoo
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:49 am    Post subject: Re: Meals in WDW Reply with quote

kray wrote:
Trick question...the answer to both is YES: you are right and you are full of Pooh Wink

The same thing has happened with Disney merchandising. I used to have the attitude that if I saw something I liked, grab it before I left that park, because I might not see it at another park. Well, not so much anymore. Besides ride-specific themed merchandise, the offerings are pretty the same from park to park Crying or Very sad

I understand the need to keep costs under control, but I'm with you - a little more magic please.


First off...HEY!!! I never expected a response to THAT one!! Wink Laughing

Now, your second point. I partially disagree since I've seen ride-specific items in multiple locations. And I'm not even talking DtD, I'm talking within the parks or the hotels. But you're 100% right, there were lots of things that were exclusive to a park or shop or ride, but now its all generic. There was a time you would by something in Disneyland and no one would have it here on the East Coast since it was exclusive to DL, now you can get the same stuff in either park. Heck, they even label the boxes and packaging with both parks. Case and point, I have 2 Haunted Mansion Playsets. They both have the EXACT same packaging with the exception of the description on the back of the box. Two different versions of the same attractions, but yet they used the same box.

The parks are lacking magic and imagination. If they want to see what is truly inventive and exciting, visit WWoHP in Florida.

Rolling Eyes
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onecutemoose
Bouncing Between Wonderland & Neverland


Joined: Nov 09, 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think because we always do the Disney Dining Plan at WDW and try to plan more of our sit down meals at EPCOT rather than the resort hotels--we typically eat once at Whispering Canyon and once at Kona Cafe if we have the time---other sit down options are almost all inside EPCOT at the country pavilions---there is A LOT of variety there, so it's not been an issue.

I am starting to see it more and more at DL at the counter service options within the parks--and it is SAD. Flo's was a sight for sore eyes with a completely unique menu, and I have seen it will most of the places in the DCA refurb---trying to keep the food options more unique---there are exceptions. Award Weiners is NOT what it once was.

OVERALL---I agree with the way things have become "ONE" across the Parks. I've even purchased products at one place (DL) with ride vehicle toys…and one of the toys is actually a reproduction of a splash mountain log from WDW---the exact one from the WDW set---even though the vehicles are different at each park. Really guys?? They used the same train cars for BTMRR as well. It was disappointing. I could see maybe with the Astro Orbitor---but even those aren't identical. But they did it to save money.

It is the same with the "Disney Parks" Bags and tags…I think it is jut SAD. I miss the way it was, with Disneyland napkins, Disney's California Adventure cups…things unique to the parks. The uniqueness of the music to one Park as well (EPCOT) or how that is where Figment lived---not the rest of the Disney Universe.

It helped keep things special…add to the magic and help create the atmosphere of BEING at DISNEY!!!!!

I also miss that at certain character meals there would be certain characters and not others---rather than trying to cram them all in everywhere…I know they haven't done it everywhere…but it is nice to hit up a character meal knowing who would be there, and having that attention, not feeling rushed through with whoever they threw in that day.

Oh, that was a rant. Am I even on topic???

: )
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daveypoo
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

onecutemoose wrote:
Oh, that was a rant. Am I even on topic???

: )


100%
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onecutemoose
Bouncing Between Wonderland & Neverland


Joined: Nov 09, 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, and DP…if you'd like that omelet---meet us at DL in December. We'll do the Character Breakfast at Storytellers (a FAVOURITE) and they still had one last year---and I see no reason for them to take it away---it is always busy and everyone I know who has had it says it is scrummy.

See you there cuddles!!! (we just booked our room--not at the grand this year, but a SCREAMING deal at carousel--you should check it out!!)

: )
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daveypoo
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Character Breakfast at Storytellers? Hmmm, I wonder why we've never tried that...oh wait, we did, LAST DECEMBER WITH YOU AND MA!!! Wink

I agree, Storyteller's has a great menu and I love the character breakfast there more than most other places on property.

Deb and I was thinking maybe in September or October...but we have to wait until after July 18 to be sure we can do anything. But who knows......
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