Planning for a Disney World vacation takes place casually, and for many months sometimes even years prior to a visit. Things like reading blog posts, thinking about the last trip, and considering preferences for next time is the bulk of the planning – perhaps pondering would be a better term. The girls and I got into a discussion today about dining, and the restaurants we went to on the last trip (2016) that we definitely would – or would not – return to in 2019. In this post I will discuss these new to us dining experiences, and why they’re making the list!
We will be back!
First, let’s talk about the restaurants that wowed us. These are places that were new to us as of the last visit and that were so good we’ve got to try them again:
Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin‘ has moonshine cocktails, fried chicken with donuts, and hushpuppies. Need we say more? The atmosphere was casual and fun, the food hot and delicious, and we can’t wait to get back to Disney Springs to eat once again.
Tiffins was hands down the best food of the trip – though Homecomin’ came in a close second. We opted for their lunch menu that was a tremendous value, and aside from the delicious food the atmosphere was off the charts. Located in Animal Kingdom this restaurant (and attached Nomad Lounge) is full of the inspiration from art to sketchbooks that formed the park. Seeing Joe Rhode’s notes and being surrounded by such creative art as well as food – well it was an experience we knew we’d be repeating before our meal was even done.
Skipper’s Canteen had really mixed reviews going in so we weren’t too sure how we’d feel about it… Elizabeth still talks about her Schweitzer Slush and I still drool just thinking about the Cachapas. While it was a little loud and our seats not as atmospheric as others – the food was great, service fantastic, and it’s on the must list for Magic Kingdom dining for us.
Now that we’ve discussed the bad, here are the places that we tried (for the first time) and won’t be returning to. Note that neither of these places was bad. They were simply so unmemorable, and at least one member of our family felt “blah” about their food on our visit.
Big River Grille is right on the Boardwalk, and that is why we ate there. Everyone was dead tired, we had cut the morning plans and parks completely out, and wanted to eat there at our hotel somewhere with table service. The food wasn’t bad, but it just reminded us of picking a brew pub type place out/on a road trip without much research and being let down by mediocre food and service. Good in a pinch – but we definitely won’t plan a visit next time.
The Plaza Restaurant had been cut from our 2014 trip due to space/time, and I wanted to give it another go this trip. We like to do table service lunches in the parks – makes for a great break & regroup while fueling up. On this day it had just began pouring rain so we were grateful to have somewhere to sit inside! Both food and service were just underwhelming – so much so that this was universally voted worst meal of the trip. It wasn’t one specific thing just very chaotic and hard to get anything (including water refills) – and some of the entrees were really just not at all tasty eats.
When the Adventureland Girls crew sits down to eat anywhere on vacation we are looking for good eats. Tasty treats that are new and interesting, food that makes us close our eyes and say “so good”, or otherwise memorable and excellent meals. While we hear a lot of complaining about the quality of food at DisneyWorld – we find so much to love, so much to enjoy! Some new to us places on the last trip that we have on the “maybe” list include Akershus and Restaurant Marrakesh. Both were very tasty and memorable as well as having wonderful atmosphere – but we don’t “have” to go back to them especially with so many Epcot restaurants still to try!
That’s definitely one of our favorite things about going only once every few years- we’ve always got new experiences to try at WDW and favorite dishes to save room for.