Top 5 Disney Restaurants – By Chuck Blades

Top 5 Disney Restaurants

Disney World has an incredible amount amazing of restaurants from Steakhouses and African buffets to Polynesian themed family style meals and Buffets where you can meet Chef Mickey himself! Whenever I am planning a trip to Disney World the first thing I think bout is “Where am I eating this trip???” Not the typical thing you think of when planning a Disney Trip however with all of the different experiences to be had, its a lot of fun to try everything Disney has to offer! Throughout the years I have been fortunate enough to have dined in a majority of the Restaurants in Walt Disney World. I have had some incredible meals as well as some not so incredible… however all in all I have had more good meals than bad. Over the years I have always had my favorites but I have never actually completed a list of my top 5… until now! I present you my Top 5 Disney World Restaurants!

Here are my Top Five Disney Restaurant’s in order from 5 – 1

#5 Sanaa – Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village 

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Sanaa is 1 meal credit on the Disney dining plan and is in my opinion head and shoulders above any other 1 credit restaurant. Its themed like an African Village and the food is inspired by African and Indian influences. They have a tandoori oven which h Overall a lot of the food is incredible however the best part of the restaurant are the views! Sanaa overlooks one of the Savannas at animal kingdom lodge, with views of zebra’s, Giraffes and many other animals make this a must do experience whenever visiting Walt Disney World!

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#4 Yachtsman Steakhouse – Yacht Club Resort

Yachtsman Steakhouse

Yachtsman Steakhouse is a Walt Disney World signature restaurant. This means its 2 credits on the Disney Dining Plan and supposed to be a step above the other Disney restaurants. Yachtsman is known as a top tier Disney restaurant located in the Yacht Club resort. I first ate at here in March 2012 overall the experience was lackluster and seemed a little off I figured it was an off day and thought I would eventually give it another try. As I continued to hear great reviews about this restaurant I knew I had a couple of days before a Disney Cruise I thought I would give Yachtsman another try… This experience was 180 degrees different than the first! So good it worked its way into my top 5 Disney World restaurants! I had the most amazing waiter named Riccardo and the entire meal was spot on perfect! This restaurants atmosphere is themed to a Nautical New England Steakhouse. It has views of Storm Along Bay the pool / water park area for the Beach and Yacht Club and views of the Boardwalk inn both add to the overall atmosphere of Yachtsman. On top of the fun atmosphere and fantastic service the Steaks really shine! I can recommend giving the 28 oz Porterhouse enough! Overall the great atmosphere, service and atmosphere lead to Yachtsman ranking in my top 5 Disney World Restaurants!

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#3 California Grill – Contemporary Resort

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At the Top of Disney’s Contemporary Resort sits one of Disney’s best restaurants, California Grill. Like Flying Fish and Yachtsman Steakhouse, California Grill is one of Disney World’s signature restaurants I believe it has the best views of any restaurant in Walt Disney World. Everytime I enter California Grill it feels incredibly special. In 2013 it went through an extensive refurbishment, it tried to go back to the original feel of the Contemporary. This refurbishment was much needed and I love absolutely love the updated decor it adds to the overall atmosphere and the views are still truly breathtaking! California Grill’s menu goes back to its name its menu is Californian inspired. It is known for having incredible Sushi as well as Filet Minion with Tomato risotto and a verity of unique desserts. The head chef Brian Piasecki is very well knows for creating some incredible food! The thing that truly sets California Grill apart is its phenomenal views of Wishes! Every night when Magic Kingdom sets off its fireworks California Grill turns down the lights and pipes in the music! It doesn’t matter how many times I have seen this show it leaves me speechless it really is a site to see and worth the price of admission. If you are looking for a night out, with great food views and overall atmosphere California Grill is a perfect option!

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# 2 Flying Fish Cafe’ – Boardwalk Inn

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Sitting on right on Disney’s Boardwalk Flying Fish Cafe is a top notch restaurant! Themed after a 1930′s roller coaster it has a whimsical atmosphere that really makes it different than the other Disney Signature restaurants. On top of the fun atmosphere every meal I have ever had at Flying Fish has been absolutely fantastic, superb food, service and atmosphere. Flying Fish executive Chef Tim Keating is known for using local ingredients that really bring out the flavors of his amazing dishes. Their signature dishes include Crab Cakes, Mussels, Sushi, Red Snapper, NY Strip, and Banana Napoleon. Every single one of these dishes are excellent in fact the NY Strip is so good Chef Tim won’t tell where he gets the meat, from what I’ve heard its a local supplier all I can say is its  the best NY Strip I have ever had! On top of the fantastic food, the open kitchen is a blast to sit and watch there is always something going on! On some nights you can peak out the windows watch the friendship boats go between the Boardwalk and the Yacht and Beach Club as well as jugglers entertaining guests on the Boardwalk. Flying Fish Cafe’ is a great option for seafood lovers and non seafood lovers, its also great for families and as the night goes on it turns into a great night spot with lots of unique cocktails lending itself for a perfect couples night out!

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#1 Jiko the Cooking Place – Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House

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When it comes to restaurants you would be hard pressed to find a better option than Jiko! Located in Animal Kingdom Lodge Jiko means “the Cooking Place” in Swahili the restaurant has many African influences that are shown in the overall atmosphere as well as the menu. With a unique upscale atmosphere, largest selection of South African Wines in North America and incredible food offerings showcasing a wide variety of ingredients Jiko has everything a great restaurant should have! Jiko has the best flatbreads I have ever had as well as a great Wild Boar Tenderloin, Taste of Africa appetizer, Filet with Mac and Cheese and even Spicy African inspired Short Ribs. On top of all of the fantastic food Jiko also has a beautiful open kitchen where you can watch the chefs prepare the different appetizers for the evening the open kitchen is absolutely beautiful capped off by the biggest “hidden mickey” in all of Walt Disney World! If you enjoy dining at Jiko I wholeheartedly recommend doing a Tour of the Restaurant every weekday at 4:00 there is a free guided tour of both Boma and Jiko located right across from each other in Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jambo house. This is an excellent way to learn about the different restaurants and you also may get to sample of of the amazing offerings from each of them. Even if you are not staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge Jiko is an absolute must do when coming to Disney World I whole heartedly recommend it to any foodie, couple or even family looking for a formal night out!

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Here is my list of top Disney Restaurants do you agree??? I would love to here you feedback comment below or connect with us by checking out the links below!

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Jiko The Cooking Place Review – Chuck Blades

Jiko the Cooking Place Review

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When it comes to restaurants you would be hard pressed to find a better option than Jiko! Located in Animal Kingdom Lodge Jiko means “the Cooking Place” in Swahili the restaurant has many African influences that are shown in the overall atmosphere as well as the menu. With a unique upscale atmosphere, largest selection of South African Wines in North America and incredible food offerings showcasing a wide variety of ingredients. On this particular evening we arrived a little early so we could walk around Animal Kingdom Lodge. I was able to take a few photos from inside the empty restaurant.

Restaurant Photo’s 

Every part of this restaurant has details that relate back to Africa. The birds represent prosperity, so they are flying over the guests to bring them good will an d prosperity, the back wall represents the beautiful African sunset and changes throughout the evening. The rings on the poles represent the different necklaces women wear in traditional African culture, the more necklaces the more prestigious. Overall there many different touches that make the restaurant even more beautiful.

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Hidden Mickey’s

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Largest Hidden Mickey in Walt Disney World

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After going through the restaurant it was just about time for dinner, we had been to Jiko before and were really looking forward to dinner this evening. Our first experience was excellent so we wondered if it could maintain the excellence.

Food

Whenever you dine at there are a few dishes that are always on the menu that I absolutely recommend there are also always many new dishes that change seasonally depending on whatever the freshest ingredients are for that time of the year. The first dish that I always order when dining at Jiko is the Taste of Africa its the most popular appetizer and has been since Jiko opened in 2001. It is comprised of some different african inspired dips, as well as fresh naan and other breads. It is honestly not quite as good as the bread service at Sanaa however it is still very good and one of my favorite appetizers on property.

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Appetizer’s

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Bread Service

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Taste of Africa - African inspired Dips with pappadam, poppy seed lavosh and House-made Naan

Following the Taste of Africa I generally order a Flatbread. The ingredients change very often, however they always have some great options these flatbreads are my favorite on property. I had a lamb, blue cheese and grape flatbread here once that I’ve literally dreamed about! Tonight they had a Leb Leb Flatbread with beef carpaccio, feta cheese, pistachio-basil pesto, berbere, tomatoes and rocket. The toppings were fresh and overall all of the flavors worked together perfectly this is a really great flatbread!

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Roxanne’s Kitfo Leb Leb Flatbread - beef carpaccio, feta cheese, pistachio-basil pesto, berbere, tomatoes and rocket

When it comes to great appetizers at Walt Disney World one of my first thoughts is always the wild boar tenderloin! Quite honestly this is one of the best things I’ve ever had between the boar, truffle oil and the Mealie Pap this dish is absolutely divine! The dish is small however it is spectacular and again a must have whenever going to Jiko!

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Grilled Wild Boar Tenderloin - with Mealie Pap, Chakalaka, White Truffle Oil and Micro Cilantro

Entree

Following the appetizers I always go with my favorite thing on the menu the Oak Grilled Filet Minion with a red wine reduction and mac and cheese. Generally you would not think mac and cheese and filet minion however this dish is superb! The combination of the mac and cheese, red wine and filet make an absolutely incredible entree!

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Oak Grilled Filet Minion – With South African Red Wine Sauce and White Cheddar macaroni and Cheese

Dessert’s

The one downfall of Jiko tends to be its Desserts however it always has a great selection of Loose Leaf teas and Press Pot Coffee. I love ordering an individual tea pot and my parents order a press pot coffee. Our waiter suggested that since I enjoyed tea the Chia tea paired very well with the chocolate cake. This was an excellent idea the flour-less Chocolate cake was excellent with the chia Tea and made for a delightful end to the evening!

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 Flour-less Cinnamon Chocolate Cake 

Overall Jiko continues to impress it is one of the most consistent Disney Restaurants that always has great food, service and a beautiful atmosphere.

I wanted to add that if you enjoy dining at Jiko I wholeheartedly recommend doing a Tour of the Restaurant every weekday at 4:00 there is a free guided tour of both Boma and Jiko located right across from each other in Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jambo house. This is an excellent way to learn about the different restaurants and you also may get to sample of of the amazing offerings from each of these restaurants!

Rating:

Atmosphere: 10 – The restaurant is incredibly beautiful and after my tour of Jiko (which I will review later) I really appreciated the beauty even more. From the sunset wall to the beautiful birds and my favorite hidden Mickey Jiko’s atmosphere is hard to beat!

Service: 10 – The service here is always excellent each waiter provides everything you would want in a server great personality,  they know the menu inside and out, and they are always very professional.

Food: 10 – From the incredible flatbreads and bread service to the wild boar and oak grilled filet Jiko is always excellent! You would be hard pressed to fine a better meal anywhere!

Overall Score: 10 – I think its pretty obvious here that this one gets a perfect score. If your looking for a nice night out with great food, service, and atmosphere Jiko is an excellent option!

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Top 5 Disney World Appetizers – By Chuck Blades

Top 5 Disney World Appetizers -

Disney World has a wide selection of unique food offerings from sushi to flatbreads to clam chowder Disney had food that is sure to delight everyone. One of my favorite things about Disney meals is the incredible selection of amazing appetizers. These unique offerings tend to be the perfect portion and allow the chefs to showcase their creativity in a wide verity of ways. If not on the Disney Dining Plan I think splitting appetizers amongst several people saves money and allows everyone to try different dishes that each restaurant has to offer! So now without further without further adieu here are my top five Disney World Appetizer’s!

#5 Portobello Soup – Artist Point Wilderness Lodge

Thick, Creamy, Delectable overall this the best soup I’ve ever had really its amazing! I know it looks just like a plain soup but its so much more! It is honestly incredible, it has a smokey mushroom flavor that is not overpowering at all its a great way to start your meal at Artist Point!

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#4 Teppan Seared Jumbo Sea Scallops with a Braised Beef Short Rib – Todd English Bluezoo Dolphin

This appetizers was one of the reasons I came to Bluezoo I had only heard good things and let me tell you they were… Divine! The scallops are great on their own they are large fresh scallops, the second part of the dish the short ribs are tender and flavorful on their own when you put the two together you get one of the best appetizers in Walt Disney World making this my 4th favorite Appetizer in Walt Disney World!

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#3 Spicy Kazan Roll – California Grill

California Grill has been known for their World Class Sushi for over a decade. Before last years major refurbishment California Grill had world renown Sushi chef named Chef Yoshie prepared incredible dishes almost every night for 17 years! She is now retired however the Sushi is still as good as ever! My personal favorite roll is the Spicy Kazan Roll it is amazing! Beautifully presented, always incredibly fresh and bursting with flavor! The “Spicy” part of the roll is a combination of many different things one of the key ingredients is imported directly from Japan specifically to California Grill! This dish is always yummy, I really recommend sushi when you go to California Grill and this roll is hard to beat!

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#2 Indian Style Bread Service with all 9 Dips – Sanaa – Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village

This appetizer was extremely difficult to put at #2 because it is so incredible and honestly I think its the best Value on Disney Property for 11.99 you get Indian Style Bread Service  - Choice of 3 breads and all nine accompaniments - Breads - Naan, Garlic Ginger Naan, Spiced Naan, Onion Kulcha, and Papadum. Accompaniments - Red Chile Sambal, Cucumber Raita, Coriander Chutney, Mango Chutney, Coconut Chutney, Garlic Pickle,  Spicy  jalapeño–lime pickle, Roasted Red Bell Pepper Hummus, Tamarind Chutney!

The bread is fresh flavorful and every accompaniment is also incredible! From the spicy jalapeño-lime pickle to the Cucumber Raita every part of this appetizer is excellent! I think it is worth a trip to Sanaa just to try the bread service!

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#1 Wild Boar Tenderloin – Jiko Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House

When it comes to great appetizers at Walt Disney World one of my first thoughts is always the wild boar tenderloin! Quite honestly this is one of the best things I’ve ever had between the boar, truffle oil and the Mealie Pap this dish is absolutely heavenly! The dish is small however it is spectacular! I would honestly crawl across a crowded hot Magic Kingdom to get to this dish Making it the best appetizer in all of Walt Disney World!

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Here is my Top 5 do you agree or disagree???

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Narcoossee’s Review – by Chuck Blades

Narcoossee’s Review – by Chuck Blades

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Narcoossee’s is a signature restaurant located right on 7 Seas Lagoon in the Grand Floridan. Narcoossee’s is the 2nd most expensive restaurant on Disney property only to Victoria and Albert’s which is also located in the Grand Floridian. With a New England Sea Side atmosphere, and views of Cinderella castle the overall atmosphere at Narcoossee’s is hard to beat!

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Menu

Onto the Food:

The Narcoossee’s menu has a lot of New England seafood influences, this was the first signature restaurant I remember ever going to so it always has a special feeling for me.

This is the first place I ever had mussels so whenever I dine here they are a must order. Tonight they were in a Tomato-White Wine-Saffron Broth, they were pretty good however not as good as they used to be or as good s the Mussels at Flying Fish Cafe. They may not have been as good as I have had in the past still however they were a nice way to start the meal.

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Prince Edward Island Mussels - Tomato-White Wine-Saffron Broth with Chorizo, Shaved Fennel, Red Onion, and Toasted Baquette

The next course is the single most expensive entree in Walt Disney World at $71 dollars you have the Butter-poached Maine Lobster Tail with Grilled Filet Mignon.  At $71 it is steep however the Lobster was fresh cooked perfectly and honestly quite excellent! The Filet was tender, cooked perfectly and also very flavorful. This is an expensive meal however if your looking for a great surf and turf this is hard to beat! They have changed the way they prepare this meal and it has improved substantially! I very much enjoyed this and would rank it right with Flying Fish’s Surf and Turf (not quite as good and $30 more) but still its a great option!

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(This is a half portion generally you get two tails and a larger filet)

Butter-poached Maine Lobster Tail with Grilled Filet Mignon - Roasted Potatoes, Grilled Spring Onions, Velvet Pioppini Mushrooms, and French Green Beans with Herbed Cabernet-Oxtail Sauce and Smoked White Truffle 

After finishing up our entree’s it was time for Dessert! One of my favorite things to order for Dessert is a nice Loose Leaf Tea and I love that Narcoossee’s has press pot tea the presentation is excellent I love “pressing my own tea”

Another all time favorite from Narcoossee’s and one of my favorite desserts in Walt Disney World is the Almond Crusted Cheesecake. I love cheesecake and love almonds so how could you go wrong! The cheesecake is sweet but also light honestly this is the perfect dessert! You can also sit and eat your dessert and watch Wishes if you time it right. If not there is a Deck where you can go out and watch them as well.

The other dessert we ordered was the Narcoossee’s Candy Bar this was very good and very chocolatey it really reminded me of the of the Chocolate Pudding Cake at California Grill. Overall a good dessert but not as good as the cheesecake.

DSC_0403Press Pot Individual Loose Leaf Tea

DSC_0404Almond Crusted Cheesecake - finished with Lambert Cherry Sauce

DSC_0407Narcoossee’s Candy Bar - Dark chocolate-mocha bar with house-made guanaja chocolate gelato

Wishes:

One of my favorite parts of Narcoossee’s is its incredible views of Wishes! Check out some of our photos!

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Rating:

Atmosphere: 10 – The restaurant is incredibly beautiful and the views of Cinderella Castle and Wishes just make this restaurant fantastic! This is my 2nd favorite spot to watch Wishes in Walt Disney World only to California Grill

Service: 7.5 – The service was good, she was efficient and satisfactory. But honestly that was it she didn’t really care to talk with us and seemed very professional. Her lack of personality is the reason she didn’t score higher again not that she was bad just not great.

Food: 8 – Like the service everything here was very good however it wasn’t incredible. I love the almond cheesecake and the press pot tea but the mussels were a little below average. I enjoyed the Surf and Turf but at $71 it is quite pricy. For me Narcoossee’s is a perfect restaurant to sit at the bar grab dessert and watch Wishes.

Overall Score: 8.5 – Narcoossee’s scores a solid BA its not as good as some other Signature restaurants in Walt Disney World but its also far superior to many other restaurants. I put this restaurant in the same category as Artist Point a solid consistent restaurant never going to blow you away but never going to be terrible. When you can sit and watch Wishes from here eating that amazing Almond Cheesecake and drinking Press Pot Tea life couldn’t get much better!

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Yak and Yeti Review – by Chuck Blades

Yak and Yeti is located in Animal Kingdom Park, it is owned by Landry’s the same company that owns other restaurants in Walt Disney World like T-Rex and Rainforest Cafe however I think Yak and Yeti is a much better restaurant than its other Landry’s counterparts.

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When Animal Kingdom was first built it was really lacking table service food options, I can remember seeing signs for Yak and Yeti and I was incredibly excited to see a new restaurant in Animal Kingdom I was hoping that the new restaurant would have good food and continue to fit into the wonderful theming of Animal Kingdom *spoiler alert* I think it fits perfectly!

Atmosphere:

The story of Yak and Yeti is that it is a quaint village home that’s been turned into a restaurant. According to Disney Yak and Yeti “At the base of Expedition Everest, decorated with the souvenirs collected by the proprietor and his family on their travels through Southeast Asia, Yak & Yeti Restaurant serves favorite dishes from regions across Asia.”

I absolutely love the atmosphere at Yak and Yeti and think its Landry’s best, its not loud or gaudy like T-Rex but it still has a unique feel that you can’t get anywhere else!

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Onto the Food:

Yak and Yeti has a Pan Asian Menu – with some traditional influences like burgers and fries for your average theme part attendee.

I love the Asian influences so I tend to order something every trip that is distinctly Asian, my favorite appetizer on the Menu is the Dim Sum Basket for TWO I have never had Dim Sum anywhere else however I always really enjoy it here. The presentation of the dim sum is fun and it always tastes great!

DSCN1171 DSCN1173Dim Sum Basket for Two - Pork pot stickers, shrimp siu mai, cha su bao, and pork sie mai steamed on a banana leaf, soy lime dipping sauce 

For my entree I always go to the exact same thing… the … Kobe Beef Burger! I believe this is the best burger on Disney Property! It is always excellent! Juicy, flavorful you can tell the beef is high quality! I have eaten burgers all over Disney World after trying this one I stopped going anywhere else for burgers this one is simply the best!DSCN1180

Kobe Beef Burger - 10 oz grilled American Kobe beef burger, sesame-soy sauce, mayonnaise, crispy shoestring fries. topped with choice of shiitake mushroom & scallion compote or Asian slaw

Like the Burger I always end up eating the same thing for Dessert on every trip the Fried Wontons! How an fried cream cheese wontons with vanilla ice cream and honey over the top be a bad thing! These may not be good for you however they are superb! They are extremely sweet so I recommend sharing unless your a complete pig…. Okay I don’t share but I recommend you do! They are really outstanding!

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Fried Wontons - Skewers of fresh pineapple and cream cheese wontons, vanilla ice cream, honey vanilla drizzle

Rating:

Atmosphere: 9 – The atmosphere is the best part of the restaurant it fits in perfectly with the incredible theming of Animal Kingdom which in my option is the best Themed Park in the entire United States. It is not a fine dining restaurant by any means however the atmosphere is fun!

Service: 8 – I have never had bad service here they are not Disney employees however you would not know it they are efficient friendly and professional everything you would want in a waiter or waitress.

Food: 8 – How can you beat a good burger and fried cream cheese wontons! Again not fine dining but Yak and Yeti has some very good food!

Overall Score: 8 – Yak and Yeti may be my favorite theme park restaurant in Walt Disney World! I love the atmosphere and the food and service area always very good as well. Honestly I have been guilty of going to Animal Kingdom just because of this restaurant!

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The Wave Review – by Chuck Blades

The Wave Review – by Chuck Blades

The Wave is located in Lobby of The Contemporary Resort. It is a perfect location as it is within walking distance from the Magic Kingdom as well as right on the monorail loop! The Wave is a 1 table service credit on the Disney Dining plan and 1 of three table service restaurants in The Contemporary (check out our California Grill Review).

The restaurants menu focuses on Fresh Local ingredients, one of my favorite restaurants in my Local Hometown has a similar “theme” so I was looking giving The Wave a try!

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Generally we check into all of our reservations at Disney 15 – 30 minutes early on this evening the restaurant was running a little behind so we sat at the bar for a little while before our table was ready. I have to say I was really impressed with the bartenders and the overall atmosphere here. It was dark “hip” honestly I could have been anywhere I really felt like I had escaped from Disney and I was only a 10 minute walk to the Magic Kingdom!

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After sitting at the Bar for about 45 minutes it was time for our meal. The Dining room itself was very sterol compared to the Bar, it was extremely loud and full of screaming children a little disappointing and 100% different than the bar however I was still hopeful that the food would make up for the poor atmosphere. I did like these little chandlers though!

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Onto the Food:

Bread Service – The Bread Service was your standard Disney Bread service nothing special…

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I debated between the Seared Lamb Chops and the Herb-salt Seasoned Beef Tenderloin, the waitress suggested the Lamb so I obliged. The lamb was very good! The vegetables and were fresh, lamb was cooked perfectly, and the risotto was excellent! I was absolutely blown away with this dish! For 1 meal credit on the Dining Plan this was better than some entrees at Signature Restaurants! The other people at my table ordered the Filet so I was to try it and the waitress was correct in recommending the Lamb Chops the filet was good but it was your standard tenderloin something you can get anywhere really just with a higher price tag.

DSCN1704Seared Lamb Chops - Dijon reduction, toasted summer risotto with wild rice and vegetable of the moment

DSCN1706Herb-salt Seasoned Beef Tenderloin - tomato-green bean salad with Cypress Grove Creamery Lamb Chopper Cheese and citrus-herb butter

For Dessert the wave specializes in different Trio’s they change often so I will not comment on mine specifically however it was just okay I personally would skip the dessert and go up to the Contempo Cafe and grab a Cupcake for dessert instead! I did order a loose leaf tea however that was very nice not very many 1 credit restaurants have loose leaf tea it was a nice touch!

DSCN1712Dessert Trio

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Loose Leaf Tea

Rating:

Atmosphere: Restaurant itself 6 – Bar 8 – I honestly would recommend coming to The Wave and just sitting at the Bar. You can order the entire menu and the atmosphere is a lot better than in the restaurant itself!

Service: 7.5 She was average did what she was asked filled refills however nothing more, nothing less either so she gets a solid C

Food: 8 The Lamb Chops were very good but that was the only thing I really enjoyed, however seeing as it was the main course it carried the entire meal scoring an 8!

Overall Score: 7.5 The Wave had some hits and some misses I love the atmosphere at the Bar and the Lamb Chops were excellent however the desserts were pedestrian and the atmosphere of the restaurant itself was lacking! My suggestion would be to go to the bar order a drink and try the lamb that would be a great evening!

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Port Orleans French Quarter Overview – by Chuck Blades

Port Orleans French Quarter Overview – by Chuck Blades

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Port Orleans French Quarter sits on the banks of the Sassagoula River, it is Walt Disney World’s smallest Moderate Resort and is themed after The New Orleans French Quarter. With bright colors, beautiful landscape and boat transportation to Downtown Disney I had high hopes for The French Quarter.

Port Orleans has bus transportation to every Disney Park and overall it is fairly efficient because it is very close to the majority of the parks! It is not as convent as say Beach Club or the Polynesian however it is a lot less expensive.

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Boat Dock – Boat Provides Transportation to both Downtown Disney and Port Orleans Riverside

Port Orleans has a wide variety of recreational activities like renting boats to travel on the Sassagoula River!

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Recreational Activities  Sassagoula River

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Port Orleans – French Quarter only has one major Dining Option Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory. It has a very bold bright atmosphere with many larger than life statues and other elements. Its menu is pretty standard however it has beignets!!! Beignets are fried dessert covered in powdered sugar, they are made fresh to order everyday at the French Quarter!

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Bei

Beignets!!!

In 2012 Port Orleans French Quarter went though a large Room Renovation. This was much needed  as the older rooms still had double beds verses Queen Beds as well as a very dated decor. The new rooms are are lot nicer than the older rooms however they are still not nearly as nice as Port Orleans Riverside’s rooms and they are still lacking. The beds are comfortable however not spectacular. We actually had some major problems with the air conditioning as well as bugs in the room that may have led to our feelings about the room.

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Overall:

There are a lot of positives about French Quarter, from the small layout to the bright colors, beautiful atmosphere, boat transportation and beignets! However the food options are below average seeing as French Quarter is the only Moderate Resort not to have a Table Service restaurant and the Quick Service Location is just average (not including the beignets)! The rooms are nicer than the were before its renovation however they are still not as nice as other Moderates in Particular Port Orleans Riverside and Coronado Springs. “Mousekeeping” was not at all up to par here and to be honest the entire resort’s service as lacking when compared to other Disney Resort’s! Generally I would say service at Walt Disney World is a 8 or 9 out of ten and to be honest between the poor cleaning and overall resort service I would say it was only about a 6 this entire week!

Rating:

My score for Port Orleans French Quarter is a 6.5 / 10

The Resort itself is quaint and very pretty however its lacking in food options and its rooms are not nearly as nice as other moderate resorts.  We experienced very poor housekeeping and overall poor service throughout the entire resort! I personally would suggest staying at Port Orleans Riverside before staying at French Quarter.

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Port Orleans Riverside Review – by Chuck Blades

Port Orleans Riverside Overview – by Chuck Blades

Port Orleans Riverside sits on the banks of the Sassagoula river. Port Orleans Riverside used to be named Dixie Landings however it changed to Port Orleans Riverside in 2001. Port Orleans has two distinct sections Alligator Bayou and Magnolia Bend. The Story goes that Port Orleans French Quarter is “New Orleans” as you walk down the path to Riverside you pass mansions the farther you go the less grand the mansions are and eventually you end up in Alligator Bayou! The theming of this resort is really beautiful and I believe it is by far the nieces moderate resort in Walt Disney World!

  Riverside has many features that set it apart from the other Moderate Resorts in Walt Disney World. From boat service to Downtown Disney which is especially helpful during the weekends when parking is crazy downtown! As well as fishing, carriage rides and of course Yehaa Bob Jackson a wonderful entertainer that can ONLY be seen at Port Orleans Riverside this resort is really the best value in Walt Disney World!

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The resort really is incredibly beautiful from the Magnolia Bend Mansions to the Alligator Bayou every piece of this resort is themed and very well maintained!

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Port Orleans Riverside has a couple of Dining Options Boatwright’s a table service restaurant as well al the Riverside Mill Food court a quick service dining location. Both of these serve up pretty good food not world class by any means but both are very convent options.

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By far the best building at Port Orleans Riverside is Building number 14 in the Alligator’s Bayou it costs around $10 per night more than a standard room but its well worth it you are literally a 3 minute walk to both the main building as well as the bus stop. The rooms were renovated in 2012 and they were done extremely well they are incredibly beautiful! I love all of the nods in the Room to Princess and The Frog one of Disney’s Best movies! I have always experienced exceptional “housekeeping” at Port Orleans Riverside as well! I mean look at the towel animals below!

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Overall:

There are a lot of positives about Riverside from the beautiful layout, boat transportation to downtown Disney and Beautiful rooms riverside really is fantastic! On top of all of the wonderful things listed Riverside has pretty good food options with Boatwright’s and Riverside Mill Food Court! They also have an amazing amount of recreational activities and you cannot beat the entertainment provided by Yehaa Bob Jackson!

Rating:

My score for Port Orleans Riverside is a 9 / 10

Port Orleans Riverside is absolutely beautiful from the rooms to the resorts overall atmosphere it is incredibly well themed! I have always experienced fantastic service throughout the entire resort as well, from housekeeping to the Concierge and Check in Desk and even in the restaurants everything has been pretty superb at Port Orleans Riverside! This is far and away our favorite Moderate Resort and one of our favorite resorts in all of Walt Disney World.

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Top 5 Disney World Steak’s – by Chuck Blades

Top 5 Disney World Steak’s

Walt Disney World has a wide variety of restaurants, rides, resorts, shows one of my favorite things that Walt Disney World has a lot of is…. Steak! Who doesn’t love a big cut of tender, flavorful beef! I have had steaks all around Walt Disney World which lead me to create a list naming my favorites!

*Honorable Mention 12oz Premium Filet Minion – Shula’s Steakhouse – Dolphin Hotel

How can you go wrong with a 12oz wet aged SHULA CUT®, this is a great piece of meat tender flavorful if your looking for a traditional piece of steak this is what your looking for. It comes without any sides just the meat itself no fat just a plain piece of beef!

(Forgive me for the photo quality Shula’s is a very dark restaurant)

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#5 12oz Char Crusted New York Strip – Flying Fish Cafe’ – Boardwalk Resort 

This New York Strip is excellent! So good in fact Chef Tim refuses to tell who his supplier – rumor has it that its a local meat company but who actually knows! This Strip is Char Crusted which adds to the excellent flavor, however this steak is not overcooked ever! I have ordered this dish with my grandfather who was very hesitant to order the Strip because of the char crust fearing it would be overcooked and flavorless I assured him it wouldn’t be an of course I was right! This steak always comes out how its ordered (Medium rare the correct way to order a steak)! On top of the great steak I wholeheartedly recommend the Truffle Laced Mac and Cheese it is superb and together this dish is wonderful!

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#4 7oz Oak Grilled Filet Minion - With South African Red Wine Sauce and White Cheddar macaroni and Cheese  - Jiko the Cooking Place Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House 

This filet is no longer on the menu with the Mac and Cheese and Red wine however it can be requested and it should! Every time I’ve had this dish it has been excellent. Normally you would not think of Mac and Cheese with a Filet however this is not your average mac and cheese by any means! It is a little sharp and the red wine is a little dry but the combination of them with the steak leads to absolute perfection!

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#3 7oz Oak-fired Filet of Beef with Heirloom Tomato Risotto and Tomato Butter –        California Grill Contemporary Resort 

This steak has only been on the menu for a few moths. In the past California Grill had a Filet with a Teriyaki BBQ Glaze. It was always well received but I never got the hype, this filet however is a completely different story! Chef Brian the head Chef at California Grill created the ever popular Filet Minion with Truffle butter and Mushroom Risotto at Le Cellier Steakhouse. In my honest opinion I think this filet tops that one! Making the new California Grill Filet the best Filet on Disney Property!

Oak Grilled Filet of Beef

Filet with the Risotto

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“Original” Filet with Teriyaki BBQ Glaze

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Le Cellier Filet with wild mushroom risotto and white truffle butter sauce

#2 Dry Aged 22oz Bone-in Ribeye - wild mushroom risotto and white truffle butter sauce       Le Cellier Steakhouse – Canada Pavilion Epcot

Savory, Succulent, and Scrumptious are the three things I think of when I think of this steak! This steak is seasoned perfectly and dry aged to perfection! This steak doesn’t normally come with the risotto and truffle butter (these are generally reserved for the Filet) however if you ask they will add them to the ribeye! The combination of these three parts is incredible! I will never forget my first bite of this steak it is absolutely exquisite! It was very very hard for my not to put this as my number 1 so you know that the #1 steak must be amazing!

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#1 28-oz Dry Aged Porterhouse - Yachtsman Steakhouse – Yacht Club Resort

When you think of a steak you think of big juicy, tender, flavorful amazingness and this is what you get when you order the Porterhouse at Yachtsman Steakhouse! When you order a Porterhouse you get both the Tenderloin and a Strip both of these are dripping with flavor when you cut into this steak!  This steak is incredibly large however I couldn’t help but eat it all! Every bite was fantastic! If you are a true carnivore or someone in your party is then this is the Steak to order!

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So there you have it my Top 5 Disney World Steaks!

Do you agree or Disagree have you had any of these?? Comment below or connect with us by using the links below!

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Nikki’s Favorite Vacation Memories

Nikki’s Top 5 Disney Vacation Memories

How do I narrow it down to just five favorites?

5.  First trip to Walt Disney World: My parents took us to Disney when I was in 4th Grade and memories from that family trip created the foundation for my love of all things Disney!  I still remember walking down Main Street USA and being blown away by Magic Kingdom.  I especially loved riding Dumbo and the Teacups.  Taking my four year-old sister on Space Mountain is a family story we still laugh about years later.  I distinctly remember having a great quick service dinner in EPCOT’s Mexico before watching those amazing fireworks!  These are just some of the memories I looked forward to recreating for my own children.  Thanks Mom and Dad!

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4.  Experiencing WDW with our Moms:  Two separate trips, one with each of our Moms.  Our kids absolutely LOVED sharing their favorite parts of WDW with Grandma and Nana!  Watching my Mom ride Dumbo with my girls and get excited to see characters with them was truly special.  Our girls still talk about how cool it was to have a room together, my husband and I also enjoyed some alone time in the parks.  There is nothing like being at WDW with the people you love most!

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3.  The trip that I didn’t have to worry about taking pictures:  Last February we spent 3 days at WDW and indulged in the Memory Maker.  Totally worth it!  I felt like I was on a scavenger hunt to find Disney photographers to capture every available moment.  If you walk along the “main” street of each park, you will eventually find a couple who have fun props.  When you take pictures during the day, be sure to ask if they can add some “magic” and you can find Tinkerbelle or Simba in your hands!  We got pics on rides, with characters, and the ever-important pic of my oldest daughter “holding up” the EPCOT ball.  We had a blast!  It was nice to be in a few pictures and know that there will be good ones.  The best part was downloading every picture when we got home.  These people know how to make us look good!

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2.  Cinderella’s Royal Table: The first time we brought our daughter to WDW, we were with dear friends, who insisted that we try Cinderella’s Royal Table.  The price freaked me out, but I caved-in to peer pressure and went for it; now it is one of my favorite memories of Disney Vacations.  I feel the need to note that I was 6 or 7 months pregnant and a tad sentimental at every attraction I remembered from childhood; there were many happy tears on this trip!  I was not prepared for the Royal Table treatment.  We were called in, took a picture with Cinderella herself, and then whisked up to a gorgeous dining room where we enjoyed a fantastic meal.  Grace was dressed as Cinderella and it was a photographer’s dream each time a princess came to our table.  She was delighted at every princess.  She asked for autographs, hugged, and talked candidly with each one.  I was so impressed with how the princesses stayed in Character, for example, Jasmine was at our table and Grace asked where Sleeping Beauty was; without missing a beat, Jasmine launched into a story about how Aurora was off with Prince Phillip, after enjoying a long nap.  My other favorite memory from this meal is the wishing ceremony.  Each child was given a wand and a wishing star.  The lights went low, and the Fairy Godmother spoke about the power of magic and wishes.  Grace closed her eyes to wish and waved her wand over the star.  When her eyes opened, she found glitter in the air and Snow White at her side, helping her with her wish.  I was moved to tears.  It was a really beautiful moment.  We have been lucky enough to go back with Grace and her little sister, Sophia.  It has lived up to our memory each time.

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1.  Sailing one the Disney Magic:  When I spoke to my family about this blog entry, everyone mentioned the Disney Cruise, and for different reasons.  My husband insisted that I mention his favorite part was every single meal.  He loved ordering multiple appetizers and entrées in the fantastic restaurants.  Grace, age 10, says her favorite going on the Aqua Dunk with her best friend, Gavin.   Sophia, age 6, says it was hanging out in the Kid’s Club with her sister, buddies, and the awesome staff.  She still talks about staff members Matt and Brittany.  The kids felt like MVPs every time they walked into the kids’ spaces.  My favorite memories are harder to pin down.  I loved having my family and dear friends all in one place.  It was the most relaxing family vacation we’ve ever had.  There was something to make everyone happy, which is all this Mama wants.  My personal favorites were playing Bingo with the family and doing the Bingo Boogie!  I also loved the adult spaces and relaxing time I spent with my husband and friends.    Our family’s combined favorite DCL memory: Castaway Cay!  This gorgeous island is everything you’d imagine Disney’s private island to be.  Hanging on the beach and cheering for Bob and Grace as they ran a 5K was amazing.  If only Disney had a resort on Castaway Cay…