Morimoto Asia – Dinner Review

Morimoto Asia – Dinner Review

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Morimoto Asia opened in Disney Springs on September 30th 2015 – It is Iron Chef Morimoto’s first Pan Asian Restaurant – He has some extremely successful restaurants across the country so this was a restaurant that I was really looking forward to!

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The Atmosphere of Morimoto was excellent – it is one of the most visually appealing restaurants that I’ve ever been in it is absolutely stunning!

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Drinks –

One of the coolest parts of Morimoto Asia is its Drink Menu they have a lot of unique options!

Sake Sangria – asian pears, apple plum, tangerine juice, sake, light white wine, plum wine

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Shirayuri (White Lily)  shochu, calpico and yuzu served with a twist & orchid peta
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They even have Asian Beers – Morimoto himself even has one!

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Food –

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Crab Rangoon’s – I would say these were the best Rangoon’s that I’ve ever had there was a TON of Crab in them, normally when ordering rangoon’s they  have a couple of small pieces of crab in them that defiantly was not the case here…
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Spider Roll – This was the only disappointment of the night it wasn’t bad just not nearly as good as other options that the restaurant had!DSC_0396

Duck Ramen – Ramen is “the” dish of 2016 and this Ramen was really really good!

Overall Rating:

Atmosphere: 10 – Morimoto was absolutely stunning the decor was very modern and really beautiful I found myself wandering around snapping pictures of all the details for a good 15 minutes before my meal!

Service: ? – I give the service a question mark because I felt that the service was really had to rate because the restaurant was so understaffed and so overwhelmed, Our bartender was trying her hardest and was incredibly friendly however she was trying to service us as well as probably 20 others as well as bartend for half of the packed two story restaurant! Not to mention the that it took almost 45 minutes to get Sushi and another 30 to get our bill… I think the newness of the restaurant is what caused the problems…

Food: 9 – The Ramen was awesome and the Crab Cakes were literally bursting with flavor and meat! As well as the awesome drink menu! I’ve heard that chef Morimoto himself created this menu and still oversees it you can tell by the overall quality of the food!

Overall Score: 8.5 – Morimoto has the potential to be one of the Top restaurants in all of Walt Disney World, food was excellent, atmosphere was excellent, drinks may be my favorite on property (I love the creativity of the Sake’s!) and the waitstaff was very friendly as soon as they figure out staffing watch out this may be THE place to go in Disney Springs!

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The Boathouse – Re-Review – Disney Springs

The Boathouse – Re-Review – Disney Springs

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I was lucky enough to dine at The Boathouse when it first opened in April 2015, at the time I said “The Boathouse is trying to do to much in one space”  – I wasn’t super impressed with my meal however I left thinking that I wanted to try it again after it worked out its opening day hiccups….

I can say thankfully that I gave The Boathouse another try and “spoiler alert”…  It was absolutely tremendous! Take a minute to look at the photos and see my thoughts at the end!

Atmosphere

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Bar Atmosphere

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Dining Room

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Food

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Bread Service

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28 oz Porterhouse

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Key Lime Pie in a Mason Jar

Overall Rating:

Food – 10 – Without a doubt this restaurant has some of the best steaks in Walt Disney World and the prices are quite competitive! Not to mention the HUGE sides that were equally as amazing (I’m looking at you truffle fries!) as well as the awesome Key Lime Pie!

Service – 10 – I found the service here to be Top Notch there were 3 different people who waited on our table of 5 and for a majority of the meal we were some of the only ones in the main dining room! They knew the menu inside out and were on top of refills whether it be bread refills or drink refills! They were extremely professional and polished!

Atmosphere – 10 – The atmosphere of The Boathouse is very unique it has 3 bars one outside on the water, 3 main dining rooms and outside seating which means there is something for everyone!

Overall Score – 10 – When I first dined here on opening day I thought that there was too much going on however now that the restaurant has been open for a while and I’ve gotten to experience both sitting at the Bar as well as Dining Room I can say that The Boathouse is an excellent option!

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Top 5 “Disney” Experiences of 2015

2015 has been an absolutely incredible year for me starting in January I was able to have a father son trip to Walt Disney World before my 5 month Disney College Program Experience. I was able to have family and friends visit every moth during the program a mother and son trip to Star Wars Weekends to end the program and even my 1st trip to Disneyland!

Narrowing down my top experiences is extremely difficult because I have so many! It is still difficult to narrow it down however I am going to narrow it down to 2 lists of 5 List 1 is entire trips as a whole List 2 is specific moments or days in time either during those trips or other times in Disney!  So without further ado ~

Top 5 “Trips”

In sequential order –

Father and Son Walt Disney World Trip

Getting to spend at weekend at Walt Disney World with my Dad was an absolute blast and something that I am incredibly thankful that I had the opportunity to have!

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Disney College Program

The Disney College Program was an experience that I am incredibly thankful to have gotten at times (many times) I questioned doing the program and if it was worth the time and effort that I put forth to get into the program and during the program however looking back I can say without a doubt that it was worth it!

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Week at Walt Disney World with my Best Friend

One of the hardest parts of the Disney College Program was being away from friends and family. I was however so lucky that I had not only family come and visit while on the college program but also my best friend! I was able to take a few days off of work and have a true Disney Vacation with my best friend and while down there we had one of the best Disney Vacations that I have ever had! From dining at Victoria and Albert’s, Ohana, Hollywood Brown Derby and others to Drinking Around the World at Epcot and even taking the time to have a “Starbucks Date” at Disney Springs this Vacation was so much fun and one of my favorite parts of the year!

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Mom and Son Star Wars Weekend Trip

Yes this year I got to have a trip to Walt Disney World with my Dad, Best Friend and Mom all I can say is that I am incredibly thankful each and everyday at how lucky I am! This trip was no incredibly fun and Star Wars focused! From a Star Wars Dinner at Hollywood and Vine with friends from across the country to Breakfast at Sci Fi Diner with Star Wars Characters and even an upscale dinner at Hollywood Brown Derby we had quite the weekend! Not to mention ending the Weekend and my College Program with Star Wars Symphony in the Stars Firework Show!

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1st Time to Disneyland

Even after all of my fantastic Disney World “trips” I was able to go to Disneyland for the first time! I absolutely fell in love with Disneyland Park the Disneyland Hotel and the overall resort as a whole! If you are a Disney fan you need to make the trip out to the original Disney Park you won’t regret it!

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Top 5 “Moments”

In sequential order –

Drinking Around the World March 12

Drinking “around the world” was something that I had wanted to do for a long time so when my best friend decided to come and visit me on my college program I knew that this was something that had to be done! This day was truly one of my favorites ever from jumping around from country to country grabbing drinks in each one and meeting characters to boot – making new friends to drink around the world with and finishing the night at Spice Road Table with perfect views of Illuminations Drinking Around the World was an awesome experience!

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Trader Sam’s Media Preview March 31

If you have read this blog before you know my love for Trader Sam’s so I won’t go on and on about it again… however getting to experience it before it officially opened was an awesome experience! Not to mention I got to experience with a close friend, new friends and even a Disney Celebrity!

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Victoria and Albert’s and Napa Rose Chef’s Counter

As a Foodie and a Disney Nerd one of my favorite parts of a Disney Vacation is trying a new restaurant or two this year I got to try many many many new Disney Restaurants however 2 stand out above the rest- Yes these are arguably Disney’s two premier restaurant in the world and the flagship restaurants for their particular parks however these two restaurants are worth the hype that they receive!

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May 15th 1st Night of Star Wars Weekends

Opening night of Star Wars Weekends was also my last night of the Disney College Program getting to spend my last night in Hollywood Studio’s was an awesome night filled with great food, friends and even an awesome Symphony in the Stars fireworks show!

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1st Time Walking into Disneyland August 13th

Walking into Disneyland Park for the first time was one of the coolest experiences that I have ever had! It was so different yet familiar and something that I won’t forget!

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 Thank you guys for following along with my memories I am so incredibly blessed an thankful for the opportunities that I have had in 2015! I cannot wait for 2016 (wow hard to believe its 2016!) I have a Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend trip in January a trip in October hopefully a trip or two  in between! Stay tuned for more details!

Trattoria al Forno – Breakfast Review

Trattoria al Forno – Breakfast Review

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Trattoria al Forno opened on Disney’s Boardwalk in December 2014, it replaced a not so popular Kouzzina restaurant. So I didn’t really know what to expect with Trattoria al Forno. Some of the best restaurants in all of Walt Disney World are within walking distance like Yachtsman, Flying Fish, Bluezoo just to name a couple… It defiantly has tough competition at Dinner time so I thought I would give it a try for breakfast as its one of the few restaurants actually open for breakfast in the Epcot resort area!

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Atmosphere –

Trattoria al Forno is focused around a very big open kitchen ~ Its a very pretty restaurant however it is very cavernous and I think it can defiantly get loud if its busy, I don’t think you would have any worries for breakfast but I would expect dinner to be overwhelming –


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Food –

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For breakfast I opted for the restaurants special – Poached Eggs – to be quite honest I do not think that I had ever had poached eggs prior to ordering this and typically this is not the type of meal I would order for breakfast however I was very pleasantly surprised – the eggs were good, and I really enjoyed the tomato gravy and polenta. All in all this dish was actually pretty complex and very tasty I would defiantly recommend it!

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Poached Eggs ~ Fennel Sausage, Parmesan, and Tomato Gravy served over soft Polenta

Overall:

Trattoria al Forno’s breakfast was good, I thought the service was average however the atmosphere was nice and my poached eggs were very good ~ I would not make a special trip over to the Boardwalk just for breakfast at Trattoria al Forno however if you are staying in the area it is a solid option for breakfast! You can generally always walk up without a reservation and it is much better than most counter service breakfasts.

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Disney Memory Maker Overview – by Amanda

Disney’s Memory Maker offers guests the ability to have unlimited Disney PhotoPass Photos taken throughout the parks, including select rides and dining locations so they can later view, download, and share those photos. Is this convenience enough to warrant a $169* price tag? (*Memory Maker must be purchased at least 3 days in advance, otherwise it’s $199) The short answer is, well that depends.

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On my families most recent trip to Disney World we decided to add Memory Maker to our package. Initially we were on the fence, but in the end decided to purchase the Memory Maker because our large group could all add photos just by scanning their Magic Band. One of the major selling points of Memory Maker is that “everyone” can be in the photos and no longer do you need to spend time looking for someone to take a family photo. Yes it is true that you can take your own photos with your camera but attraction shots are not possible without utilizing Disney’s PhotoPass.

In the beginning we found ourselves stopping by every character spot and photo opportunity we could. However, as the trip went on, stopping for photos felt like more of an obligation so we could justify the purchase of Memory Maker. Thankfully when we decided to skip the “photo” spots we were capturing photos on some of the rides without having to lift a finger.   Guests with Magic Bands (w/ Memory Maker) have their attraction photos automatically sent to their account. The one downfall is that the attractions are limited to Buzz Light Year, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Test Track, Rock n Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, Dinosaur, and Expedition Everest.

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As mentioned above there are also PhotoPass locations at some meals and shows, however we only went to the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue during our vacation so we did not fully utilize this option. Other dining photo opportunities include 1900 Park Fare, Ohana, Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show, Chef Mickey’s, Cinderella’s Royal Table, Tusker House and Akershus Royal Banquet Hall.

Once we arrived home from our vacation I was able to log onto my account and view, download, and share my photos with ease. Five days at the parks, accumulated a few hundred photos. Some of them were good, some of them were bad and some of them weren’t even of us. The photos of random people were no fault of Memory Maker but because my children would scan their Magic Bands after some of the rides. While looking through my photos I was delighted to find two attraction ride videos were also included (Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Tower of Terror). Even though the videos are mostly generic ride footage they do provide a small clip of you on the attraction and getting to see my son’s expressions change on Tower of Terror was priceless.

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I wish there were more photo opportunities on attractions and that the videos were more extensive. However Memory Maker was easy to use and was a convenient way to capture our Disney World photos throughout our vacation. Before you decide to add Memory Maker to your next Disney World vacation my suggestion would be to weigh the positives and negatives and then you can decide if Memory Maker is worth it.

Olivia’s Cafe Old Key West Review

Olivia’s Cafe Old Key West Review

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Atmosphere –

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Atmosphere –

Olivia’s does a fantastic job of transporting you to a completely different place than Disney World! I really felt like I was in a small town restaurant in the middle of the Florida Keys, from the friendly laid back staff and guests to the photos on the wall of actual Disney Vacation Club members (a really cool touch)

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Food –

Olivia’s has somewhat of a standard breakfast and lunch menu however

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Breakfast –

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Banana Bread French Toast ~ topped with Bahamian Banana-Rum Butter Sauce, Coconut whipped cream, and served with your choice of Bacon, Sausage, or Ham

Lunch –

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Duval Street Burger and Onion Rings ~ topped with Grilled Shrimp, Pepper Jack Cheese, Avocado, and Pico de Gallo on a Pineapple-Coconut Roll.

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Banana Bread Pudding Sundae ~ served warm with Bananas Foster topping and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Overall Rating:

Atmosphere: 7 I enjoyed the overall feel of Olivia’s and really Old Key West as a whole, I felt like I was in a completely different laid back world then the hustle and bustle of Disney – I truly felt like I was in the Florida Keys from the overall decor to even the people who were dining there as most are Disney Vacation Club members who are staying there for more of a relaxing vacation than your typical Disney World vacation guest

Service: 7 I found the service to be good at Olivia’s like the overall feel of the restaurant it was very laid back – which was good in that everyone was friendly bad in that they were not the most efficient

Food: 7 I was pleasantly surprised by the food at Oliva’s nothing was “the best thing I’ve ever had” however breakfast was good, the burger was good and how is a Banana Bread Pudding Sundae ever a bad thing?!?

Overall Score: 7 Olivia’s Cafe is definitely somewhere that I would recommend trying even if you are not staying at Old Key West, take an afternoon from the park and then hop on a boat from Disney Springs and grab lunch here the food is good and the overall feel of the resort is so laid back its a great change of pace!

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Raglan Road Irish Pub

Raglan Road Irish Pub Review – Downtown Disney

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Atmosphere –

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Food –

I have had the pleasure of dining at Raglan Road on many occasions and I can say that I’ve had a fantastic experience on all but 1!

Magners Irish Cider

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Banger & Booz – Guinness & onion bangers on mash, topped with caramelized onions & beef stew

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Keen eye for the Shepherd’s Pie – We give the traditional shepherd’s pie a little makeover with our contemporary twist to this favorite dish

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Overall Rating:

Atmosphere: 10 – I absolutely loved the feel of the pub ~ There was live music playing and the overall vibe was really outstanding! This is a perfect place to go for a night out! Its one of the better Bar’s on Disney Property!!!

Service: 7.5 –

Food: 10 – The Banger’s and Mash were very good and I also really enjoyed the Hard Cider – There was a large amount of food! I would defiantly go back again to try something new!!!

Overall Score: 9 – I enjoyed my overall experience at Raglan Road and can say without question as of right now its the best Table Service Restaurant in Downtown Disney! The food is good and I loved the atmosphere! I suggest going to Raglan Road for a Beer or Cider and Grabbing a quick bite to eat at the bar – It’s not necessarily the best place for families but perfect for adults or families with teenagers ~

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Tony’s Town Square – Review

Tony’s Town Square – Magic Kingdom – Restaurant Review

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Tony’s Town Square Restaurant has one of the best locations of any Disney restaurant. It is located right in the middle (or to the right of) Main Street USA)! If you time your meal right and get one of the awesome outside tables you can even get a view of the Main Street Electrical Parade or the Festival of Fantasy!

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Atmosphere –

The atmosphere of Tony’s is just a basic restaurant with a couple of nods to Lady and the Tramp… I feel like they could do so much with the theme of the restaurant but instead Tony’s is just a boring restaurant on Main Street USA…

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Tony’s gets a very bad reputation in the Disney fan community however I had never been there and I was spending the day in the Magic Kingdom so I thought “why not” – Well I can tell you “Why Not” because it is really bad… I can say this is one of the worst meals I have ever had on Disney property! The food had absolutely no flavor, tasted like it was days old and was overall just bad!
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Zucchini Fries – Breaded seasoned Zucchini with creamy Sun- dried Tomato Dressing for dipping

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Spaghetti – with Meatballs and Marinara Sauce

Overall Rating:

Atmosphere: 5 – Outside of the fact that Tony’s is on Main Street the restaurant itself is very bland and boring…

Service: 5 ~ The service at Tony’s was the high point of the meal and it wasn’t anything special…

Food: 3 ~ The food at Tony’s is quite honestly BAD, the spaghetti sauce tasted like it was just dumped out of a can the noodles tasted bad and the zucchini fries had absolutely no flavor at all…

Overall Score: 3 ~  Tony’s has the potential to be one of the most popular restaurants on Disney property! Its location can’t be beat especially if you are lucky enough to be sat outside with a view of one of the parades! However instead it severs bad food, average service and a boring atmosphere…

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Carthay Circle Restaurant Review

Carthay Circle Restaurant – World of Color Dinner Package -California Adventure – review by Charles Blades

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***I want to apologize up front that the quality of the photos are not what they usually are my I left my camera in the room and we were running very late for our reservation so I made the judgment call to use my iPhone 6 Plus for all of the photos of Carthay Circle***

Atmosphere –

Carthay Circle was apart of the large California Adventure expansion back in 2012. It is an absolutely beautiful restaurant quite honestly on of the most beautiful Disney restaurants I’ve been in!

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Food –

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The Bread service and “appetizer” course left a lot to be desired… for a 62$ pre fix meal I was expecting a little more than just a soup or salad and to be quite honest the soup was just meh…

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Spanish Roasted Tomato Broth

I asked our waitress for a Hard Apple Cider and she insisted that they had a Pineapple Cider that was tremendous and better than any Apple Cider… I told her to give me a little poor and I would try it, instead of a little poor this is what she gave me… It was absolutely awful, I drink a fair amount of Hard Cider and being from Michigan we have some of the Best Cider’s in America and quite simply this did not live up to my expectations at all!

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Pineapple Hard Cider

For my entree the waitress insisted upon the “Sustainable Fish of the Day” I was hoping for something really good as Carthay Circle is supposed to be the premiere restaurant of California Adventure and it was just average and not memorable at all… I had a fish dish in May at the Hollywood Brown Derby that was tremendous and I had hoped that Carthay could match it…

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Like the Appetizer options the dessert options left a lot to be desired as well… I asked the waitress to send me out whatever she considered to be the best dessert and so she brought me out an off the menu Apple Fritter… It was okay but thats about it..

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Apple Fritter –

The best part of the “meal” was the Tea Selection I enjoy Tealeaves (the brand of Tea Disney uses at their signature restaurants) however at an additional 7$ it was a little pricy for a cup or two of tea…

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World of Color “Preferred” “Viewing”

Because we dined at Carthay Circle for its special World of Color dinner package we had a “special” place to stand for the performance of World of Color… I was very frustrated by the location of the viewing area and found it to be very crowed and not necessarily worth the money… World of Color itself is an excellent show however I would skip the dinner package and just arrive a little early and grab a spot on your own!

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Overall:

Food 5 – The food at Carthay Circle left a LOT to be desired… I was incredibly disappointed… I left feeling like I had literally just throw my money down the toilet… I like their large selection of teas and the fact that they brought me an off menu dessert but that doesn’t make up for the in some cases poor execution…

Atmosphere 5 or 10 so 7.5 – the restaurant itself is absolutely gorgeous honestly I felt as though an old celebrity was just going to walk up to the table at any moment however there is NO dress code therefore you have people wearing tank tops flips flops and other stinky sweaty attire… this really really detracted from the restaurant! I felt like it could be so great but instead it was just okay or in some ways bad…

Service – 5 We really got a weird vibe from the waitress and couldn’t tell if she was being exceptionally nasty or she was being funny? She was efficient and even brought us a couple of off menu items… However her off color humor was really disappointing and left a bad taste in my mouth when it came to the restaurant as a whole…

Overall 5.5 – I have mixed feelings for Carthay Circle, I had extremely high hopes for it however it just didn’t live up to my expectations…  my Gold Standard for Theme Park restaurants is the Hollywood Brown Derby in Hollywood Studios and I can say without any hesitation that my meal at the Brown Derby in May absolutely blew Carthay OUT OF THE WATER!

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Territory Lounge – Wilderness Lodge

Territory Lounge – Wilderness Lodge

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Territory Lounge is located right off of the lobby of the Wilderness Lodge, in keeping with the theme of the resort Territory lounge is a very masculine, pacific northwest themed bar.

Territory Lounge Atmosphere ~

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Food –

Generally I would mention drinks at a Lounge however Territory Lounge suffers from Disney’s generic drink menu problem… They have basic made from a mix drinks that are weak and taste extremely sweet – not necessarily a bad thing if you are looking for a drink at pool bar but when going to an actual lounge especially one with the level of detail that Territory lounge has I would expect a nicer drink menu with high quality hand crafted drinks… However I do find the food here to be very good and the atmosphere is great so I wouldn’t write off the bar completely!

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Pulled Pork Nachos ~ in-house smoked pulled pork house-made sharp cheddar cheese cilantro four cream hard cider apple-cranberry salsa and pickled hot peppers

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Artist Point Cobbler ~ with seasonal berries and house-made black raspberry ice cream

Overall Thoughts –

7.5 / 10 ~ The Territory Lounge is a beautiful bar and I enjoy their food menu as well as the fact that you can order off of the Artist Point Menu (actually I like the atmosphere here just as much as Artist Point and you do not need a reservation) ~ However the bar itself is very small and they do not have a specialty drink menu… Therefore I would say its a great place to come if you don’t have a reservation and are staying at the Wilderness Lodge or the Contemporary! If not I would skip it in favor of something like the Tambu lounge or Trader Sam’s at the Polynesian or something quieter like Bluezoo at the Dolphin!

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