The following is an email sent by one of our Dreams Unlimited Travel agents, Rhonda Ctvrtnik, to the rest of the team about her most recent trip to Walt Disney World. I thought you all might find it interesting – John
We’re on our way home from Walt Disney World now…and I thought I would just jot down a few notes about our dining experience this trip. This was the first time we’ve really noticed the cutbacks. We don’t know if it’s because of the Disney Dining Plan, or the economy, or both.
This morning, we used our Counter Service credits for breakfast at the Pepper Market [in the Coronado Springs Resort]. We’ve always been happy with the food there, but we were very disappointed today! I had the Southwestern Omelette, which is what I usually get. And usually it’s at least a 3-egg omelette, stuffed with sausage, peppers, onions, cheese, etc. This morning it was the teeniest, tiniest omelette I’ve ever seen! I’m sure it was no more than 1 egg, and it just had a few (maybe 5) pieces of green pepper, could have had a little onion, but I didn’t see it, and a little bit of shredded cheese. It was no more than 3″x2″. Served with a spoonfull of baked frozen-type potato cubes, and a small pre-packaged muffin. They charged $10.75 for this!!! It looked like a kids’ meal!
Yesterday, we went to the Trail’s End Buffet [at the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground] for breakfast. This has always been a favorite of ours — in fact, the boat driver on the way over said “Trail’s End has the best breakfast on property!!” and we agreed with him!
Well, they have REALLY cut back! The “buffet” is now only one station, with: scrambled eggs, little sausage patties, more frozen cube potatoes, nasty bacon, and biscuits/gravy. On another table, they had some cinnamon rolls, pre-made mickey waffles, and grapes. That was it!!! They used to have tons more to choose from (corn beef hash, salads, carving station, omelettes, oatmeal, and much better fruit, etc) Granted, it was only $13.99 per person, but it really looked pathetic! Nothing was freshly made — it was all pre-packaged, frozen, or just warmed up. They don’t even need a “chef” there anymore.
Yesterday, we used our Counter Service credits for lunch at Wolfgang Puck Express [in Dowtown Disney]. Again, we’ve always loved the food there! Wow – their quality has really gone downhill! Scott had the most expensive thing on the menu – Spaghetti & Meatballs. Seriously?? It was all chopped up and the jar-tasting sauce was all mixed in, with some pre-frozen, mostly bread, meatballs on top. I had the Pasta Alfredo w/Chicken. Again, I swear it was Ragu Alfredo sauce, straight out of the jar. The chicken had no flavor whatsoever, it was just julliene-style chicken strips, that tasted like they were boiled. This meal, without the dining plan, would have cost us $46!! For counter service!
Now – for our big dinner — Citricos [at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa] on Friday night. Scott had the Sea Bass w/Risotto. He said it was very good — portion was very small, but tasty. I had the filet over cheesy-mashed potatoes (it had a french name, but was basically mashed potatoes w/cheese, lol). My filet was WAY overcooked, dry, and tasted just like an overcooked sirloin. I ordered it medium-rare, but it was well done. Our waiter never came back to our table, and I looked and looked for him, to say something, but we never saw him until Scott was done eating. I didn’t want to hold up Scott’s dinner and make it get cold. So, I picked away at my steak very slowly, hoping we’d see our waiter again. Finally, after Scott’s meal was gone, he came over. By that time, most of my steak was gone. I showed him the remainder of it, and all he said was, “oh yeah – I can see that it’s well done”. He never offered anything, and I couldn’t really demand another one at that point, because this one was almost gone.
When he came back with the dessert menu, he jokingly said “well, the kitchen can’t mess up dessert like they can a steak!” Again, he never offered any compensation or anything. When I think back about it, I really wish I had asked for a manager or something, but at the time I didn’t want to cause a scene, and I don’t know what they could have done anyway, since we were using our dining plan credits.
The one bright spot (thanks Kevin!!!) was the Island Sushi Bar at the Polynesian!! We went here before dinner Friday night, and it was fabulous!! We had two different kinds – Shrimp Tempura Sushi (my favorite!) and the Volcano Sushi (Scott’s favorite). Very fresh, and delicious!! We will definitely go back!
We went to Kimonos [at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort] our first night for sushi and drinks. The sushi was just ok – overpriced. I had a Mojito (if you can call it that). It came in a teeny skinny glass – if I took the ice out, it would have been about an ounce of drink. They charged $13 for it!! We will not make the mistake of going back there again.
It is hard to get good drinks in Walt Disney World. But, a couple places we’ve found that do serve good ones are: The Gurgling Suitcase at Old Key West (bartender has been there forever, and makes a good drink. Prices are lower there too.) and the bar at the Polynesian, outside of ‘Ohana. Prices are a little higher, but at least you get what you pay for there. And, Mizner’s at the Grand Floridian — again, the bartender has been there a long time, and she’s very nice! She pours a good drink, and you don’t feel bad paying the prices they charge. In fact, they had 3 different Cabernets behind the bar. I asked which one was better, and she gave me all 3, to do my own taste test! LOL She only charged me for one glass.
Ok….I’m done babbling now. We’re stopping in Plant City for strawberries – so have a good day everyone!