Creme de la Creme de la Edgar: Disney Dining 3/3 (Disney Part 8)

Posted December 1, 2018 by Amber in Around the World, Real World / 0 Comments

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Hi everyone!  Welcome back to the very last week (for real this time!) of our Disney vacation overview.  I can’t believe we ate at so many places that I was able to draw out three posts from it.  Kinda insane.  And to think that I was going to try and squish this in with all the other posts….

Well y’all will be delighted to know that this is the final travel-related post for a couple months.  Sometimes I do one-offs we I go to something different than usual (i.e. RICC or King Richard’s Faire) but other than the Bruins game last month, I don’t think there’s anything really interesting to post about.  So the weekends will be opening back up and I’ll give y’all a break from my posts in your feed. 😉

Without further ado, the last six restaurants we visited at the Disney resort!

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Whispering Canyon Cafe

Location: Fort Wilderness Resort
Style: Table-Service

Remember how last week I said that I was starting to get sick because of the drastic temperature change, piled on with exhaustion?  Well, by Wednesday, I was sick.  This put a huge damper on the restaurants we visited that day, which would have probably been better received if I had been in good health and good spirits.

The Whispering Canyon Cafe was a breakfast chosen by my husband, but after looking into some of the reviews, I was really looking forward to it.  We took a late breakfast, since this was the day after MNSSHP, and were a little disappointed to discover there was almost nobody in the restaurant.  Whispering Canyon Cafe is one of the sillier restaurants, so it’s more fun if it’s packed.  We still got to indulge in passing the ketchup (or observe it, rather)… where ALL the ketchup bottles were on one table, and when anyone asked for ketchup, the wait staff would uproariously call out, and the overload table would deliver ALL the bottles of ketchup. … That was fun.

Whispering Canyon does offer bottomless milkshakes, which I was ALL about.  Well, except the waitress told me their milkshake maker wasn’t working, and they’re always having troubles with it, and she wished they would take that off the menu.  I was there for the milkshakes, y’all, so this was a huge bummer to me. We did end up sharing the bottomless skillet breakfast, which was good enough, but nothing spectacular.

For myself, I don’t think I’d revisit The Whispering Canyon Cafe.  There wasn’t much of anything that made it stand out, and with so many options and especially other ones with a lot of energy… it was underwhelming.  The aesthetics worked with the Wilderness Lodge, but weren’t that exciting to a girl whose seen more than her fair share of woodsy styled cafes!  Sorry!

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Chefs du France

Location: Epcot (World Showcase, France)
Style: Table Service

I felt like the biggest sore thumb walking into Chefs de France wearing a graphic tee and Aurora ears.  You can tell this restaurant invites a less playful crowd, but thank goodness – we weren’t the only ones who had Disney’d it up that lunch!  Most of the patrons were respectful, business looking people, and the atmosphere was very nice.  It was a beautiful restaurant, but not in the sort of way that goes too far and everything is too sparkly.

I had a very simple meat-and-potatoes style lunch, with French Onion soup to begin, and we skipped the dessert.  If I had been feeling better, I would have gotten the macaroons.  So, there’s that?  Our waiter was very friendly.  He was telling us about how he had Friday off (we went Wednesday) and how he was looking forward to the break and planning to go to one of the waterparks to beat the heat.

The food was tasty.  Matt calls it the second best steak of the trip.  It was the best steak that I, personally, ordered, even while I wasn’t feeling well.  I would revisit Chefs du France… but really, like with La Hacienda de San Angel and The Garden Grill, you can’t go wrong eating at Epcot.

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The Hoop-de-Doo Musical Revue

Location: The Campsites at Fort Wilderness Resort
Style: Signature (Dinner theatre), Family Style

So.  After lunch at Chefs de France, Mattie and I called it quits at Epcot and took a nice looooong nap back at Port Orleans.  It was much needed and well worth it, because when we got up and headed out to our dinner reservation, we were cheerful and refreshed!

Disney has three different dinner shows, and even though I’d wanted to go to the Polynesian resort, I allowed a friend to talk me into the Hoop-de-Doo Musical Revue.  I am so glad she did, because we had a routine’ tootin’ good time.

We went to an 8:30pm show, so we were able to get the Category 1 seating.  My friend told me exactly where to sit, so we booked the table.  The host who seated us asked, “Are you sure you’ve never been here before?  That’s the best seat in the house.”  So +10 points to my friend, and also… front row, stage right.  Dinner at the Hoop-de-Doo is a basic barbecue and is served in buckets!  We had great fried chicken and ribs, plus baked beans (I need to make these more often – I love baked beans!) plus mashed potatoes, corn, biscuits, salads and cornbread (yesss) and I honestly think there was more and I just don’t remember.

I wasn’t expecting much from the food here.  I figured the price you pay is more for the show, like many other dinner theatre experiences I’ve had.  I’m glad I was wrong!  Sometimes, it’s nice to have that sort of down-home cooking, and this meal was super tasty.  Also – strawberry shortcake at the end? YUM.

Beyond the meal, the show was phenomenal.  The cast was funny, and took opportunities to find people in the audience to pick on (yesss) and congratulate.  They were a great cast to watch, with awesome chemistry.  Having never seen the show before, I laughed a bunch at the unexpected plot line and quirky characters.  Said friend who helped us chose the best table looked at my Instagram pictures and informed me that not only did we have the best table, but we had the best cast as well!  Yay!  We hit everything right that night, which I’m grateful for because the beginning of the day was really rough for me.  I recover from (or push through?) illnesses pretty well, and I’m grateful I was feeling up to this show.

I would definitely, 100% go back to the Hoop-de-Doo Musical Revue… every time.  It’s nice because it’s at the resorts, so you don’t need a park ticket to get to the restaurant… and it was fun.  It was a lot of fun.  It was the type of experience where I kept saying, “oh, my parents would love this” or “my brother would get a kick out of this.” I would LOVE to go back with my family.

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1900 Park Faire

Location:  Grand Floridian Resort
Style:  Table Service, Buffet, Character Experience

I have some mixed feelings about 1900 Park Faire, but overall, this was my favorite breakfast place on the trip.  The Grand Floridian is a resplendent resort.  We walked into the resort and our immediate impression was “Yup! Could never afford to stay here!”  It feel very old school classy, which makes it an excellent home for a lot of Mary Poppins themed regalia.

At 1900 Park Faire you have the opportunity to meet Alice and the Mad Hatter, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and Mary Poppins.  I believe these characters can be met on a regular day between Epcot and Magic Kingdom, but it’s a good way to get a lot of them out of the way all at once, and also a good way to avoid Crystal Palace and still let your kid meet Pooh and Tigger.  And Tigger was a hoot.  One character or another will be part of a PhotoPass opportunity as you leave the restaurant, and for us, this was Tigger.  The actor was very well in character – bouncing all over the place and stealing chairs while people were at the buffet and making the diners laugh.  Much fun.

The food itself was very good, or so I thought.  My husband will fight me on this – he didn’t particularly enjoy the speciality options at 1900 Park Faire, but I loved all of them.  To the best of my knowledge, 1900 Park Faire is the only breakfast buffet with custom omelette station.  I love this and definitely got one.  Honestly – almost got two.  They also had red velvet pancakes with cream cheese frosting which are delicious.

The winner for me though is a bit of a strange one.  Have you ever had strawberry soup?  I never had and I’ve heard of it, so I decided, “Sure, why not?”  Guys, this is yummy stuff.  It’s like chilled, melty strawberry ice cream for breakfast.  I am on board for this and may even try to make some at home.  I could have kept eating the three specialty items forever.  SO GOOD.

Aesthetically, this felt similar to Crystal Palace, but not as crowded and not as many windows.  It was comfortable and pretty, and depending where you’re sitting, I can see this being a little crowded.  Matt and I were pretty universally seated along the edges of things, so were never felt crowded at any restaurant, but some of the tables did look a bit smooshed.

My one complaint about this one was the waitress?  This was the only place we had a forgetful waitress, and while I sympathize (they are so so busy) it is a bit aggravating to ask for your drinks multiple times.

Despite the service we received, I would definitely be back to 1900 Park Faire.  I really enjoyed the food here, even if my husband thought a lot of it wasn’t to his taste.  The nice thing is:  at a buffet, there’s something for everyone, so if the specialty stuff doesn’t suit you, then there’s always eggs and Mickey waffles.

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Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen

Location: Magic Kingdom (Adventureland)
Style:  Table Service

Ughhhh I had SUCH HOPES for this restaurant!  As I pointed out in my original Magic Kingdom post, I have a soft spot for the Jungle Cruise.  The puns make my heart happy.  Go ahead and judge!  The menu here has some departures from the other very meat-and-potatoes menus we were seeing (partially our fault – we picked a lot of those types of restaurants) and the menu itself was super punny.  The hostess was punny!  The table next to us had a skipper who was punny!  And our skipper wasn’t digging it.  So our skipper… was just a waitress.  So bummed out.  If you’re going for the puns, I guess… know that it may be hit or miss. :'(  I guess in this way, the wait service can either be hilarious or annoying. XD

The mood and decor in here was very appropriate.  It felt like a jungle adventurers lounge, but I didn’t catch any sense of culturally appropriation or anything like that with “jungle natives”, which I feel is important to mention?  A lot of classic “jungle” lit includes heavy racism undertones.  I would hope Disney was clever enough not to buy into this, and they didn’t.

Matt and I were seated in the Butterfly Booth, which could have easily seated about six people.  I am not sure if they were real butterflies or not, but I think they were real?  It was pretty, but I wish they weren’t real because I’m not big on taxidermy or pinned bugs, etc.  It was a little unsettling for me personally, but Matt thought they were cool, so again, to taste.

As for the food!  I started with falafel here, which I love but rarely get.  All the portions were large, so you get a really good value for your money.  It’s tasty, too!  My falafel could have fed the entire table, so I felt super wasteful when I only ate about half.  Neither of us finished any of our food here, and we bypassed dessert because we were so full.  For his appetizer, Matt decided to try the Shu Mai, which he wasn’t crazy about, but that may have been more to his personal tastes (he’d never tried this sort of dish before) than the quality of the food.

For my meal, I tried the Hardy Har Char Siu Pork, which was incredible.  It was very flavorful and the vegetables served on the side were fresh and tasty.  I got something like three pork cutlets here, so again, this was a meal that could have served the entire table instead of just one person.  Matt got Dr. Falls Signature Grilled steak, which he liked, but since the Trattoria al Forno, nothing held up for him as far as steak goes (one or the other of us got steak at like every restaurant… we’re steak people).  The al dente green beans were very much to his approval.  Another huge dish, and he ate only about half.

I’m on the fence about revisiting the Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen?  I think it’s a place I’d probably go to again, but it won’t be a staple every visit.  Also, because of the portion sizes, I’d make it a dinner stop instead of lunch, and I’d skip the appetizer – too much food!

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Be Our Guest

Location:  Magic Kingdom (Fantasyland)
Style:  Table Service, Signature, Prix Fixe

Be Our Guest is the newest restaurant at Magic Kingdom, built when Fantasyland was remodeled.  It’s a restaurant I’d heard a lot about.  After we booked it, Disney announced it was switching to a prix fixe menu, and it was becoming a signature dining option, meaning it required two of our dining credits.  Because I really had my heart set on this, we went for it.

You enter through great wooden doors to the Beast’s castle.  There are three dining rooms here – Belle’s Room, the Ballroom, and the West Wing.  Matt and I specifically requested the West Wing, which was delightful.

In the West Wing, you have dim lighting, the occasional roll of thunder, changing portraits, and the rose of course.  If you have children who are uncomfortable in the dark or in thunderstorms, this dining room may not be the best, but otherwise… I recommend the West Wing above all others.  It has the most character and is absolutely stunning, as well as being quieter and less crowded.  We had to wait about twenty minutes longer to be seated in this dining room, but it was totally worth it.

Our waitress here was funny and friendly and incredible.  I left her a really good tip, because she was fantastic.  Unfortunately, that’s where the good stuff for Be Our Guest ends.  Our appetizers came promptly, but Matt’s charred octopus was overcooked, and my French Onion soup was just a step above lukewarm.  Okay, it happens.

But then.  The entrees came and my steak was well-done (I always order medium rare) and cold.  My husband’s seafood bouillabaisse was cooked fine, but the portion size on this was small, pretty much an appetizer.  If we weren’t stuffed full of food from lunch, and if we weren’t on the dining plan, we would have been much more annoyed.  As it was, we were just unimpressed.  I’m not sure if this is a result of the recent switch to prix fixe or what, but it was a bummer because the waitress and aesthetics here are totally amazing.

The dessert was adorable, but not entirely to our tastes.  There are no options for dessert – you get a dessert trio of a raspberry macaroon (I loved this, my husband hated it), a chocolate truffle (neither of us were crazy about this) and a white chocolate Chip cup filled with “The Grey Stuff”.  The Grey Stuff was, admittedly, delicious, but putting cookies and cream mousse in a white chocolate dish made the whole thing waaaay too sweet.  It was fine overall for me, but again, I wasn’t impressed?

At the end of your dinner, you’re invited to step into a different room to take a picture with the Beast!  It’s a dim room, filled with red and purple velvet, and there was no Photo Pass photographer when we were there, so I’m not sure if there’s supposed to be one.  The handler took a picture with our cell phones and they came out terrible and blurry.  That’s a little bit of a bummer, but it is what it is.  I do feel like for the price you’re paying for the restaurant overall, they should have a Photo Pass photographer in there – even if you’re not planning to buy the Photo Pass photos, these guys are trained photographers and would take a better picture.

Overall, I’m glad we went to Be Our Guest to experience the restaurant itself.  It’s a really beautiful place.  I was charmed by the West Wing and could have honestly sat in there for a while just enjoying it.  For people who like finding these things – there’s a Hidden Mickey in the West Wing and a Hidden Minnie in the Ballroom (these are apparently quite rare).  I personally would not go back – I have no real desire to check out the other dining rooms, and the food was just not worth the price.  The menu at Chefs du France in Epcot is very similar, and it’s less expensive.

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That’s it, mes chers!  We are done with Disney posts!  I can’t believe the feature ended up being this long.  I think I jumped in a little bit over my head with talking about the dining, but eh.  It is what it is.

The Whispering Canyon Cafe: ★★
Chefs du France: ★★★★
The Hoop-de-Doo Musical Revue: ★★★★★★★★★
1900 Park Faire: ★★★★
Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen: ★★★★ (★★★★★★★★★★ with a punny waiter)
Be Our Guest: ★★★

Thanks for sticking with me through all this and I hope if you’re ever planning to take a trip to Orlando that some of these things are useful to you!  Even with getting sick, we had a lot of fun, ate a lot of good food, and would love to visit again in a few years

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Would you go to any of these restaurants?

Where would you eat at Be Our Guest – the ballroom, West Wing, or Belle’s room?

Do you enjoy dinner shows?
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