Friday, December 5, 2014

Restaurants You Should Feel Free to Skip

     While Walt Disney World provides dining experiences that can and will surprise and delight you with their ambiance, fare, taste, service, and immersive themes, not all of them are perfect. The purpose of this article is not to point out which restaurants at Disney World are bad, but rather which ones you should skip in favor of another truly great and memorable experience. Here are several places you should probably skip over in favor of something better:

  1. Rainforest Cafe: There are two of them on property, and they are both fun and loud and bright. They have fun fish tanks and big colors and talking animals and trees, and your kids may beg to eat there. However, most of you can go down to your local mega-mall and find your own Rainforest Cafe, and it will be just as good as this. First of all, go into any of the theme parks, and you will find animatronic animals that are much more life-like and beautiful than these ones. The food is usually far below average, and WAY below the Disney standard of dining. Children will be screaming, and the intercom will ring with "Johnson Safari of nine, please approach the elephant". My suggestion, use this as a secret entrance to the Animal Kingdom, and nothing else. 
  2. San Angel Inn: This is a tough one for me. The dining area itself is beautiful, and sends you into another world of pyramids and romantic night-time strolls on Mayan shores. However, a couple of things make this place unappealing to me. First, the food is so very expensive. I am always keeping in mind that Disney food is inherently expensive, but this is beyond that. You can easily spend $100 on a few tacos and ice cream for two people here. Please ride the ride, get a margarita at La Cava, and avoid this place. Look and don't eat.
  3. Liberty Tree Tavern: I have complicated feelings here also. I have fond memories eating mashed potatoes and Turkey and rolling back to the Resort. However, I think I have to come clean and say you shouldn't eat here. The food is something you can easily eat at home, and will render you large and rotund. The gravy is usually... solid. The atmosphere is cozy, but it is also fairly boring. It is also insanely expensive to feed your family here. I would say that you will learn more, enjoy more, and have a more Magic Kingdom experience if you walk across the street to the Columbia Harbor House. See this blog post as to why you should go there.
  4. Hollywood and Vine: This restaurant sits, ironically, right next to the 50's Prime Time Cafe at Hollywood Studios. It is a buffet meal, and will sit you at cushy booths with your family in a vaguely themed but mostly green Hollywood... room. Now, you will be spending about $50 per person for as much good food as you can scarf, which is pretty standard fare at an expensive Disney Restaurant. However, you know where you could eat for less money and have a wonderful and memorable experience? Right next door at the Prime Time. You will have more fun, eat less, be happier, and leave smiling.  
  5. Yak and Yeti: Now I must say that I have had a small sample size here, and that this review is intended for the sit-down portion. When I went, I ordered a chicken salad. When I got it, it was canned tangerines on top of lettuce, with no chicken. I sent it back, and the salad I got back was smaller, and the waiter was mad at me. So if I were you, I would head on over to Tusker House in Africa. I must also say that the art and decor here is beautiful. I spent most of my time walking around and looking, because I am a huge dork. Do the same! Just ask if you can walk around. 
     I hope this helps out your dining plans on your next trip!