View Full Version : Restaurants - Resort Restaurant or Off Site
22-05-2012, 01:32 PM
We are finding that we tend to eat less and less at the restaurants on Disney property, we will have snacks and the odd counter service meal, but on the last visit we didn't have a meal at a Resort restaurant at all.
We have our favourites, the Cheesecake Factory, Longhorn, Charleys, Columbia, Villa de Flora at Gaylord Palms all of which are off site. I think the only restaurant I would probably go to now would be the Yachtsman and that would only be if Ricardo was there.
Do you prefer to eat at Disney Restaurants, are you like us and eat off site or do you combine the two?
22-05-2012, 02:37 PM
Donna and I still enjoy dining at the Disney restaurants, especially the signature ones. Of course we have our favorites where we go almost every time such as JIKO and Yachtsman. We always give Ricky a heads up that we are coming so that we make our ADR when we know he is there. If he is on vacation we normally choose a different restaurant.
22-05-2012, 02:43 PM
I like to try different resturants each year. I always go to RAGLAN ROADAND off site I sometimes go to PERKINS for breakfast
22-05-2012, 03:33 PM
We only tend to eat on site when we are actually staying on Disney property....apart from the first and last nights of our vacation when it has now become a ritual to dine at the YSH so that we can say "Hello" and "Goodbye" to Ricardo.
At least when we eat off site, we don`t have to plan 180 days ahead!!!
22-05-2012, 03:41 PM
We've almost completely abandoned Disney restaurants for offsite ones.
As I sit here trying to think of a must do Disney restaurant now, I can't.
In a way, it's a bit depressing, I used to love wandering round EPCOT nipping into le cellier for a nice evening meal. California grill, yachtsmans and so on. They just got too expensive for the experience and quality of food/service v offsite.
Of course, the dining plan hasn't helped. There's no last minute walk in to most nice restaurants now and I really feel that some of the restaurants have changed the menu according to what they're willing to "give away" on the plan. ie. portions down, more expensive ingredients swapped so that the whole menu is still workable on the dining plan credits.
California Grill the other night, $175 for the two of us albeit really nice table and view of the fireworks. Charleys a few nights later $95 down to $70 with one of their almost always available $25 off coupons. Sorry to say but the food was much better at Charleys.
Disney have a captive audience and it's working out great for them but I'm very glad we were persuaded to hire a car and thus are able to dine offsite nowadays.
22-05-2012, 03:45 PM
Well put Keith, those are my sentiments entirely. :yes:
As you say, having a car enables you to have some great meals at a fraction of the cost that you would pay on site.
22-05-2012, 03:57 PM
......................... but I'm very glad we were persuaded to hire a car and thus are able to dine offsite nowadays.
Oh can I say it, can I, can I.............I'm going to anyway......................We told you so!! :lol:
More and more offsite now.
In fact next trip we're planning one character meal and a last night dinner on site. Everything else will be snacks or offsite or eating at the villa.
Stupid dining plan has ruined it all.
22-05-2012, 06:47 PM
Think you are spot on with the demise caused by the dining plan. In general, it seems like it was much better service all ways round in our first trips to the park in the late 1980's.
But that said, we always eat in the park. We have enough chains where we live that going out on Idrive doesn't thrill me at all.
We do love to sneak away a bit....we found Olivia's in OKW to be a nice place.
23-05-2012, 02:51 AM
Wow good question we go to Disney 3 to 4 times a year . Two trips ago we decided to try all different restaurants
off property so we would not eat same type of meal twice . We do like trails end in Fort wilderness and we always
ate at Chief Mickeys but over the last few years the quality went down and the price went up so off property we go.
How ever being from NewEngland a trip to EPCOT for fish&chips the out door stand is still a must.
23-05-2012, 04:09 AM
Most of our recent trips have been during free dining times. We still enjoy Teppen Edo, Ohana and Yachtsman as well as a couple of character meals. I agree that you can get better food for a better price off property but I don't like leaving the property until I've checked out. I guess if I had to pay out of pocket for each meal I would consider heading off property.
23-05-2012, 08:03 AM
I still think there are some goo places to eat, Boma, Teppan Edo, Yak and Yeti, Kona Cafe spring to mind. I like theming and disney still does that well, entertainment wise Biergarten was great, i dont really like buffets/character meals, dont like all the getting up and down and seeing all the waste! Would I pay for all the restaurants we visited last year out of pocket? Probably not but when you're going anyway at a free dining time with two teens you're not going to turn down free food. At £146 a night for a one bedroom dvc resort with 4 adults including dining and accomodation it's a no brainer!
23-05-2012, 10:39 AM
If you are free dining it's different, but the service is so poor now compared to what it used to be that I would rather spend my money somewhere else, get better food and pay less :( I feel that the Guests who pay for their food are subsidising the free dining :shrug: :sorry:
Free dining was the worst thing Disney ever did in my opinion, or they should have only allowed the signature restaurants to be included for Deluxe and DVC Guests. If you were on the dining plan and wanted to eat at a signature restaurant I think there should be a surcharge on top of the credit deduction or even a different set menu. That's just my opinion though :shrug:
23-05-2012, 11:07 AM
I always eat onsite. I feel no need to leave disney, even when I did have my car. I think it's the experience more than anything. Don't get me wrong, I do tend to buy a few groceries to have in the room. However, once I'm at disney, it's my little special place away from everything....the rest of the world can wait until I return.
23-05-2012, 02:40 PM
I have to agree that I think the Free Dining ruined it for all of us. But I still believe they could fix that problem. Designate 1 beef dish, one chicken dish, one fish dish and one vegetarian dish as available on the free plan for entrees and then let them go back to fixing the good stuff for those of us who are OOP.
23-05-2012, 05:24 PM
I like eating off site. I like staying off site as well. I'm not one who thinks that I need to be on Disney property to experience all of the magic. I'm not knocking this who do but just going to Disney is my magic :-)
Now when we go for free dining, we are eating all meals on site. And i miss going off site. There are lots of places we don't have at home that I like to try.
I find that if I'm eating on site and I'm not on the dining plan, they I think the good is far too overpriced, even with my Tables in Wonderland discount. I don't know that eating on site is even worth it if not using the dining plan.
I know a lot if people talk about the dining plan dumbing down the menus. This is true but Disney is doing the dumbing down all through out the resort. You used to get POTC merchandise outside of POTC. Now you can get it just about anywhere. Lots of examples like that. They are also doing the same thing with the Disney Parks stuff. I might as well buy souvenirs off site as well.
23-05-2012, 06:06 PM
i don't like the idea of the limited menu or restaurants, i think maybe just get rid of it. I know if i was eating out of pocket i'd probably limit it to a couple of restaurants on site a trip, they're expensive for what they are so i completely see your point. I do remember that when ours were little it was approx $100 inc tax and tip for everything including a couple of beers.
23-05-2012, 06:52 PM
i don't like the idea of the limited menu or restaurants, i think maybe just get rid of it.
...and that's what Disney did wrong IMHO.
They started off and wanted every table booked solid in hard times, the way to do that was to give everything away.
Then the economics kicked in a bit and they started thinking well hang on, if everyone tries the most expensive dishes on every menu, we're not doing too well on this!
The obvious thing would have been to have a special dining plan menu as John says with a few set items on it.
Problem is, once they'd given people the world, they can't easily go back without everyone saying oh how pathetic, I wont bother then.
23-05-2012, 07:15 PM
well i'm sure the grumblings of a few people on an internet forum won't change things LOL. Next time i go it will probably be to a villa and now i know the range of restaurants off site i will probably just go to old favourites like Boma
23-05-2012, 07:35 PM
well i'm sure the grumblings of a few people on an internet forum won't change things LOL.
thats for sure, they'll go on hard numbers :yes: but I do think that the stats may start reflecting what we've said here. The people willing to pay more for a nice meal are being put off by hoards on cheaper plans... I can't see them liking that long term trend
23-05-2012, 08:07 PM
They aren't getting rid of DDP. It's a money maker for them.
23-05-2012, 08:10 PM
why is it a money maker Johnie?
23-05-2012, 08:48 PM
why is it a money maker Johnie?
Regular DDP ensures that you're spending all your dining bucks onsite. It fills most of the restaurants to capacity and makes everyone book many days out meaning they know what quantities of food they'll need far in advance. They can then negotiate the best prices. So, best price for the raw materials, known full restaurants, and keeping people onsite meaning they spend way more on other items like souvenirs, drinks etc.
The Free dining plan gets people to the parks at quieter times, at full resort prices (usually) and has all the other advantages to Disney other than them paying for your food which, remember, they're paying at cost not the price you see on the menu.
It's a fantastic money maker for Disney
23-05-2012, 10:15 PM
I guess I didn't think of it like that and that's why I'd never make a good business woman! Lol
24-05-2012, 12:47 AM
Exactly. It also allows people to stay longer, paying rack rate for the resort, possibly adding days to their ticket and spending more money on souvenirs.
DME was supposed to be a free test thing and then they were going to start charging for it. It's still free. Why??? Because it keeps people onsite. People are less likely to rent a car because it's a hassle or they don't want to try to figure out a strange city and people think taxis are cost prohibitive.
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