View Full Version : Where to stay for best nice eating options?

08-04-2009, 03:23 PM
I am trying my very best to not get too overexcited at the thought that I may very well be going to Disney in the next year but I have been doing a bit of this :tralala:as well as a teensy amount of this:excited:

I have put this query into general as it's about which resort to stay in, but strongly tied into eating out too :yes:

Mr Deb and I have agreed we will go to Disney either this Autumn or around February-ish next year (dependent on a couple of other things). A little background: Mr Deb has been to WDW 3 times before, and each time stayed at the GF :unimpressed: These trips were with his ex and his kids (now in their late teens) and so even though he has done luxury Disney, he has never done "grown-up" Disney. I have been 5 times, three of those trips were for 3 weeks, but have never stayed on Disney property. He has listened to my account of how different Disney can be when done without kidlets in tow, and he is quite excited for us to go together. My little dilemma is this.

We both love eating out in restaurants, and enjoying our meals is a huge part of our holidays, but also like to not overplan our time. We want to stay onsite (but I have missed my chance of staying at the GF now as I don't want him to associate it too much with his previous ones). On previous trips I have always been able to more or less eat where I wanted to when I wanted (with a few exceptions of course). The type of stay we have discussed is maybe staying in one of the EPCOT area hotels, like Beach Club or Boardwalk so that we can wander into the World Showcase in the evening a few times and enjoy some food or drinks, or get to one of the more easily accessable hotel restaurants. We really like the sound of that. However, I have not been since the free dining plan kicked in and I seem to hear so many reports of being unable to get into places without booking months in advance, and not being able to operate any spontaneity in when or where you eat if it's for full sit-down service. I'd like to know your opinions and experiences of this, as well as any suggestions as to how we can make this work most effectively, or whether there's a better area to stay to take full advantage of this. Downtown Disney would probably be very good for this too I guess? (that's of course if we go, she said very cautiously as she doesn't want to tempt fate :angel: ).

Thanks all :hug2:

08-04-2009, 05:17 PM
Deb, for starters I think that a lot of the problems with people not being able to get into where they want are because of the overlap in the old 180 day ADR and the new 90 day ADR. I really think that as the 180 finally phases out, next month I believe, that you'll have more availability. IMHO the AKL now has 3 great restaurants within, BOMA, JIKO, and the new SANAA. Although SANAA doesn't open until 1 May.

Staying in the Boardwalk area you will have your choice of, as you say, EPCOT dining and for a upscale adventure here I would recommend the Bistro de Paris upstairs over Chefs de France. You also have Flying Fish at the Boardwalk, the new Cat Cora restaurant which will be replacing Spoodles, the Yachtsman Steakhouse and just a short walk away in the Swan & Dolphin, several more fine restaurants from which to choose.

08-04-2009, 05:44 PM
i think you would really love Animal Kingdom Lodge because of the animals, i'm presuming you would like the African themed food?

alternatively you could stay at the contemporary-there is the california grill onsite but a small monorail ride away there are polynesian and GF to visit too. Or a bit more out of the way and possibly more romantic the wilderness lodge with Artist's point and a short journey to the epcot hotels

I think though the first time we go without kids will be to one of the epcot resorts as we love to wander the world showcase at night

haven't been much help have i :unsure: :sorry:

edited to say: what about a split stay?

08-04-2009, 06:12 PM
I think both Britchick and John have given great ideas for places to stay. I think that if you are on property in either location (near monorail) you aren't far away from great places to eat. We have stayed in the Poly and at Boardwalk and you have great options. From the Poly you have the places in the Contempary as well as Ohana and the fine places at the GF. From the Boardwalk, you not only have the places mentioned by USCwest, but you could go by boat over to WDW Studios and go to the Brown Derby too. Ok so not really posh, but nice.

08-04-2009, 08:16 PM
Thanks all for the replies. Brit, we would love the AKL for the animals and the theming, but I wouldn't like the restriction of only being able to eat at their restaurants (however great they are) without travelling. That's probably the only hotel we'd consider a split stay for as we'd really like to experience it there - but anywhere else possibly wouldn't be worth it to us as once we're unpacked and settled we like to stay and chill!

Thanks for the info about the 180/90 day ADRs John. I guess what I really neeed to know is if we stay in the EPCOT area would we still be able to get reservations at places we'd like to at short notice? Like Cellier or Bistro de Paris? Like on the day or the day before? I don't mind making a few ADRs but I'd like to keep a lot loose to see how we feel on the day - for example, some days we may not want to eat out at all if we're staying late at MK or something. And I'm guessing DTD places like Puck's aren't part of the free dining plan so are the same as they ever were?

08-04-2009, 08:39 PM
Pucks is on the disney dining plan Deb

i know what you mean by staying and chilling, have you thought about getting a cab between resorts so you don't have to worry about other forms of transport? we have done that a few times.

09-04-2009, 12:04 AM
Trust me?
Stay at the Beach Club. :9: :D :D :D

It's one of the best (ok, for us THE best) locations for an adult holiday. :yes:

Also, if you want to venture off property, get a cab at DTD and head to the Dr. Phillips area. It's not really set up too well for walking, but you do have a nice variety of good restaurants that can be traveled between on foot. :yes:

I surely do hope you get to go! :yes:

09-04-2009, 11:51 AM
The chances of getting Le Cellier, with its popularity, are relatively slim for a last minute choice. I don't think you can even book Bistro de Paris until you are 30 days out though.

09-04-2009, 11:56 AM
The chances of getting Le Cellier, with its popularity, are relatively slim for a last minute choice. I don't think you can even book Bistro de Paris until you are 30 days out though.

John's spot on correct. I'm afraid the days of walking up to Le Cellier and getting in have long since gone (unless it's at a VERY quiet time and you're VERY lucky).

Le Cellier is particularly bad because it's considered by many to be the most expensive you can go to on one dining plan credit.

In fact, the last several times we've been, EPCOT have had boards up saying "No more table service ADRs available today, try the following quick service (counter) places"

Now the resort restaurants tend to be easier to get into and of course the EPCOT area has a load of those as people have already said. So staying there gives you a lot of options without having to travel.

09-04-2009, 02:42 PM
Never been but I understand the Artists Palate is very very good.

1900 Park Fare has always been good to us, we like Ohanas too.

09-04-2009, 07:42 PM
I tend to favour the EPCOT resorts for the variety of dining options within a short distance of any of the resorts. If the WDW resorts don't have any special rates for your holiday dates, be sure to consider the Swan & Dolphin. They sometimes have very good rates, although they aren't official Disney resorts. You wouldn't feel as immersed in Disney as you would at the other resorts, but if the budget fits... :D

Best guess is there won't be many table service venues available on short notice. Even without free dining, the TS venues have been extremely busy during our visits since 2006. That doesn't mean there might not be when you visit, but it would be better to plan any TS dining you really want to experience well in advance--and hope for availability for any others.