If you’ve been reading my series, you’ll recall that the majority of the places I ate at were good – and that ranked everywhere from yummmmmmmmy to absolutely amazing! All the places I highly recommend. The next part of the series focuses on the “Not-so-Bad” or the mediocre dining experiences. These places weren’t stellar (like Be our Guest) but they weren’t so bad and I would consider dining at them again. Here we take a trip to Magic Kingdom, Downtown Disney,and a Dinner Show.
Crystal Palace, Magic Kingdom – Although one buffet is usually enough for me on a Disney trip (we had a few), I had to throw in a character meal for my little princess since it was her first trip. Since she’s actually not into princesses yet (except for Sofia for some reason), I chose the Crystal Palace. It’s been so long since I’ve been here I don’t think they had characters last time I was here! Like most of the sit down restaurants in Magic Kingdom, reservations are hard to come by and even with them you often wait as we did for about 20 minutes. Once we were called it was exciting to see Winnie the Pooh and friends all over the place. If it’s one thing I can commend them on, it’s the character rotation. Winnie, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet were out the entire time and make a point to stop at every table. The food was average here, some items were good, some were not good enough to go back for seconds (and regretfully firsts). Although the variety of food is quite large and refilled very often, I wasn’t that impressed with the food. You’ll find carving stations, pasta dishes, chicken items and a dessert bar. There’s enough variety offered for everyone in your party. The awesome character interaction is the star here, not the food. It’s worth a return trip for me, especially if Pooh remains as popular as he is now with my little princess. Rating B
Fulton’s Crab House, Downtown Disney– On our last day we headed to Downtown Disney for some shopping and needed a light lunch (since we knew we were chowing down at Boma later). Fulton’s Crab House, a seafood resto on the water, had no wait for indoor seating AND they let me wheel my sleeping beauty up to the table in her stroller! I’ve been here when it’s busier and seen hour plus wait times for dinner. Just a bunch of appetizers here but overall good. We had some Florida oysters which were fresh and tasty. We also tried one of the specials, Conch Fritters, which were ok, too much filler not enough conch. The last dish we shared was the Shrimp Po’Boy and Caesar Salad combo, which just wasn’t authentic enough for me and thrown together haphazardly. Again, ok, nothing spectacular but worth a return visit in the future. I’ve eaten dinner here before and really loved it. Rating B
Spirit of Aloha at the Polynesian Resort– I’m a Hoop Dee Doo (HDD) girl true and true. With that said I needed to revisit the Luau to see if I had been missing anything since my last visit over ten years ago since our last trip we hit up HDD. This dinner show is very entertaining, featuring songs from Lilo & Stitch, a hokey story line, fabulous dancing and an awesome fire dancer show. The food is pretty average fare though, served family-style, all-you-can-eat – bring an appetite to this show. Appetizers start out with pineapple-coconut bread, Asian apple pear slaw and Hawaiian potato salad (not sure what made it “Hawaiian” because it wasn’t much different than your summer BBQ type). I couldn’t get enough of the fresh, crunchy slaw, the other two apps were just okay for me. For the main course you are served roast pork and chicken, Polynesian riceand vegetables. Although the main course was fine by my standards, nothing is really unique here or screaming “Polynesian-style.” I prefer the ribs and fried chicken at Hoop Dee Doo. Dessert was chocolate macadamia nut mousse, not outstanding but then again, I’m not a fan of macadamia nuts. The service was excellent here – refilling our food quickly, sometimes without us asking, and accommodating my toddler who cannot eat nuts yet. The show was great but I don’t think the two Disney dining credits or the high price tag is worth it (roughly $70 per person). I think it’s also more appealing to adults. I didn’t notice too many children enjoying the show (including our toddler and tween). Skip it and head to Hoop Dee Doo, especially if you have children. Rating = B
Again, these restaurants aren’t terrible, but they just didn’t live up to the standard set by places like Be Our Guest, Le Cellier or 50s Prime Time Café for me. However, they were all decent, average meals. If my first choice restaurant wasn’t available I would definitely eat again at any of these places. Our next stop is the “Not-so-Bad” joints at Epcot…
View more articles from The Good, the Not-so-Bad and the Ugly Dining Series by Danielle: