Get Your Ears On- It's a Good, Good, Good, Deluxe Time

jenjersnap

yadda yadda yadda
Joined
Sep 18, 2004
Love the way you structured this review! So excited to eat at Storybook this year.

We enjoy DxDP too, none of the “too much” criticisms have made any sense to us (other than the price 😂).
 
  • DisneyBroadwayFan

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2018
    Tusker House Breakfast
    Reservation Time: 8:00AM
    Check in Time: 7:56AM
    Seated Time: 8:02 AM
    Meal Duration: 53 Minutes​

    Before we jump into the meal, let me say that this reservation time gave us the really cool added bonus of being the first people to reach Discovery Island for the day and capture these photos with the tree of life. It was amazing to walk through the park with literally no one else around us as we were the front of the dining reservation pack and walked significantly faster than the parties behind us.


    Drinks Ordered: Jungle Juice- Classic Passionfruit, Orange and Guava Mixture, Spiked Coffee with Bailey’s, Spiked Jungle Juice with a splash of Peach Vodka.


    OUR THOUGHTS: The POG juice was delicious as always and a nice refreshing thing to be greeted with at 8am when the body is still trying to wake up. Even though we usually aren’t big drinkers in our regular life, we decided to take advantage of the drink at every meal on our plan. She wanted to have some coffee anyways this early in the day so she decided on the spiked coffee drink and I decided on a spiked version of the jungle juice. For some reason I can’t seem to find any record of the names of these drinks anywhere on the internet so I’m going to do my best to just describe them for you. Her coffee drink was delicious and strong and although it was clear the alcohol was present the rich flavor of the coffee was what stood out above all the other notes of flavor. I’m not a coffee drinker but, the sip I had was indeed quite good if not a bit too strong for this coffee avoider. My spiked Dog juice was very good but it was a tad forgettable. I’m glad I had it and it was a nice addition to the proceedings, but the flavor wasn’t wildly different and it honestly wasn’t spiked enough to truly differentiate it from the regular Jungle Juice. We didn’t have any water with this meal which we definitely remembered later on during our walking, so from this point on we always had water with whatever we were drinking to keep extra hydrated on these long days.
     


  • DisneyBroadwayFan

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2018
    Tusker House Breakfast Continued

    Entree Selection: Traditional breakfast fare buffet with unique and Flavorful African influence. Spit-Roasted Bone-in Ham; Spiced Corn Beef Hash with Cornbread Topping; Scrambled Eggs; Simba and Nala Waffles; Potato and Leek Frittata; Ham and Cheese Frittata; Beef Bobotie; Seasonal Vegetable Quiche; Oven-roasted Red Skin Potatoes; Coconut-Sweet Potato Casserole; Basmati Rice with Lemon, Cinnamon, and Cardamon; Sweet Plantains; Sweet and Spicy Honey Mustard; Cheese Blintz with Cheery or Apple Topping; Tater Tot Potatoes; Bacon; Sausage Patties; Warm Maple Syrup; Whipped Butter; Froot Loops; Rice Crispies; Mealie Pap; Oatmeal; Raisins; Biscuits; Sausage Gravy; Raisin Bran; Frosted Flakes; Granola; Lemon- Poppyseed Bread; Assorted Yogurts; Cantaloupe, Pineapple, Honeydew, Watermelon, Bananas, and Grapes; Cottage Cheese, Vegetable Cream Cheese; Plain Cream Cheese; Jams, Jellies, and Fruit Chutneys; Whole Grain Breads; Orange Bread; Cornbread; Banana Bread; Coffee Cake; Glazed Donut Holes; Mealie Cornbread; Apple Turnovers; Strawberry Turnover; Mini Plain Crossaints; Mini Chocolate Crossaints; Warm Cinnamon Rolls; Fruit Cobbler; Banana-Cinnamon Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce. Beverages include orange juice, coffee, tea, milk, chocolate milk and soda. Children's menu available upon request (Ages 3-9 - $15.99)



    OUR THOUGHTS: I have to start with the fact that we were literally the first people up to the Buffet so all of the food was hot and fresh. This did however lead us to be the ones to catch a mistake that could have been not so fun had we caught it early. I had selected the Bacon and Cheese Omelette off the buffet while she had selected the plain Cheese Omelette. Well Imagine our surprise when we got back to the table to find that her omelette was filled with little bits of bacon and mine was plain cheese. We quickly alerted our server and this was immediately corrected, but we wondered how many people had gone up before we were able to catch this mistake. Once we switched with one another we agreed that our omelettes were indeed tasty. I had both the sausage and the bacon and both were well cooked and had great flavor to them. I prefer my bacon on the crispier side so it was perfect for my taste, but I don’t recall seeing any pieces that were not crispy. I had to grab some tater tots off the kids station because they are just something I can’t resist. They were absolutely perfect with the way they were crunchy on the outside, but then light and fluffy on the inside. The waffles were your typical Disney waffles, but the Simba and Nala waffles were a nice touch in addition to the usual Mickey variety and they were tasty. The Rice had a nice flavor to it which tasted like a hint of Jasmine to me and was something nice and different from the usual breakfast fare. The Blueberry bread you see on top was fine, but a bit dry for my taste. It was thick and had the consistency of a blueberry muffin but the ratio of blueberries was too low to inject the flavor that I felt it needed. I also had the regular potatoes which were very good and had a nice balance of crisp and salt although on my second plate I sided with a second round of the Tots for my continued potato experience. She had the Vegetable Quiche and really enjoyed the medley of flavors and felt they worked together in a nice balance. I went out of my comfort zone and tried the Beef Bobotie which was very enjoyable, but I have to say that I did not finish up the whole portion of it, as it was good, but would prefer to fill myself with something else. I also tried the chocolate pastry which was mighty tasty and she had the zebra coffee cake which was to die for. When all was said and done it was a nice assortment of food with good flavor and we felt full enough to carry on with our day.


    Service: Our server was excellent and attentive and was constantly making sure our glasses were full and that our plates were cleared away. She also was very good about making sure that the food was all good and fresh on our trips up and paced the meal in an efficient manner where service happened quickly but did not feel rushed. Being in such an early seating also meant that other servers were not as busy and it gave us time to chat and interact with several cast members besides our server who came to talk with us. As one of us is a former CM, these experiences of just having real talks with people who work at the parks are such a special part of our experience and are honestly more memorable than some of the attractions we do. Having this early seating allowed us the opportunity to connect in a way that you sometimes can’t when it is more crowded.


    Character Interaction: Again, another place where we all know the draw of coming to eat is the friends who come and visit during the meal. This is where we began to notice a pattern with booking one of the first meals of a time block for that particular offering. Although we were sat promptly at 8:02 AM, The Characters did not arrive to start their rounds until 8:21AM. I don’t mean that it took 18 minutes for our table to see them, more that it took that long fr anyone to see them. And I’m sure this is where you think I’m going to complain about this, but in reality this is perfect and will encourage me to book the earliest possible seating for this reason. First of all when you walk in and characters are already meeting you have to take the time to stop and try and figure out the pattern they see tables in and try and see if you can run up and get food and not risk having the character walk by your table while are up and getting food. This first block of no characters allowed us time to settle in our seats, order our drinks and then go get food and start eating without any of those worries. We met Goofy, Daisy, Donald, and Mickey in that order. Because there were fewer tables the space between when each character visited was greatly reduced from prior character dining experiences. They also had the freedom to spend more time interacting and sharing different poses with us. We saw these characters each later on in the trip again and while these weren’t our favorite interactions with each of these pals, they would have been more than enough if this was our only time with them.

    https://flic.kr/p/2idXjKQ https://flic.kr/p/2idYnZ4
    All things considered we would do this again as it was quick and tasted good and provided us with a nice chance to meet the Pals in their safari outfits. We also got out at such a time that we could have had a head start on rope dropping safari if we wanted to, but decided to go see Russel and Doug instead. Seeing an empty Animal Kingdom alone was worth it, but the quality of the meal made this top notch.
    https://flic.kr/p/2idYnpG
     

    DisneyBroadwayFan

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2018
    Minnie’s Silver Screen Dine at Hollywood and Vine
    Reservation Time: 3:55 PM
    Check in Time: 3:50 PM
    Seated Time: 3:53PM
    Meal Duration: 63 Minutes


    https://flic.kr/p/2ie7CNr


    Drinks Ordered:
    Celebrity Margarita- Jose Cuervo Tradicional Tequila, Cointreau, Lime Juice, and Sweet-and-Sour
    Magical Star Cocktail-X-Fusion organic Mango and Passion Fruit Liqueur, Parrot Bay Coconut Rum, Pineapple Juice, and a souvenir multicolored Glow Cube


    Our Thoughts
    The Celebrity Margarita was just as you would think- a classic margarita. If you are looking for something simple and standard, this one is for you. It also was surprisingly strong which was a nice contrast to most of the other drinks that we tried throughout our whole trip. The Magical Star Cocktail was deliciously fruity, and the multicolored glow cube made it that much more fun. It was refreshing and light and sweet which is exactly how I personally like my drinks.



    Entree Selection: Creative Array of Salads, Freshly Made Soup, Pastas and Baked Breads, Roasted Carved Meats, Seasonal Fish, Peel-n-Eat Shrimp, Chicken, Vegetable Creation


    Our Thoughts: .The highlight for our plates were the shrimp and lobster Mac and cheese and the spinach salad with strawberries, mandarin oranges, goat cheese and a balsamic dressing. The shrimp and lobster Mac had nice chunks of seafood in it and was deliciously creamy. It was nice to have a more luxurious Mac and Cheese and the taste was surprisingly delicious.The salad was well balanced and had generous chunks of the goat cheese and the fruit which were a great combination with the balsamic. I definitely went up for a second portion of the later. We really made this meal more about getting the veggies and the lighter options especially since we knew we would be having another meal later on in the night and since we ate a lot of heavier foods in the rest of our dining adventures. All of the vegetables were just what I needed, but the spinach salad was far and above the highlight. My raving for tater tots struck again and I also had some corndog nuggets off the kid buffet which were both quite tasty. The mashed potatoes were also delicious and we enjoyed the bread selection with the salad with a special shout out to the pretzel roll. Our negatives had to be all of the protein choices. The meat from the carving station was a bit bloody and too rare for my taste. I went to try it anyway, but it was so difficult to cut that I gave up trying and got myself another plate of something I did enjoy. The salmon was not the best either. It had some sort of bland semblance of flavor and was a bit dry for our taste. I will say that the sweet and sour meatballs were quite enjoyable, but the selection here overall was nothing to write home about.
     

    DisneyBroadwayFan

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2018
    Minnie’s Silver Screen Dine at Hollywood and Vine CONTINUED
    Dessert Selection: House-made Sweets, Soft-serve Ice Cream

    WE SEEMED TO FORGET PICTURES OF THESE…SORRY WE GOOFED!
    https://flic.kr/p/2ie5urz


    Our Thoughts: There were many options for desserts, but they weren’t anything memorable. We were surprised that the dessert selection more closely seemed to fit the Holiday Dine from the night before as opposed to the Silver Screen Theme that restarted this night. Things like Eggnog Cheesecake and Gingerbread Mousse cake felt a little out of place but they tasted descent enough. My one regret is not using the Ice Cream machines that was definitely the surest bet.

    Service: Our waitress was very sweet, and made sure that we had our included alcoholic drink in addition to coffee and water to keep energy up. The meal was again quick but not rushed and the check was delivered in a timely fashion which was much appreciated.


    Character Interaction: THIS is why you go to Hollywood and Vine for dinner. The character interactions are phenomenal. You walk in the door and get the chance to meet and pose with Mickey in his Hollywood tux before you are escorted to your table. We got incredibly lucky that we actually got to see the characters shortly after being seated, and again before we left. The fact that the characters made two full rounds to our table in under an hour was amazing and a huge plus. Donald was the biggest highlight of this meal, and we talked about how he should be the star of Fantasmic. He was more than willing to show us his best moves and seeing Donald perform the whole opening Choreography of Fantasmic! Was not just the highlight of the meal, but one of the highlights of the whole trip. All the characters here were exceptional.

    https://flic.kr/p/2ie6xHD
    We Probably can't wholeheartedly recommend the food, but the characters made this something we were glad to do. The added bonus of reserved prime seating for Fantasmic! made this absolutely worth it for us, especially on the dining plan.​
     
  • DisneyBroadwayFan

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2018
    Topolino's Terrace Dinner
    Reservation Time: 9:20PM
    Check in Time: 9:10PM
    Seated Time: 9:22 PM
    Meal Duration: 80 Minutes​

    Drinks Ordered:
    Frizzante Anise Brezza- Ricard Pastis de Marseille, Cointreau Noir, Lillet Blanc, Honey, Lemon, Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco Superiore
    Champagne Cocktail- Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut, Aperol, Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth


    Our Thoughts:
    The Frizzante Anise Brezza was such a refreshing start to the meal. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for something fresh and simple but with more of a twist than a plain glass of wine. The Champange Cocktail was our server’s recommended drink and I am certainly happy that I took him up on this recommendation. It was light and refreshing and as our server pointed out it had a nice pallet cleansing quality to it which was much appreciated.


    Appetizer Selection:
    Gnocchi- Duck Confit, Pesto Bianco, Garden Kale, Pine Nuts
    Winter Pumpkin Ravioli- Wild Mushroom Conserva, Brodo, Pumpkin Seed Oil
    Signature Fresh Baked Bread and Olive Oils


    Our Thoughts:
    Everything about the gnocchi was absolutely delicious. I was left wishing that it was an option on the entrees list. Our vegetarian also loved the gnocchi but wished that there was an option of it without the duck so she could’ve had it as her own appetizer. The Duck was well seasoned and delicious and across the whole trip, I might have considered this my perfect bite. Our server noted this is also one of his personal favorites. The Winter Pumpkin Ravioli was also delicious, though the oil was very salty, so if you are not a huge salt fan I would choose a different appetizer. It was a compliment to the sweetness of the pumpkin ravioli. The dish is served with one large ravioli, and the server pours the pumpkin seed oil over it when presented at the table. The pasta was cooked perfectly on both these dishes and it was very impressive that on a ravioli of this size the inside and the edge were both cooked perfectly. The fresh baked bread signature to the restaurant with two types of olive oils were served at this time. The Italian oil is more of your classic olive oil, while the French one had more of a bite to it. I personally preferred the more French inspired oil which had the darker coloring and richer more olive flavor to it. The bread was very nice and was easy to pull apart and soft texture with a nice crunchy outer shell.
     

    DisneyBroadwayFan

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2018
    Topolino's Terrace Dinner Continued

    Entree Selection:
    King Salmon Mi-Cuit- Artichoke Risotto, Sauce Vierge, Upland Cress, French Olive Oil
    Filet Mignon- Truffled Mashed Potatoes, Charred Torpedo Onion, Forest Mushroom Purée, Vinaigrette


    Our Thoughts:
    The King Salmon Mi-Cuit was a DELICIOUS dish! The salmon is broiled rather than baked, so it is not your usual cook, but everything about it was tender and was cooked to perfection. It also had a flavor that was full and fresh and in no way had the unwanted fishy flavor that can sometimes be associated with salmon. The artichoke risotto was also a fantastic compliment to the salmon. It was creamy and perfectly seasoned. The risotto was well flavored enough and so delightful that it could have stood alone as it’s own entree and I would have been very satisfied with it. If you are a salmon fan, I would highly recommend this dish. The Filet Mignon left something to be desired. The portion size was a bit small to start off with and although it was a tender piece of meat, it wasn’t among the best filets that I’ve had in my life. The server had said the prime rib was the most popular dish and I regret not following his advice on that or having one of the seafood dishes that they offered. The mashed potatoes were delicious and the charred onion might have been the best thing on the plate in a very good way.

    Dessert Selection:
    Warm Valrhona Chocolate Cake- Caramel Center, Chantilly, Raspberries
    Fruits of the Forest- Black Currant Mousse, Blueberry Sorbet, Macerated Berries, Hibiscus Cake


    Our Thoughts:
    First of all for all of you Dining Plan users- the cheese board is NOT included on the dining plan, and can only be purchased additionally. We were both hoping for that to be our dessert option, so we were quite disappointed to find that to be the case. We shared both of our dessert options and enjoyed both for what they were. Having one savory/chocolate treat and one fresh/fruity one was a great balance for us. The presentations were beautiful. The chocolate cake was rich and delicious and we enjoyed the Carmel center and the vanilla ice cream with it was also wonderful. Fruits of the Forest was a great plant based option and all of the sorbets were fresh and light and the fruit flavor was exceptional. Although we both preferred the chocolate option, this would be perfect for those who enjoy a light and fruity completion to their meal.


    Service:
    The service was lovely! Our server was very enthusiastic about giving us his recommendations and was very knowledgable about the menu and the resort as a whole. The restaurant itself is gorgeous and it certainly is a signature experience. The Rivera is a stunning resort, and I recommend taking the skyliner and getting there early to look at the beautiful Tangled and Peter Pan themed wall art outside. Maybe if you are lucky like we are you will also be lucky enough to catch fireworks in the air on your ride over.
     

    mickey916

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 14, 2009
    Loving your reviews...in fact after reading your Hollywood & Vine experience, I switched our Fantasmic ADR from Brown Derby to H&V...much more our speed than signature dining anyway!
     

    jf256

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2018
    I was considering dropping yachtsman for toppolino but no cheeseboard just made my mind up. Thanks for the review. It is beautifully presented. Probably the best I have seen x
     

    vinotinto

    Just Keep Swimming
    Joined
    Sep 20, 2009
    This is so helpful because you ordered the dishes at Topolino's that we were thinking about. I had booked this for a trip with my DD, but I think I may save it for when my DH is joining us. It seems like it's in the right track, but just needs a little more time to mature.
     

    vinotinto

    Just Keep Swimming
    Joined
    Sep 20, 2009
    Also, I should add, that we don't have the dining plan this trip, so this does not affect me directly, but it's not cool that the cheese board is excluded. The menu pic posted on Disney Food Blog does not indicate any exclusions and I think if something is excluded on the DDP/DxDP, it should indicate it on the menu. That's my humble opinion.
     

    DisneyBroadwayFan

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2018
    Also, I should add, that we don't have the dining plan this trip, so this does not affect me directly, but it's not cool that the cheese board is excluded. The menu pic posted on Disney Food Blog does not indicate any exclusions and I think if something is excluded on the DDP/DxDP, it should indicate it on the menu. That's my humble opinion.
    Completely agree with you on that. We didn't find out it was excluded until we ordered it and then had to do the quick scramble to pick something else to fill it's place. We seriously considered doing it anyway because it did look fantastic, but couldn't justify it.
     
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