WWYD: Epcot, Disney Springs, monorail resorts, with grandparents

studiojmm

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 10, 2017
I'm experiencing a bit of sticker shock looking at the table service menus as I try to figure out our final dining plans for next week. I'm traveling with my parents and my 12 year old. My daughter and are vegetarians who tend to pack in quite a lot of healthy snacks, which explains the sticker shock a bit. Wow, it's expensive to be a meat eater at Disney.

My parents are not fancy or recreational eaters. Their go-to restaurant is Panara. My daughter and I can find something to eat at most places, but generally aren't compelled by the options at Disney to do anything for the food alone. The only table service meals we've done at Disney are character meals. We will be taking my parents to the Garden Grill (breakfast) and Crystal Palace (lunch).

I'm looking for a couple dinner options, table or counter service is fine. We are staying off site, so we might just eat outside for dinner most nights.

Day 1 - in EPCOT - underwhelmed by counter service options in Morocco and Japan, sticker shock on Japan table service, would consider table service in France or Mexico

Day 2 - MK day, closes at 6 for for MCMCP (not attending) - Worth going to Whispering Canyon? Ruled out Artist Point (cool experience but underwhelmed by food). We might visit Grand Floridian and Contemporary to see the holiday decorations, so those are other options. (car would be at TTC, but I could potentially fetch it after dinner and pick them up)

FYI, probably don't need input:
Day 3 - EPCOT incl. Candlelight processional - not sure but this is likely an eat-outside-the-parks night.
Day 4 - Animal Kingdom - probably picking up dinner from Yak & Yeti counter and eating while waiting for ROL.

Day 5 - MK again on another party night - Same as Day 2, Disney Springs?

Any recommendations? Thanks.
 

disneygolfer1985

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 4, 2013
For Epcot, depending who is the narrator you may waste your whole day waiting in the standby line unless you are doing the dining package.

both restaurants in Mexico are good and les chefs is great as well. Prefer San Angel inn for Mexico.
 

leebee

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 14, 1999
The counter service in Morocco is always our go-to, CS of choice in Epcot. We find it much better than Sunshine Seasons in Future World. I'm not sure what you are looking for, but there are some affordable sandwich options at the bakery in France (Les Halles?). I've heard not good things about San Angel Inn in Mexico. Have you looked at Boma at AKL? They have an extensive buffet, not all "African" inspired, many "kids" options, great soups, quite a few vegetarian options. It's not cheap, but it's good.

Honestly, if you are having sticker shock, aren't staying for the late fireworks/shows, and will be offsite anyhow, you might just consider eating offsite. Not sure if there's a Panera, but Sweet Tomatoes gets great reviews. Olive Garden? Call in your order as you are leaving the park and take it to eat at the hotel if you have a kitchen or don't want to wait for a table.
 
  • studiojmm

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 10, 2017
    For Epcot, depending who is the narrator you may waste your whole day waiting in the standby line unless you are doing the dining package.
    Curious who are the really popular narrators? We do have dining package reservations (Garden Grill).
     

    disneygolfer1985

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 4, 2013
    Curious who are the really popular narrators? We do have dining package reservations (Garden Grill).
    Neil Patrick Harris, Whoopi, Steven Curtis Chapman, Gary Sinise, and Edward James Olmos are very popular. Also, it depends when you are going. Closer to Christmas will be very popular. I prefer that last 2 that I listed. Those are my top 2. Jodi benson also does a great job.
     

    Lilsia

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 17, 2018
    Epcot has a ridiculous amount of options for food. They have something for everyone. Morocco counter service is actually one of our favorites. The chicken shawarma platter is really good. What is it that you find unappealing there? Have you considered eating at the Rose and Crown in the UK pavilion?
    Whispering Canyon is great for everyone, we enjoy it.
    At DS, Morimotos , Earl of Sandwich, Polite Pig are all good.
     

    studiojmm

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 10, 2017
    I think it's mostly personality. Neither my daughter and I - nor do I think my parents - eat meals for fun. I contrast this with my in-laws, for whom trying a new restaurant is an activity in itself. This is not to say we don't enjoy good food, but there is a difference in the approach.

    The exception for my daughter is anything that is snacks or tapas. If the commitment is small, she'll enthusiastically try lots of stuff, which is why she enjoys the Epcot festivals so much. Unfortunately for meal planning purposes, most of Epcot festival veg options are desserts.

    Tangerine Cafe didn't compel my daughter last time we were there. I think it was just that hummus and lentils is food we at at home a lot. There are only 2 vegetarian options** there and the other was falafel. I think with that one we should remember that while falafel can be done very well, it almost never looks appealing in a display case. She scanned the offerings and wanted to try something else. We may give it another go, especially if the chicken platter appeals to my parents.

    Basically, I'm trying to pick places my parents would be happy knowing that my daughter and I will manage and will very likely enjoy whatever we have.

    With this particular group, I think it's better to have a plan and reduce too many in-the-moment choices. I think we are going with San Angel Inn on Monday night. I may give the choice of either France or Morocco on Wednesday or pack in sandwiches or healthy proteins/fruits/veggies and then snack our way around World Showcase via festival booths and individual counter service items (that's actually our normal Epcot routine).

    Right now we have a Tuesday evening reservation at Whispering Canyon. I ruled out Artist Point (actually let go of a reservation a few weeks ago) because while it's a cool experience, we found the vegetarian entree to be salty and underwhelming.

    **Disney does much better than many, many places in almost always having a vegetarian option though. We recently went out to eat with my sister's family in a smallish town and found there was literally nothing on the menu for vegetarians and not even anything where the meat could be omitted. We attempted to cobble together sides and were excited to find one of them was rice & beans. It turned out to be rice & beans and slices of sausage. Luckily, both of us subscribe to a very laid back policy on eating when traveling and we just ate around the sausage. Not everyone would be comfortable with that.
     
  • CraigInPA

    Since June 1974
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2012
    If you decide on eating at Grand Floridian, consider the Grand Floridian Cafe. The decorations at The Grand Floridian are far and away better than anything you'd see at the Contemporary. The Wilderness Lodge does decorations on a grand scale, as well.
     

    studiojmm

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 10, 2017
    Update on what we actually did:

    Monday evening - San Angel Inn because I felt we needed the sit down after a travel day. I've never been really wowed by a Disney meal. I was super pleased by the vegetarian plate here. If you like refried beans and squash, it's fantastic.

    Tuesday - picked up Panara on the way back to the condo. Based on how little my parents ate Monday, how tired I predicted we'd be, and hesitation to have a specific deadline for getting out of MK, I felt this made the most sense and everyone was pleased with their meals.

    Wednesday - yep, we packed sandwiches and snacked around the world (after our GG breakfast)

    Thanks for your input!
     

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