Must do restaurants

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megan1632's picture
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Must do restaurants

Hello! We are in the process of planning our Disney World trip for this upcoming October. We will be there 7 nights. It will be myself, my fiance and his two daughters (13 & 9). This will be the girls first trip - they know we are going somewhere, but they won't know it's Disney until we get there. We will be staying at Caribbean Beach and plan to go to MNSSHP one night. We have the Park Hopper, but we tend to stay mainly at the same park all day. These are some of the restaurants we were thinking:

Magic Kingdom Day - Be Our Guest (previously been)
Water Park Day/Disney Springs Day - Raglan Road (previously been - we loved it!)
Animal Kingdom Day - Rainforest Cafe
Hollywood Studios Day - Brown Derby (previously been. My fiance will be turning 40 while we are there and Brown Derby was requested for his Bday)

We are debating between Via Napoli and the Coral Reef restaurant for the day we are at EPCOT. We haven't been to either. Knowing the girls are 13 & 9 - do you think one is better than the other? They love aquariums.....and pizza Smile

Are there other restaurants we haven't considered that we should add to the list? The girls are a little past the Disney Princess stage so I don't think they would really enjoy a Princess character meal.

We have a couple of days set aside to do whatever we might have missed, park-hop, explore, relax etc..

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated

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We LOVED Restaurant Marrakesh in Epcot. This was originally on our "We'll try it but we're not adventurous eaters so we're not real sure about this." and it ended up being our favorite meal on the last trip.

Whispering Canyon is a fun one with kids (young or older) at Wilderness Lodge. Lots of fun, silly interactive stuff. Just ask to sit in the main dining room.

I can't comment yet on Via Napoli as we're trying it for the first time on our upcoming trip and I'm not sure about Coral Reef. Something about eating seafood while looking at an aquarium...creeps me out. yuck

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megan1632's picture
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Ha! I'm a little creeped out at that idea too Smile I'm just afraid I'm planning everything based on what I like, not what the girls would really like. This trip is about them, not me Wink

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If the girls like being silly then I definitely say Whispering Canyon. BEAUTIFUL resort to check out if you need to wait or want time to walk around. And the restaurant is VERY fun. Plus it's pretty good BBQ food, family style, and last I knew milkshakes still count as an all-you-can-drink option for your beverage if you're using a dining plan.

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I've enjoyed quite a few good meals at the Coral Reef in Epcot, and also a really great pizza at Via Napoli. I think you'll be fine with either. It depends on what you're in the mood for. I will say the atmosphere at the Coral Reef is really cool with the giant aquarium, but its also a bit more cost wise than pizza at Via Napoli.

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JoAnn C's picture
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Between the two, I would pick Via Napoli. Another suggestion is The Garden Grill.

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megan1632 wrote:

Are there other restaurants we haven't considered that we should add to the list? The girls are a little past the Disney Princess stage so I don't think they would really enjoy a Princess character meal.

You can be past Princess age? eek My girls (ages 16 & 22) never got that memo.

Restaurant-wise, I love the relaxed family atmosphere at Via Napoli. The food is solid, and the wait staff is adorable. It's one of my "go-to" Disney restaurants when I'm meeting up with friends or going with a group. The Arancini are *so* good, and even though it's not my favorite style of pizza (neapolitan pizza has a thin crust, and mild sauce), it's pretty damn good.

Here are a few of the articles we've posted on it in the past:
http://www.wdwforgrownups.com/articles/aqua-fresca-epcots-napoli
http://www.wdwforgrownups.com/articles/dine-authentic-wood-fired-pizzas-and-more-epcot%E2%80%99s-napoli
http://www.wdwforgrownups.com/articles/take-gelato-break-epcots-napoli

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Hi Megan! Via Napoli is a must do for us at least once a trip if not two times. Thin crust pizza is our favorite style. This is what we just had two weeks ago.

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Magic Days's picture
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We had reservations at Coral Reef but when we studied the menu and read reviews we ate at Norway instead. Via Napoli was great food in a fun atmosphere. If your girls like princesses then Norway is worth a try. The princesses adjust their interactions based on the group they are engaging. We also tried garden grill last year and enjoyed having all the time we wanted with Mickey, Goofy and chip and dale. Our all time favorite in WDW is chefs de France.

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megan1632's picture
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Thanks so much for all of the great responses. Mr Hub's photos sold me on Via Napoli! That looks amazing Smile

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We've had Coral Reef twice. The first time both the food and service was outstanding. The second time the food was good, not great, but the service was pretty bad. The second time we did it under the Candelight Dining Package so I'm not sure if this had something to do with it or not. I still would absolutely recommend Coral Reef though, but Mr Hub's pictures are making me second guess that biggrin

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Mr Hub, is that a meat lovers pizza of some sort? It looks SOOOO GOOOOD!

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As a NYC pizza snob, I must admit; Via Napoli pizza is not bad. Tutto Gusto is very nice too.

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While I have not been to either of those restaurants I have heard amazing things about Via Napoli and less than awesome things about the Coral Reef.
But I must agree with a few others that the Garden Grill is awesome! Really great food, great staff, and the characters were great as well. My fiance and I are going to the Garden Grill again in September on our Honeymoon, just because we loved it so much and its just the two of us!

Kristen K. wrote:
megan1632 wrote:

Are there other restaurants we haven't considered that we should add to the list? The girls are a little past the Disney Princess stage so I don't think they would really enjoy a Princess character meal.


You can be past Princess age? eek My girls (ages 16 & 22) never got that memo.

I agree! I never grew out of it either. I still get gitty when I see a Princess or Character!

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TinkASL wrote:
Mr Hub, is that a meat lovers pizza of some sort? It looks SOOOO GOOOOD!

One is a margherita pizza with prosciutto, pepperoni & onions and one with zucchini and red peppers.

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MrHub wrote:
TinkASL wrote:
Mr Hub, is that a meat lovers pizza of some sort? It looks SOOOO GOOOOD!

One is a margherita pizza with prosciutto, pepperoni & onions and one with zucchini and red peppers.

They were both delicious, but I think the best part is the salad!! wink

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Via Napoli and Teppan Edo awesome

Mcheal's picture
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It may be a once in a life time shot but Victoria and Alberts is the most unique experience in dining you can have.

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Mcheal wrote:
It may be a once in a life time shot but Victoria and Alberts is the most unique experience in dining you can have.

Looking forward to finding out! Have reservations at V & A for my birthday on May 22. Very excited! We will be with three other couples. Three of the four women have May birthdays, the 18th, mine on the 22nd and another on May 24! The last birthday will be celebrated at the Hoop Dee Doo Revue!

Party Party Party

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We've never been to Garden Grill, but we have been to Via Napoli. It was noisy, busy, but the pizza was awesome !! Also watching the chefs and the pizza ovens was amazing, I love watching good kitchens at work.

One place I insist on booking every trip....... Mama Melrose. The atmosphere is great, we've always had good servers and one of the BEST steaks E_V_E_R. Only downside, the waiting area does get very busy and cramped, but I does give me a chance to watch the kitchen.

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megan1632 wrote:
Ha! I'm a little creeped out at that idea too Smile I'm just afraid I'm planning everything based on what I like, not what the girls would really like. This trip is about them, not me Wink

Maybe a stupid question, but have you asked them what they want? Can you get them involved in the planning? It's always been my experience that it helps both to build the excitement and to make sure things they love are in the plans.

megan1632's picture
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The trip is a surprise for them. They know we are going to Florida, but they think we are going to visit extended family (I made up relatives that don't even exist.) We like surprising and messing with them Wink They have been wanting to go to Disney for years. We are so excited to surprise them. One of my favorite things to do is plan a Disney trip. It's driving me crazy that I need to wait a couple more months to find out park hours, etc.. I'm biding my time by trying to settle on dining spots.

I really do appreciate everyone's suggestions and recommendations. Keep em coming. It's occupying my Disney planning needs Smile

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I've never been to Coral Reef but I LOVE Via Napoli. I try not to repeat restaurants when we go to Disney, VN and Sanaa are the exception. I could go to each of them every single time we go.

We went to Italy years ago and the pizza at VN took me right back! It's very good and as close to authentic Italian pizza as you can get!

I'm surprising my kiddo tomorrow with a cruise (it's in April but it's her bday gift) I can't wait. We surprised her with a Disney trip once and it was awesome! They are going to go bonkers!!!!!

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oHIo wrote:
Mcheal wrote:
It may be a once in a life time shot but Victoria and Alberts is the most unique experience in dining you can have.

Looking forward to finding out! Have reservations at V & A for my birthday on May 22. Very excited! We will be with three other couples. Three of the four women have May birthdays, the 18th, mine on the 22nd and another on May 24! The last birthday will be celebrated at the Hoop Dee Doo Revue!

Party Party Party

Perfect! You will love it!. Sharing with other couples is the way to go as well.

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megan1632 wrote:
The trip is a surprise for them.

Ahhhh... I see. mickey

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Mcheal wrote:
It may be a once in a life time shot but Victoria and Alberts is the most unique experience in dining you can have.

Yes. Do this!!

We also never miss Jiko or Cali Grill.

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If the trip is truly for the girls, think about what they like to eat. I'm with Tinkasl about eating fish while looking at an aquarium. Garden Grill is a good option - everything from salad to dessert is included and it's so served family style so there's no missing the characters. I've seen many families with children of all ages at Teppan Edo. The chefs are usually pretty entertaining if the people at the table are paying attention.

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These were the only two restaurants we went to on our last trip (with myself and my girlfriend, both late 20s but she's basically the same mentality as a 13 year old girl and I'm the same as a 12 year old boy!!), but they were both amazing.
I would say it depends on the girls' interests. The Coral Reef is an amazing atmosphere with the giant fish tank right next to you, but in all honesty you don't get that much of a different perspective than if you go on the Finding Nemo ride.
I would imagine the girls would be more interested in the pizza place. The pizza is amazing, it feels like you are truly in Italy and it's an experience you can't get from a ride.
When I was in high school I went to Disney with my mom and step-dad and one of my fondest memories is the Italian restuarant we ate at and the authentic experience we got. It wasn't Via Napoli, but still I remember that now 12 years later.
I would say go with the pizza!! clapping

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