Friday, June 25, 2010

Where to Dine: So Many Choices!

There are a huge number of restaurants on Disney property, and I have only eaten at a small number of them.  With the 180-day window quickly approaching on the January trip that we're not even sure will happen, I'm going to have to make some dining decisions very soon.  Especially if I want hard-to-get reservations.  I have thus far concretely decided that we will try California Grill (hopefully on my birthday, hopefully during Wishes!), Crystal Palace breakfast, Yachtsman Steakhouse, and Bistro de Paris (hopefully on my boyfriend's birthday!).  Yeah, it looks like we might be going all out for food on this trip.  That said, we have two or three (not sure yet) days to fill up with meals, and we have eight restaurants to choose from.  And that's where you come in, faithful readers!  I'm going to list the eight restaurants I'm deciding between, and I'd like you to tell me which ones you like and don't like!  I need your input to make a decision!  So here goes nothing, in no particular order...

1. Teppan Edo.  We're considering Teppan Edo because we both love Japanese food, and I think hibachi is awesome.  Also, we've already been to Tokyo Dining, and we'll be going to Tokyo Dining again in August.  We could use a Japanese food change.  Then again, I could just go to the local Benihana any time.  Is Teppan Edo particularly unique?

2. The Wave.  I've heard a lot of good things about the Wave, so it made my list of possibilities for January.  That being said, it's one of the restaurants on my list that I'm least excited about because it doesn't seem to have anything that reeeeally draws me in like some of the other restaurants.  It sort of seems like it's just there for Contemporary guests, and that it might not really be worth it amongst my other choices.  Or maybe I'm just selling the Wave short.

3. Kona Cafe.  If I say I've heard a lot of good things about the Wave, then there are no words to describe the number of good things I've heard about Kona.  I don't hear anything but good things about it, and it's even pretty reasonably priced!  This is one of the restaurants that I'm leaning towards a lot, especially because the price means I might be able to sneak in another table service in addition to this one if we eat here for lunch.  Also, the Poly is totally awesome, and being there is fantastic.

4. Trail's End.  I've heard good things about Trail's End (are you seeing a pattern here?) which is why I've put it on my list.  That said, I'm not sure what makes it different from any other buffet, and I'm not sure why exactly I should choose it.  The price is fairly reasonable, but I feel like I don't know enough about the restaurant to make an informed decision about it.  Is it a must try or just a nice place to go when you don't have an ADR anywhere else?

5. Restaurant Marrakesh.  I find the idea of a Moroccan restaurant intriguing, but it also makes me nervous.  I've heard that the atmosphere and entertainment is fantastic, but I'm not sure how I'll feel about the food.  The bottom line is, I've heard that Marrakesh is generally liked, but I'm not sure I want to pay if I don't know if I'll like the food.  Those of you who have been to Marrakesh, do you know if having a meal at the Tangierine Cafe will be a good guide for whether or not I'll like Marrakesh?  I'm planning on trying out Tangierine on my August trip.

6. Biergarten.  I feel roughly the same about Biergarten as I do about Restaurant Marrakesh except I've heard many more good things about Biergarten.  I believe we'd greatly enjoy the entertainment and atmosphere, but I'm nervous about the food.  I don't know anything about German food, and I'm not sure I'll like it.  Those of you who are picky eaters, have you tried Biergarten?  Is there something for everything, or should I try to stay away?

7. Raglan Road.  I think Raglan Road could really be a blast.  It sounds like a lot of fun.  Plus, since we will be at Walt Disney World during my boyfriend's 21st birthday, we could eat here the next day, and he could enjoy all the beer and such.  And as for little old me, I'm sure I'd have just as much (well not as much, but close!) fun drinking Coke.  The place sounds great, but overall, I haven't heard too much about it, which is one of the reasons why I'm not sure about it.  Have any of you been there?

8. Whispering Canyon Cafe.  Last but not least on my list of possibilities is Whispering Canyon Cafe.  This is another place that sounds like a blast, and if we go, I will be sure to ask for ketchup!  That said, is the food really good as well?  Is it somewhere you just go for the fun of it?  And does it win out over my other choices?

Now I need your help!  If you could choose three of these restaurants, which would you choose?  Are there any of these eight that you really don't like?  Are there any other restaurants that you absolutely love that you think should be on this list?  We've already been to/will be going to Wolfgang Puck Cafe, San Angel Inn, Tokyo Dining, Sci-Fi Dine In, Ohana, Yak and Yeti, Akershus, Le Cellier, Boma, Jiko, and Coral Reef, so try not to suggest those if you can.  Unless you think that one is good enough to repeat.  Let me know you opinions in a comment, a tweet (@discollegeblog), or on Facebook!  Thanks in advance!

All photos are from, my absolute favorite resource for things like these.


  1. Kona Cafe, Whispering Canyon, and the Wave. The rest are all great too, but those would be my top 3 picks from this list.

  2. I've only been to Biergarten and Marrakesh from your list. Both were good with a slight edge to German for me. I am however, going to be trying Kona and Trail's end on my next trip. I'm not sure you're are going to go wrong with any of those. ONe I didn't see on your list that I loved: Tusker House lunch. It was VERY good

  3. Teppan Edo is good but there really isn't anything unique that you wouldn't see at another Japanese Hibachi restaurant. If you enjoy that style of food I would go.

    Kona is nice but it can be noisy. Make sure not to get a table new the entrance. Remember too that you can order sushi from the sushi bar outside the restaurant.

    We enjoyed the Wave. We had a nice lunch at the end of a trip last year. The other thing we did was stop by and eat a late dessert in the bar. A nice option if you are looking for a full meal.

    Biergarten is great. German food is a lot of comfort things. Now I'm saying that because I have German in-laws. Desserts are great too.

    To choose three of these restaurant I would pick: Kona, Biergarten and, not on your list, Narcoossee's. We love Narcoossee's. It's perfect for a quiet dinner and the provides a great view of the MK fireworks from the dock.

  4. If I only could choose 3 of those restaurants, I'd go with the following:

    Kona - either breakfast or dinner. Both are more cost effective than other restaurants, and are very, very good.

    Biergarten - the food is fine, even for a picky eater, and the beers are out of this world, so your boyfriend would enjoy. And desserts are great. My son ate his weight there, and he's a very picky eater.

    Trail's End - Great buffet, and also quiet if you pick the right time to go. Plus if you do this and Kona, you might be able to sneak in one more.

    Teppan Edo is great, but probably not that different than your local teppanyaki. Raglan Road is good only if you like Irish food (I do, but most people don't). Wasn't impressed by Whispering Canyon and had a bad experience at The Wave. Tangeriene Cafe is better than Marrakesh IMO.

  5. My husband and I ate at Whispering Canyon in May and loved it! We were away from all the "fun" but the food was great!

  6. Kona is fantastic for breakfast. It has the BEST coffee on entire property. Lunch and dinner are also great there, but breakfast is my favorite time to go.

    Biergarten is great on a cooler day, but I did not enjoy it on a hot day. The time I'm specifically thinking of, we ate there for lunch on a hot day in April. The food and beer is extremely heavy and I felt a little sick for the rest of the day. That being said, Biergarten is my favorite sit down place in EPCOT (mind you, I've never been to Le Cellier or Marrakesh). I love the place for dinner when the temp has cooled off or on a cooler day in the winter months. The beer is fantastic (and it tastes better because they are in REALLY big mugs!). And the food is great, with a lot of variety. I also think it has the best atmosphere. I love the band. Some people find the group tables uncomfortable, but I've always been sat with "entertaining" groups and have enjoyed it.

    Trails End is good, but I don't find it significantly better than a standard southern buffet (I do live in the South, so that may be why I'm jaded)

    I'm with everyone with Teppen Edo... good but not unique.

    Raglen Road is also good. The food is tasty but if you can't fit everything in, go after 9 (I think 9... it may be 10) and enjoy a beer and the irish dancing. They have one of my favorite beers (Smithwicks) on tap and its just a great place to hang out.

    It's not on your list, and I don't know if you've been or you're not interested in, but I really enjoyed Flying Fish when I went. It is a little pricy, but I really enjoyed it. I don't remember the name of the dish, but I had this asian tuna, and it was fantastic. Plus, I love the Boardwalk. So all in all, a win/win situation.

    Hope that helps!!