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5 Best “One-Credit” Disney Dining Values

UPDATE: Please see our Best “One-Credit” Disney Dining Values for 2012 here! Please note that Le Cellier is 2 credits for dinner in 2012, and 2 credits for both lunch and dinner in 2013.

OK, you’ve booked this Fall’s free dining package and now you’re not so sure which table-service spots deserve the credit (pun intended!)? Below are my top picks for best value in the “one table-service credit” realm of Walt Disney World restaurants.

For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, Disney World offers a vacation package add-on called the Disney Dining Plan. This works a lot like your meal plan when you were back in school — you pay a set price in exchange for a certain number of credits. Each table-service restaurant meal in Disney World is worth a certain number of credits, the vast majority of them being worth one credit. In this post, I’m describing my picks for one-credit table-service restaurants that offer the most bang for the Dining Plan buck*.

Le Cellier Poutine, with gravy on the side

Le Cellier

This one’s a no-brainer. Le Cellier Steakhouse is far and away one of the most popular Disney World restaurants at the moment, its reservations slots are full months in advance, and it offers some incredible food and service.

With dinner entrees running between $20 and $37, and desserts averaging around $6.50, one meal at Le Cellier has come very close to paying for the full day of the dining plan. Additionally, because money isn’t everything when it comes to value, dining at Walt Disney World resort’s “most wanted location” has to be worth something, right?

Chef Mickey’s

Yep, one of the most popular character meals on property is also a great value with the Dining Plan.

Chef Mickey's

Chef Mickey’s, which offers your kiddos the opportunity to meet the entire fab five — Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Pluto, and Minnie (and sometimes Daisy!) — ranks at the top of the heap when it comes to character meal buffet pricing. Not to mention, the location is ideal: you’re just a monorail ride away from the Magic Kingdom.

By the way, both breakfast and dinner are overpriced here, so feel free to use your dining credit for either!

‘Ohana

This is one of Disney World’s most popular restaurants, hands down, and its family style, Hawaiian-themed meals are only part of the reason. ‘Ohana also offers an incredible view of the Magic Kingdom Fireworks from its perch atop the Great Ceremonial House at the Polynesian Resort.

'Ohana Bread Pudding

Breakfast here features Mickey, Lilo, Stitch, and their friends in an all-you-can-eat Hawaiian masterpiece of a meal. Dinner has no characters, but does hold the hope for many guests for the chance to see those fireworks while digging into some incredible Bananas Foster Bread Pudding.

Price-wise, ‘Ohana is a bit more expensive than even Chef Mickey’s; coming in around $30 per adult, this is a great trade-in for a table-service credit.

(Tip: When you’re done with dinner, head down to Capt. Cook’s to trade in a snack credit for a Dole Whip!)

Boma

Another incredible buffet makes its way into our top five values list! Boma is located on the very bottom floor of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Jambo House, and serves up African-themed cuisine straight from an African “marketplace”-inspired restaurant.

Boma's Zebra Domes

While this place is pretty pricey for a buffet, it also offers the valuable asset of being located in one of Disney World’s most unique resort hotels — and you and your kids can benefit from that! By arriving a bit early for your meal, while there’s still daylight left, you’ll be able to headout side and gaze — up close — at the majestic animals of the savannas. Giraffe, zebra, Ankole cattle, flamingos, and more will be right there in front of you! And if you have questions, the Lodge has provided knowledgeable “interpreters,” who can help you to better understand not only the animals, but also the countries they’re from.

After dinner, head out to the African fire pit around 7:30pm for some authentic African storytelling as the sun goes down. Then, if you still haven’t had your fill, take part in the resort’s “night-vision goggle” experience, where you can watch the savanna animals up close to find out what they do once night falls!

Sounds like a pretty full evening to me — and all for the cost of one table-service credit.

Coral Reef Restaurant

Surprised by this one? Me, too. But, the bottom line is that Coral Reef Restaurant 1.) is expensive, and 2.) has a giant aquarium for a wall. Let’s face it, kids love watching the fish (and sometimes dolphins!) swim around in that floor-to-ceiling aquarium.

Coral Reef -- Image (c) Disney

And while this restaurant might not be worth the money to pay out of pocket, it is worth your one dining plan credit — if only to watch them freak out about how cool it is to eat at a restaurant inside an aquarium. FYI: the food here isn’t usually anything to write home about, but I hear great things about the steak and the mushroom lasagna. The “chocolate wave” dessert is a specialty.

Price-wise, dinner entrees run between $20-$30, and desserts all cost $8 a piece, so you’re likely going to save some money by using the dining plan here.

What Do You Think?

Would love to hear your thoughts on the best value for a one-credit table-service meal. Have you stumbled across any deals lately? Looking forward to hearing from you in the comments section below!

*For purposes of comparison, the standard dining plan will cost adults $41.99 per night per adult and $11.99 per night per child during the following dates ranges: 1/01/10 – 2/11/10, 4/11/10 – 6/03/10, 8/15/10 -12/16/10. The same plan will cost adults $46.99 per night, and kids $12.99 per night during these date ranges: 2/12/10 – 4/10/10, 6/04/10 – 8/14/10, 12/17/10 – 12/31/10.

For more of our favorites, check out our Best Disney World Restaurants series!

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75 Comments

  1. Lillian C. says:

    Wow. These are certainly the best one-credit values. I can see why you would put Coral Reef (aquarium viewing while you eat) but the dominant smell of fish as you enter doesn’t appeal to me. I wasn’t impressed by the food there either. I’d include Whispering Canyon cafe. It’s got great BBQ (and all you can eat, by the way) and great atmosphere (can you say “ketshup”?).

  2. Beth says:

    We don’t do the Dining Plan–we’re DVC members, so we normally eat some meals in the room–but having eaten at all of those restaurants except for Coral Reef, I would say Le Cellier and Boma are the best two options. The food is fantastic at both places, and Boma gives diners a chance to explore some food a little of of the ordinary.

  3. Dana says:

    I’d agree with the first four—never been to the Coral Reef though, so I can’t comment. The Zebra Domes are worth the price of Boma alone, and I love LeCellier, Chef Mickeys and Ohana.

    If I were to add anything to the list, I’d have to say Yak and Yeti. I’m still dreaming of the seared Miso Salmon I had there last summer, and the Mango Pie and Fried Wontons were amazing—both were creamy beyond belief!

    Will you do a post about the best counter service bang for your buck? If you do, be sure to include Seasons! I could eat there for lunch every day and not get tired of it! Plus, you have the added benefit of them having a bakery so you get a real dessert with your meal there rather then something pre-packaged.

  4. Kelly says:

    I’ve heard that Le Cellier is going to be upgraded to a 2 credit/signature meal. Any word on that?

    Not being on the DP, I usually stay away from those places. We have an ADR for Le Cellier for October and honestly I’m dreading that it won’t live up to the hype. We’ve been before, but won’t bend over backwards for an ADR, so we haven’t been in years. On another note: my boyfriend’s from Burlington, VT (close to Quebec) and he’d scoff at that poutine. Especially the yellow cheese. I’ll have to steer him away!

  5. Scott says:

    If you can eat a Dole Whip after eating at ‘Ohana, you didn’t eat at ‘Ohana correctly. We even asked for a second helping of bread pudding.

  6. James (Disneynorth) says:

    Not sure I agree with Coral Reef. Even the aquarium can’t make up for the lousy food and bad service…..

    On the other hand, I would maybe add Chefs de France to this list. The prices tend to justify the dining plan.

  7. Great list AJ. There are definitely restaurants that are better values on the dining plan than others and hitting up the expensive one credit locations is a great way to really get your bang for the buck from free dining.

  8. Courtney says:

    Kelly, I saw the same rumor on the Dis boards, and that it could be happening as early as this fall. I enjoyed Le Cellier the one time I ate there, but I’m not sure it’s worthy of 2 credits.

  9. Mark D says:

    While the service wasn’t great, we had very good food at the Coral Reef. The blackened catfish with grits was cooked perfectly and my wife had some sort of fish served over risotto which was also pretty good.

    I would second the Whispering Canyon. The food is good and kids love the atmosphere.

    Figures Hochberg would be all about the values. His favorite dining plan is when Len pays.

  10. Mark D says:

    I would also add that we did not enjoy our dinner at Ohana. Besides the shrimp not being cleaned(which I expect for $30), most of the meat was overcooked.

    However, we did manage to order a second helping of the bread pudding. That stuff is amazing!

  11. Kirsten says:

    The only one I disagree with is Chef Mickey’s. It’s okay for breakfast, but it’s REALLY bad at dinner. Everything we tried was either cold, poorly seasoned or just bad in general. I’d rather see Les Chefs de France on the list.

  12. AJ says:

    Lillian and James — I wrestled with this one! I considered Kona Cafe, Chefs de France, and Whispering Canyon Cafe to take the place of Coral Reef, but in the end the outrageous cost of Coral Reef won me over. Paying with a dining credit there really does end up being a good value. That said, I agree that Kona, Chefs, and Canyon probably offer better food. All comes down to whether your kid’s going to LOVE watching the fish or not.

    Beth — Agreed that part of Boma’s “value” is that it offers a little bit more in terms of dining options for everyone. Plus, of course, the cool animal-viewing options out on the savanna!

    Dana — I thought a lot about Yak and Yeti for this one, too. I LOVE it there, and it would represent the best of the AK dining options, too, IMHO. As for counter service, the Disney Food Blog readers voted last year on the best counter service options in all four parks. Check it out (the Seasons is there!)!

    Kelly and Courtney — I’ve heard the 2 credit rumor, too. I’m hoping it won’t materialize, but as soon as I hear some corroborating info, I’ll post the warning on the blog. Kelly, that Poutine picture has garnered several comments in other posts, too! Clearly, Le Cellier will have a fight on their hands from dedicated Canadians about the yellow cheese!

    Scott — VERY good point!

    Matt — Thanks for the kudos. Wish there was a better way of quantifying some of the “experience” quotient, too.

    Mark — Thanks for your reviews on Coral Reef and ‘Ohana. My experiences at ‘Ohana have been slipping as well, but the WDW Today guys informed me that Chef TJ from Boma is now the Chef at ‘Ohana. I’m hoping that improves matters over there.

    Kirsten — Thanks for your review of Chef Mickey’s! I’ve definitely heard good and bad out of that restaurant. Our experience was fine, but I think where the real value comes in is the ability to get autographs from all the characters at once — no lines later in the day — for a table service credit.

  13. I agree with Le Cellier, Ohana and Boma, but haven’t been to Chef Mickey’s or Cofal Reef. I also agree with commenter Dana above about Yak & Yeti. I had the Dim Sum appetizer for 2, the Shaoxing Steak & Shrimp (which I believe is pretty pricey off the plan, about $24.99) and the Fried Wontons the past 2 years and it is all AMAZING! Fried Wontons are one of my most favorite WDW desserts. I love sitting on the 2nd floor and looking out as people walk past on their way to Expedition Everest — great people-watching. It’s also themed beautifully.

  14. Mark says:

    I agree with what everyone above has said.. if you have the DDP and you know what your doing, you can really take disney for a ride, especially with deals like free dining. I think you also have to take into consideration some of the places like Canada have a few items on their dinner menu that are not on the lunch menu and really make a difference (like the steak).

    I would also be interested in seeing this list for other things like counter service (as there are places that are good deals and some that arnt.. like pecos bills) and perhaps breakfast values, and character dining values.

  15. AJ says:

    Southern Web Girl — Yak and Yeti is definitely my favorite dining option in Animal Kingdom! Thanks for bringing the fried wontons to mind when I’m hungry! ;-)

    Mark — Thanks for your review! Great point that many restaurants have different lunch and dinner menus; definitely worth a look to decide where to eat, and when. Just wanted to clarify that there are a number of steaks on the menu for lunch at Le Cellier, so folks won’t miss out on steak if they go for lunch (even the Le Cellier Filet Mignon is available for lunch!).

  16. Stephanie says:

    So glad to see Boma on your list! Boma is my absolute favorite buffet. It’s just so unique and the soups are always great! Plus, like you said, the resort grounds are beautiful.

  17. Andrea says:

    I would take off Chef Mickey’s and add on Yak and Yeti. It was the best meal we had on our last trip.

  18. MouseMisers says:

    If you are looking at sheer value, you have to take the three “buffets” of the list (Boma, Chef Mickey’s and Ohana). I would replace them with Kouzinna, Tutto Italia and Yak and Yeti.

    I love Kouzinna, great food, usually pretty easy to get into and a great deal on the dining plan (not to mention the best desserts on property).

  19. Allison says:

    Thanks for doing this, AJ! I’ve heard all of these at one point or another, but it was great to see them all in one place. Le Cellier is a steal!

  20. These are great suggestions! I remember years back when Coral Reef was (2) sit down meals. This one is a great value for the Dining Plan!

  21. Tim says:

    As a certified Canadian and former Le Cellier employee, I have to say that poutine is appalling! Poutine is french fries with cheese CURDS, topped with gravy… not slathered with yellow processed cheese. I’m going to have to have a word with the chefs next time I’m there (assuming any of the ones I used to know are still there).

    Also, that rumour that Le Cellier was going to become a 2-credit restaurant has been around for years… at least since 2005 when I worked there. So don’t get too worked up about it until you hear something official. When I worked there, I believe the managers said that each theme park was only supposed to have one 2-credit restaurant, and in Epcot that’s Bistro de Paris, so that’s at least one reason why it’s still a 1-credit restaurant. That’s really one of the main reasons it’s always so hard to get an ADR! They only have 150 seats, and are easily one of the best 1-credit restaurants on property. Their food is fantastic (except for that poutine!), and you get a great value for your dining plan credit. They probably have one of the highest percentages of dining plan guests anywhere on property.

    And finally, I think Coral Reef is getting a bad rap here. I’ve only eaten there a couple of times, but both times I was quite happy with my food. Last time I was there I had their blackened catfish on cheesy grits (also mentioned by an earlier poster), and it was easily one of the best seafood dishes that has ever crossed my lips. They may be expensive, but you’re definitely paying for the “show” as well, and as you highlight in this post, if you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, who cares?? :D

  22. laurel says:

    WOW – can’t believe the cape may buffet is not a favorite! it’s the only place we eat when in disney, at least it feels that way. maybe i shouldn’t have told anyone our secret…

  23. George says:

    If I want steak and can’t get into Le Cellier I go to the Coral Reef. The NY strip is fantastic!!

  24. gaylin says:

    I am going in October and have booked 3 out of your 5!

  25. AJ says:

    Stephanie — Boma was a must for this list. Chef Mickey’s and Coral Reef were shaky, but Boma was always a given :-)

    Andrea — Thanks for the info and vote for Yak and Yeti. I think it’s about time for us to go back there; I really do enjoy that restaurant.

    MouseMisers — Great points, as always (was hoping you’d step in here with a monetary perspective!). I still like to give points for “experience” value, though! :-)

    Allison — Thanks for the kudos!

    Allison Jones — Thanks for the perspective! I’m not sure I’d ever spend 2 credits for Coral Reef, but it is a good deal at one. Glad they changed that!

    Tim — Yay! Our Le Cellier expert chimes in! In this case, I will say that french fries and cheese are lovely, no matter the color, but I do look forward to trying REAL poutine someday. I AM from Buffalo, NY, after all, so maybe the next time I’m visiting that area I’ll take a drive up north and try a few different types ;-) Thanks for your awesome comment, as always, and for your review of Coral Reef!

    Laurel — Will you believe I had a paragraph written up for Cape May, finally deciding to nix it based on cost (it’s not as expensive, and, therefore, not as good a “value” on the dining plan as Chef Mickey’s)? True story… I love that restaurant.

    George — I knew I’d heard good things about that steak! Must try it next time.

    Gaylin — Hooray! Which ones?!?

  26. chris says:

    I don’t have a problem with them raising prices at Le Cellier if it also improves the quality (not that it isn’t good already), but I would like to see some warning ahead of time, like maybe announcing it at the 180 + 10 mark so that people won’t be surprised.

  27. Priscilla says:

    While I definitely don’t agree with Coral Reef, I can see the “entertainment value.”

    For me, Le Cellier did not live up to it’s reputation the last I was there. I would add Tutto Italia Ristorante to the list. While certainly not the most expensive restaurant on property, the meal and service are definitely well worth a table service credit.

  28. Tim says:

    Poutine update:

    My sister has assured me that, as of her Disney World visit two weeks ago, Le Cellier is currently using Wisconsin cheese curds in their poutine instead of that processed orange cheese in the picture. However, she said that it was still ungood. A step in the right direction, to be sure, but since the FDA requires that all cheese in the U.S. must be pasteurized, it still isn’t quite the same as true Canadian poutine.

    AJ, if you want to try the real thing, head to Quebec. You may have a hard time finding a true example across the border from you in Ontario. Not to say that it isn’t there to be found, but there’s a higher ratio in Ontario of “poor imitation” to “real deal” than you’ll find in the dish’s home of Quebec.

    I’m quite pleased to be referred to as the “Le Cellier expert”. :p

    And speaking of french fries and cheese, one of my sister’s travel companions was quite distraught to find that the “Figaro Fries” (fries with cheese sauce, bacon bits, lettuce, tomatoes, and ranch dressing) from the Pinocchio Village Haus in the Magic Kingdom are no more! Now *that’s* a tragedy. One too many guest heart attacks, perhaps?
    Kingdom

  29. James (Disneynorth) says:

    AJ and Tim,
    To follow up on your comment of having poutine in Ontario… Yes in most cases it isn’t the real deal. To have “true” poutine, you have to go to Quebec.

    But, I can recommend one place close to the Ontario-NY boarder for gourmet poutine: Zee’s in Niagara-on-the-Lake. My wife and I dined there back in January and had their poutine as an appetizer. Here’s the description: The “ULTIMATE” eight hour short braised ribs, classic bearnaise sauce, white cheddar curds all piled on top of the best fries ever.”

    It was amazing!!! I wished I could have had a larger portion for my entree. And from what the waitress told us, they change the braised rib to lobster. Worth going back for.

  30. gaylin says:

    At 160 days out I managed to get Le Cellier, Boma and Coral Reef. I also love their blackened catfish and cheesy grits. They also have flourless lava cake for us folks allergic to grains.

  31. Janna says:

    I, too, have had good experiences at Coral Reef in the last year (we dined there on our honeymoon in 1993 and it was not good then). I have had the blackened catfish and grits each time and it was fabulous. Fourteen of us ate there last summer and everyone had a great meal and experience!

    I snagged two ressies at Le Cellier for our October trip! Fortunately, one of them is on my dad’s birthday. He had not eaten there before last year and he loved it!

    We’ll be trying Boma on our October trip, too.

  32. Kelly says:

    Thanks Tim-I’ll still steer him away from it when we’re there in October.

    And James, I’m from Rochester, NY. So what you’re telling me is that when the new Margaritaville opens I can drag my boyfriend up with a promise of poutine? SCORE!

  33. Kim says:

    We visit WDW at least twice a year (and have for the past 8 years) and we are also DVC members. We’ve been to just about every table service restaurant in the parks as well as the deluxe resorts…we finally got reservations at Le Cellier! We’re really looking forward to comparing the hype to the product itself.
    I have to say there are a lot of awesome dining options at WDW. BOMA has to be one of our all time favorites and no matter where we are staying we always make it there for a meal. The variety and quality of the food can’t be beaten.
    For the picky eater you must include the likes of Crystal Palace at MK and Hollywood and Vine at HS. Our 10 year old is asked every year what restaurant he wants us to make reservations at and he always shrugs his shoulders. We asked him again this year and he said, with some amount of excitement, The Crystal Palace! He loved having all the food choices…nothing exotic…geared toward kids. There are plenty for adults too.
    As a mom I would prefer not to have to get up once I’ve been seated but I really enjoy watching my son eat for a change.
    When my husband and I travel alone we have tendency to either not use the Dining Plan or save up our table service credits and go to places like California Grill, Jiko, or the Hollywood Brown Derby, which require 2 per person. The meals are geared toward foodies like us.

  34. Mark D says:

    I see the catfish and grits is getting some well deserved props in these comments. (I was going to say kudos instead of props, but didn’t want to lose my street cred)

  35. Shayne says:

    Great list! I think I would add Tutto Italia. The food certainly isn’t the best Italian I’ve ever had, but I think it’s the best at WDW, and we’ve always gotten outstanding service there (though I know others have sometimes had less luck in this area).

  36. AJ says:

    Chris — Would definitely like to see some decent forewarning, especially since people are planning 180 days out for a place like Le Cellier.

    Priscilla — Thanks for your reviews! Any recommendations at Tutto Italia?

    Tim — Thanks for the poutine update! I’ll heed your suggestions. Also, we’ve got a RIP Figaro Fries post coming up, but the weird thing about those is that they keep resurfacing…

    James — Sounds INCREDIBLE!!! I’d much prefer the short rib to the lobster, though, so I wonder if I could still order that… I haven’t been to Niagara-on-the-Lake in ages!

    Gaylin — Those are some great spots; thanks for letting me know! Also, thanks for the review and the mention of the flourless cake (that always tastes better to me, anyway)!

    Janna — I have two ressies for Le Cellier for our October trip, too! I wonder if we’ll be there at the same time!

    Kelly — You, Tim, James, and I will have to have a big ol’ meet-up sometime!

    Kim — Thanks for the Crystal Palace story — that restaurant is fantastic for picky eaters! Also, your husband and you sound kind of like us — we’ll always spring for the 2-credit meals when we can :-) What’s your favorite?

    Mark D. — Your street cred is always safe here.

    SHayne — Have you tried Il Mulino? I’d love to hear how that compares to Tutto!

  37. Kim says:

    AJ,
    It’s got to be California Grill. You can’t beat the view and the food is not only delicious every time, but presented so beautifully…especially the desserts. We LOVE the sashimi platter! Of course, I always enjoy the pre and post entree foods the most. And when you combine a lovely meal with the fireworks at MK…you’ve got a great evening.
    Last summer we weren’t able to get a res late enough for the 9pm fireworks. We dropped our son off around 6 at the Neverland Club at the Polynesian and rode the monorail over for dinner at California Grill. After dinner we went back to the Polynesian, picked up our son, and walked out to the beach on the property. There we had a drink, sat on a swing and watched the fireworks from there…it was even better!

  38. Angela says:

    Whats that orange cheese sauce on Le Cellier’s poutine? Poutine does NOT have cheese sauce… it has mozza cheese curds. I live in Canada and that’s just not right! lol

  39. [...] the biggest kerfluffle in the Disney community this week (here, here, and here in the comments section) has been the report that Le Cellier will be switching from a one table [...]

  40. AJ says:

    Kim — I love Cali Grill, too, but it’s 2 credits, so I couldn’t include it in this list :-( Alas, I love the story about your the fireworks from the Poly — one of my favorite (free!!) activities!

    Angela — It’s not cheese sauce, it’s melted cheese, and, according to the poster above, they’ve now changed it to Wisconsin Cheese Curds instead of what’s showing in the photo. So that’s a little better :-)

  41. Kim says:

    AJ, I was responding to your inquiry as to which restaurant my husband and I like best when we opt to save our credits and have a nicer meal. At least I think that’s what you were asking.
    My favorite 1 credit would have to be divided into two categories…Buffet and non-buffet. Boma, without a doubt, is the best buffet around. I don’t know how they do it every night, but they do an outstanding job of presenting not only interesting and exotic looking, but also delicious food.
    For non-buffet I might have an underdog here, but we enjoy Restaurant Marrakesh. I read recently that the King of Morocco had designers install the decor so that it would be authentically represented. It is very cool inside. The mint tea is wonderful on a hot day…keep it coming! I love the light couscous meals and who doesn’t enjoy a little belly dancing on the side ;) Our son was totally embarrassed when he first saw the dancer. Wouldn’t even look at her!

  42. Lisa Pembleton says:

    If you have a little girl…. The Storybook Dining Experience at Akerhaus is a definite must do and great value. You not only get a great meal, but also all of the princesses AND a free photo package! All for 1 credit is and awesome value!

  43. AJ says:

    Kim — Of course! I’m a dolt when it gets past 11pm! Yes, Cali Grill is amazing, amazing, amazing. It hit a rocky patch for us about two years ago, but it’s been back up to standard on our past few trips. As for Marrakesh, we dined there in February an absolutely loved it. There’s plenty there that anyone can enjoy, and the baklava is out of this world!! That’s a riot that your little one was anti-belly-dancer! Did he ever end up enjoying the show? (I know sometimes the kids will go up and dance with her…)

    Lisa — Check out our post for today (Monday, May 24th)! You must have subconsciously inspired me!

  44. Kim says:

    No, our son never got over the belly dancer. And a second NO to getting up there. As soon as she came out we prodded him to watch. I think he was worried that she was a stripper. The moment we told him she wasn’t, she took her shawl off…he called us both liars and acted bent the rest of the evening. It was pretty funny. We talked about it later and he said he was embarrassed.

  45. AJ says:

    Kim — That’s HI-larious!!! I wish I’d been a fly on the wall when he called you both liars!

  46. Keith C says:

    What a great article! I just recently booked a trip over Labor Day Weekend, not even considering the dining plan at first, because we had never done it before. But then when I was able to get a 7pm Le Cellier reservation, it started me thinking about it :) Being the obsessive/compulsive type that I am, I immediately started thinking about the best value we could get from our four sitdown meals. I actually went through allears.net’s menus and calculated the average entree prices for dinners to cross-check my choices. I probably could have saved a lot of time and just read this article first. I ended up with dinners at the following:
    1) Le Cellier
    2) Coral Reef
    3) Tutto Italia
    4) 1900 Park Fare
    My goal was to choose places that had good food or unique atmosphere, but most importantly, places that just seemed a little too expensive for us to regularly go. I love Boma/Tusker House/Chef Mickey’s, and will definitely go to those buffets again, but I didn’t think I would normally pay cash for something like Coral Reef or 1900 dinner.

  47. TJ Hooker says:

    My family has gone to WDW many times and have eaten at many restaurants and while I agree with the top five up there being great restaurants, I don’t know if they’d be my first choice all of the time (I love O’hanas the most). I know that the restaurant in the Polynesian next to O’hanas is very good as well and that’s called Konas and San Angel Inn (Mexican restaurant in EPCOT) is very good as well, Crystal Palace is in the Magic Kingdom and that’s very good again – this ones a buffet, those are just a few off of my head though. We’re going to WDW again and we’re trying Bomas for the first time there and only until then can I put forth an opinion towards it, but I heard that it’s really good.

  48. AJ says:

    Keith — Thanks for the kudos! That’s exactly what we were going for — best value, not necessarily best restaurant. But all of these are excellent spots that have gotten high marks, so I think you’ve made great choices. Thanks for sharing your plan with me — I’m looking forward to hearing how the trip went and which meals you liked best!

    TJ Hooker — Thanks for your input! Again, my list above was primarily looking at “value” for the one credit and not always the best or most popular restaurants — I’m a big fan of the ones you’ve mentioned, too. I hope you love Boma on your next trip; you’ll have to drop by and let us know what you think! :-)

  49. Mark says:

    When we were at Disney before, we did the Coral Reef restaurant. It was fantastic, but for the quality of the food, I didn’t think it was too unreasonably priced.

    We also tried the Tokyo Dining and were very impressed.

  50. AJ says:

    Mark — Thanks for the reviews! I’ve heard great things about Tokyo Dining — I really need to get over there!

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