It is funny how you dutifully paid for your meals. I would have sent them back or got a refund especially since you didn't touch them. I always take the restaurant reviews seriously. Sorry, there are too many choices so why take a chance on a bad restaurant?
All that said, we do need people to "take one for the team" and try poorly reviewed restaurants now and then, so that we'll know if they've made a change for the better. In this case, though, it appears that the answer for Tony's is "not yet."
RE: The pizza dough lady. It seems hard to believe that Disney's customer service has sunk to the level that she wouldn't be immediately fired for that kind of behavior so I suppose it was supposed to be humor. But how does that fit in with the theme of Tony's Town Square? Sounds like she wanted to be a Jungle Cruise skipper but they gave her the job of fake pizza dough tosser instead and she's still aiming for the promotion.
Lastly, Robert, don't ever go to eat at a Dick's Last Resort!
Personally, I like trying restaurants that some people have rated low. A lot of times restaurants get reviews from people who like to complain so I take most reviews with a grain of salt. I prefer word of mouth from friends that have similar tastes as I do.
This article was helpful as I, too, retry restaurants that have had bad reviews to see if something has changed. So far, maybe the service or menu has been amended but the taste of the food hasn't. It all pretty much tastes the same. Meh. Please, I am sensitive to others tastes and know that this will not make me popular. And for those that think I am a big complainer, I am not. I would have eaten the meal, paid for it and acted like everything was fine. I would have made a list of things that were good and others that were bad (in my head or to my husband) and left it at that saying something similar to, "Maybe we should avoid that place next trip."
Really the best bet for table service in MK is Be Our Guest. I like it for counter lunch too. But, really if I'm on vacation and have dining plan, if I'm not going Be Our Guest, it's somewhere, anywhere else for table service. So many better choices at the WDW hotels or EPCOT (I guess just not Whispering Canyon for Robert...)
Magic Kingdom is the most magical place on Earth.
Anywho....I love the salmon dish at Columbia House, and I love the Liberty Tree Tavern dinner. Outside of that, Magic Kingdom has pretty awful food. I do like the ice cream waffle sandwich with nutella at the little counter service place by the Christmas store, but MK is just a poor place to eat.
My family usually stays away from Tony;s. Its been pretty hit or miss with us.
I have actually found that my family really doesn't like Italian Food at Walt Disney World (besides the Italy Pavilion). I don't know if it is the water or the tomatoes, but something always seems to be missing. Of course, I am comparing it to Chicago which has plenty of excellent Italian restaurants. Speaking of Chicago resturants, Robert Niles, don't go to Ed Debevic's :)
And I am sorry, Mama Melrose is the WORST restaurant at WDW. My family feels very strongly about this.
This column made me think about how I behaved in restaurants about five or ten years ago: back then, I never sent food back or refused to pay for something that was not good. I always felt that it was my mistake for having ordered something that ended up being bad. But a few years ago a friend encouraged me to change my thought process and to send things back when they were awful. I think everyone should do that. It is not your fault as the customer if the food is terrible and you don't like it. You should not have to pay for it if you take two or three bites and decide you cannot finish the meal because it is bad.
The thing is, the food quality will never improve unless people send things back to the kitchen. If food keeps coming back and that shows up in reports, then management will get involved to correct the situation. If food is not being sent back, then management assumes there is no problems. Restaurants operate with very slim margins and the kitchen DOES NOT want to have food come back. It sounds to me like there are a lot of very inexperienced cooks in Tony's kitchen who are probably not trained very well and are just making things look like pictures they have taped to their stations. That's how things will be unless people start sending food back and writing letters of complaint.
I feel really badly that Amanda and her husband had to get a pretzel and hotdog after having dinner. That needs to go into a letter to Disney immediately...because you should never have to go eat something after you just paid for an expensive meal because you are still hungry since you did not like the food at dinner. Those prices for the seafood dinner that Chuck had are eye-popping, especially considering that it was so terrible.
Thank you so much everyone for the kind comments!
If you had simply asked if you could speak to the person in charge, you would have had this meal taken off your bill, and you would have been offered another meal--most likely free of charge. If the manager of Tony's wasn't available, simply filing a complaint at City Hall would have gotten you an immediate response, possibly free meal coupons for any other restaurant at WDW, or other types of compensation. The Disney Company takes guest complaints VERY SERIOUSLY as long as the complaint is legitimate, and management wants to please guests in order to avoid guest complaints. Guest complaints are the dreaded statistic that no manager wants to face. Jobs can be on the line if management gets too many guest complaints.
You were very kind and gracious, something that many people will be to avoid a scene during an unfortunate experience. Rest assure, a calm request to see management and the discussion that follows would have been handled discretely and courteously by management. I think you would have been happy how management would have made your experience much better if you had addressed the issue there in the restaurant instead of just writing your wonderful article. HINT: What did you get by writing this article? A free dinner? Free vouchers for other meals at WDW? Any compensation? No. You probably feel better by writing your great article, but you would have been much happier addressing the issue at that moment, getting appropriate compensation or satisfaction, and THEN writing your article.
Terry CaldwellLakewood, CA