1. I have actually never eaten here. It looks ok, but it has been a character breakfast for awhile. As much of Disney fans my family is, we are not big on breakfasts or characters...hmmm
2. I will agree with Tony's. It has been pretty hit or miss for my family. I actually think its better than it used to be (imagine that!)
3. I fully disagree with this choice! Can somebody explain why Nine Dragons is bad? I feel that it has a poor reputation due to it being Chinese food. Everybody has eaten local Chinese food and it probably was bad. At least in Chicago, we have two Chinese establishments: hole in the wall places and fancier table dining. Nine Dragons is in the fancy vein. I hate to say it, but its as good as Chicago's Chinatown. Plus, you can get lots of food.
4. Coral Reef? Really? I have never been there, but I have never really heard anybody pan it either.
5. What is wrong with Tutto Italia? Its the best Italian Resturant in Disney World (of course, that's not saying much). We usually skip it because we go to Via Napoli instead, but the food there has been pretty solid.
I am baffeled how Tutto made it, but not Mama Melrose. I think there is a East Coast conspiracy here :). You all know I love my Disney, but Mama Melrose has to be the most consistently worse service and Italian food I have ever had in my life. My family dislikes it so much, we joke that one of these days, we will try it again. We have given it three chances, no gratze!
I am not going to go into the counter service because its pretty much weak pizza and hamburgers.
Of course, Mythos was also on that list (this Disney fan disagrees-some of the best food at any Theme Park!)
Unrelated to Disney or Universal but on the same topic; Market Restaurant at Legoland Florida has the worst customer service I have ever experienced at any theme park restaurant.
Coral Reef has amazing food. Unfortunately the portions are really small and the prices are fairly obscene for what you get. But the food itself is great, and I've eaten there 3-4 times.
As for Mama Melrose, I admit I'm not a huge fan, though I still tend to eat there when I can get a reservation and am going to be at DHS. A few years ago they had the best Eggplant Parm around (in my opinion), but they 86'd that maybe two years ago or so and nothing else comes close to being as good a dish. And being a vegetarian dish, it was only about $10 if I recall, though I am not a vegetarian.
They also used to have an appetizer of bread and different varieties of dip, including a whole cooked clove of garlic that was really soft and spreadable. Amazing! But like the Eggplant Parm, it went the way of the dinosaurs and nothing else comes close to comparing.
If they could get those two dishes back, I'd recommend it to anyone! Without those two dishes, it's just a nice atmosphere and a place to get some basic Italian.
As for the table service restaurants, I disagree. I really like Nine Dragons, the buffet at Hollywood and Dine is quite good, and Coral Reef is one of my absolute favorite restaurants. Dining at a theme park should be just as much about the food as the theming and atmosphere. And you can't beat getting to look out the windows to the main tank of the Seas while eating at the Coral Reef. I was disappointed in Les Chefs de France. Of all the amazing French cuisine, there isn't a whole lot on the menu that sticks out. Guess you have to shell out the big bucks at Be Our Guest or the really big bucks at Monseuir Paul's to get the really good French food.
For full service, Epcot has great options. However, the quality has really fallen off since the widespread push of the Dining Plan. It's even more noticeable in the hotels. Almost everything is now focused on high volume rather than high quality. It's priced, though, as high quality. There are still several good options.
As a local, we would hit a hotel about once a month for a quick service lunch and hang out for a while for the atmosphere. Often a visit to a park in the evening followed, especially in the off season. With the new drink limits at the hotels, there is no longer a reason to go hang out for 2-3 hours. Since we're already not there, dinner elsewhere. I know our little bit is nothing to them, but I see it as another reason they're giving me to get out of the whole Disney habit.
That's why we hear so many conflicting reports about these restaurants. They're good for one party, and bad for the next. The great restaurants are the ones that are great for everyone.
Truly horrible restaurants, the ones that are terrible for everyone, simply wouldn't make it a month in environments as competitive at Disney World and Universal Orlando. But inconsistent restaurants serve enough customers well that they manage to persist.
Still, I think it's useful to look at ratings such as these, to know what your odds are with any given restaurant. Some of us would prefer not to take chances.
We try to get off of property and visit some of the restaurants outside but I am also NOT a fan of chain restaurants like Olive Garden, Steak and Shake, etc. I am not a snob, I just like to experience regional food if I can. I usually ask a local for suggestions.
Never eaten at Coral (hubby doesn't do fish) or Nine Dragons. I wish Pizza Planet served pasta like Red Rockit's at Disneyland. Mama's was okay about 5 years ago.
One more thing...my husband seems to think that the disagreement about the Italian places has a lot to do with whether the food is "New York" or "Chicago" in style. As an Italian man with an Italian mother, he liked the food in the Italian Pavilion at Epcot because it was closer to what he has eaten at home and in Italy. Now, we both realize that this is dependent on the chef of the day, the f&b manager of the month and whatever they are calling the restaurant at the time.
For my family our favorite restaurantes are:Sci Fi: By far the best service, and we love the place too.Akershus: The Norwegian feast is awesome!!!!Tusker House: Great Breakfast and great Lunch buffet
WELLSorry if my english is not goodGrettings
I think the rest of the 5 selected are off the mark. We live in Orlando and frequent the theme park eateries often and are just not seeing the same thing...
Tonys: NEVER had a bad meal there and the service has always been top notch!
Nine Dragons: We have not dined there much, but the last time we did was Christmas evening and it was very good and the service was great.
Coral Reef: WHAT? Not getting this at all
Tutto Italia: Agree and disagree... When it was Alfredo's it was the best on property. Then it changed and was really, really bad. We recently tried it again (we were told the restaurant changed management yet again)and the food was pretty good and the service was good as well. The downside is the menu price.
We had a rental car and I kept asking Cast Members were to eat off property that was not a chain restaurant and they all laughed. I just wanted to get a cheap good pizza...haha.