Odd and End Disney World impressions

January 21, 2015, 8:02 PM

Just got home from a great week-long trip to WDW, hadn't been there in almost 4 years.

We tried to do a bunch of random/different/new things we hadn't tried on previous trips. Here are some quick impressions. Would love to see others' impressions on similar odd-and-end things to give us ideas on what to do/not do for future trips.

- Art of Animation Resort: Great value for the money. Pool was sweet, including DJ and fun kids' activities (like trivia competitions) every half hour. Food court was good, particularly choose-your-own-pasta and choose-your-own-burger stations, decent value for the money (by Disney standards) and good quality. Theming in Little Mermaid room was a big hit. Would stay there again for sure, enjoyed more than All-Stars and Pop Century.

- Behind the Seeds Tour (Epcot/Land Pavillion): Not bad, but nothing special. 11-year-old daughter liked it.

- Via Napoli (Epcot): Food was very good, but prices were ridiculously high for what we got. Will not go back.

- Sci-Fi Dine In Theater (Hollywood Studios): Fun. Surprisingly good food quality. Prices somewhat high, but not outrageous. Would go again.

- Pepper Market (Coronado Springs): Changed a lot since we were last there, much worse than before, 3 of our dinners (of 4 people) were not fresh. Used to be our favorite food court at WDW, now may never return.

- Family Magic Tour (Magic Kingdom): Not horrible, but somewhat disappointing. Was really just for kids but adults were same cost. Tour guide tried hard, and might be good if group was very small (our had about 10 kids + 10 adults) or kids were pretty young. Improved a bit by end as we got a ride on Winnie the Pooh and kids met two characters.

- Hoop-de-Doo Review (Ft. Wilderness): Started slow, but got better as it went. By the end, we all liked it (including kids). Not sure if quality improved or if we just had drunk enough to enjoy it... :-)

- Magic Bands/FP+: Great! Surprisingly seemed a big upgrade over the old system. Mobile app was also great and helped a lot (after website was horrible during our planning).

- Snacks: Cinnamon Almonds were fantastic, my new favorite "standard" snack available at all WDW parks, got them 3 times. Loved seeing the vegan/allergy snack stand in Animal Kingdom as well, had a good vegan donut there (was too cold for tofutti that day). Best surprise (my kids) were the amazing huge cupcakes at Cheshire Cat Cafe (Magic Kingdom).

Replies (4)

January 22, 2015, 7:44 AM

Another veggie the park enthusiast? Glad to hear there are TWO of us out there!
I haven't done any of the guided tours at the resort, but have always wanted to do Keys to the Kingdom and Behind the Seeds. Do they give you anything to taste on Behind the Seeds? Supposedly, Garden Grill serves veggies grown on-site... could be a good experience combo.
Speaking of which, Sci-Fi Drive In is excellent and I agree the price is just on the north side of right. Combining a meal there or at 50's Prime Time Diner with a ride on Tower of Terror makes for an excellent afternoon theme.
Awesome details, man. Thanks for sharing!

Edited: January 22, 2015, 9:33 AM

I couldn't agree more with the love being shown for Sci-Fi Drive In. It's a must do on every one of our trips. While the prices are a tad high and the food just a step above the counter service locations, the amazing themeing and awesome Oreo Milkshakes more than make up for it. We always have a blast laughing at all of the cheesy old sci-fi trailers they show on the screen throughout your meal. I hope whoever came up with the concept got a raise because it really exemplifies the creativity and imagination Disney is all about. My wife and I always debate the better themed restaurant; San Angel Inn in Epcot's Mexico Pavilion/Blue Bayou in Disneyland or Sci-Fi Drive In.

As far Garden Grill Travis, we tried it for the first time on our most recent trip. The vegetables were nothing special so you may be somewhat disappointed if that's what you're after. The real focus of the family style meal was the steak, turkey and fish which were all mediocre at best. The vegggies were sort of an afterthought garnishing the meats. It was also legitimately overpriced running us just short of $90 for 2 people. I never mind spending when the food warrants it but in this case it did not. The highlight was rotating through the dark ride portions of Living with the Land while we ate which was really cool but not enough to go back.

January 22, 2015, 12:30 PM

During "Behind the Seeds" we got to taste cucumbers grown in the greenhouse.

I'm not a veggie enthusiast, more a sweets-lover with lactose and other stomach issues. WDW has amazing-looking sweets in all the parks and resorts, but very few are lactose-free. Seeing the vegan donuts and tofutti in Animal Kingdom (as well as the ice cream stand in Magic Kingdom) made me smile big, hope they add this type of stuff at the hotels and in the other parks.

January 26, 2015, 8:40 PM

I'm surprised that you won't go back to Via Napoli. I feel it is the best Pizza in all the parks. Don't get me wrong, it is expensive, but I feel that it is worth it!

We are kind of meh on Sci Fi Dine In. The theming and atmosphere is top notch, but the food was ok.

Glad the Fastpass+ worked for you!

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