We normally are not under-dressed at Walt Disney World restaurants. When we eat at a signature restaurant, we normally dress accordingly, usually to the point that we’re overdressed. However, for the third time in 2012, we felt under-dressed for a meal. In contrast to our meal at Bistro de Paris where we felt undressed due to the prim and proper tuxedo-clad servers, at Narcoossee’s we felt underdressed due to the nice resort wear of a lot of other patrons.
Thanks to the Disney Dining Plan we were far from the most under-dressed people in the restaurant, but there were plenty of people dressed better than us. The moral of the story is that whenever you dine at the Grand Floridian, dress well. When we ate at Citricos, there were also a lot of guests dressed very well. In fact, just wander around the lobby of the Grand Floridian and you’re likely to see plenty of guests who are well-dressed.
I don’t quite understand this (maybe it’s the Wedding Pavilion?), but the Grand Floridian seems like its own sanctuary apart from the rest of Walt Disney World. Even similarly-priced resorts like the Polynesian or BoardWalk rarely have the same number of well-dressed guests. Unless they’re hosting a wedding or some other event.
While I feel out of place when we randomly stop at the Grand Floridian to take photos after a long day in the parks, I do appreciate that it still has the classy feel of the “Vacation Kingdom of the World.” (Ironic because it was a product of the late 1980s.) If you ever take a look at Walt Disney World concept art or even photos from the 1970s, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
We last dined at Citricos prior to our Walt Disney World Engagement, and depending upon who you ask, that was one of the greatest nights (me) or one of the most regrettable decisions ever made (Sarah). The part of the story I conveniently leave out of our engagement story is that I ordered Sarah 7 martinis at Narcoossee’s to “help” her with the proposal decision that would follow. It was a brilliant plan by me, and one I can’t wait to share with our children!
Kidding aside, due to nerves and the like, I don’t really remember our meal from that night at Narcoossee’s. Heck, I didn’t even really remember it the next day. So we were definitely due for a return visit to Narcoosee’s, especially given the high praise we’ve heard others heap on it.
Narcoossee’s was surprisingly busy, but we were seated fairly quickly. Luckily, we were seated by a well-behaved mother and child who were wearing “park clothes” and another couple dressed comparably to us. I would say that they hid us riff-raff together, but since we were seated in the middle of the restaurant, I don’t think this was the case. Perhaps I just make a bigger deal about fine dining attire than most others.
I’ll do a full review later, but dinner at Narcoossee’s was just okay. Overall, Narcoosee’s is the most expensive signature restaurant at Walt Disney World, and while the ambiance is great, the cuisine was just not up to snuff. Both of our entrees were disappointing, especially from the perspective of lobster. It just didn’t taste fresh, but perhaps that was because it was overcooked. My filet mignon was similarly disappointing, as it was not tender at all. If your baseline is Red Lobster, the food wouldn’t disappoint, but given that the menu prices of our entrees were $65 and $66, the meal was a real letdown. If Narcoosee’s were a restaurant in a major city charging those prices and consistently serving cuisine of that quality, it would be out of business in a matter of months.
Given all of the praise heaped on Narcoossee’s, I guess there’s the chance that we caught the place on an off night. Generally, if we have a bad meal because of service we’ll give the restaurant another try in the near future because (presumably) service can vary widely. However, when cuisine-quality is the issue, we aren’t so forgiving. Obviously, it’s possible that our meal was an outlier, but I’m not willing to take a ~$200 gamble on that hope. If you’ve been to Narcoossee’s recently, I encourage you to share your thoughts in the comments.
On the plus side, our service was good, and our server promptly refilled my Coke on several occasions. I’m sure she wondered how any human could drink so many glasses of Coke so quickly. The lack of sleep was catching up to me, and all of that Coke was definitely needed!
With our expectations appropriately lowered, the first thing we did once we got to the Magic Kingdom was Stitch’s Great Escape.
As I’ve stated in the past, the only reason I continue to subject us to this attraction is because of my fond memories of Skippy (Sarah has no such fond memories, but she’s a good sport). Also because my quest to capture good photos of Stitch’s Great Escape is invariably thwarted by Cast Members within 10 seconds of me taking my first photo.
Of course, I put the camera away when they reprimand me for taking photos, but on each subsequent visit, I take photos again. I do this because I’m a rebel without a cause, and because there is no stated or written rule against photography in Stitch’s Great Escape. I think the Cast Members working this atrocious attraction just have to entertain themselves somehow (who can blame them?) so they’ve made up some random rules.
Oddly, on this particular evening, the Fun Police didn’t descend on me as soon as I put the viewfinder to my eye. In fact, no one said anything…at all. It wasn’t as if I was taking the photos in a clandestine manner (I was using a huge 70-200mm lens), so maybe the Cast Members were getting their kicks some other way on that particular night.
I ended up capturing a lot of photos, including one where Stitch actually spit on my lens (it’s tough to make out, but you can sort of see it). What an honor that was! Unfortunately, due to user error, my shots from the pre-show didn’t turn out too well.
We did a few other things, like Mad Tea Party, TTA, and Dumbo, before heading to Main Street to watch Wishes.
For some reason, Main Street was packed, so I didn’t bother setting up my tripod. I already have more fireworks photos than one person could possibly ever need in a lifetime (the number of fireworks photos one person “needs” is 2,127, in case you were wondering), so this wasn’t a big deal. Instead, I took a couple of handheld photos. Though not technically perfect, my lazy shot of the finale received a good response on Twitter. Had I known that it would turn out okay, I would’ve made more of an effort to get my camera above the heads in front of me!
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