Disney World May 2012 Trip Report Pt 5
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!
There are multiple pages in this Walt Disney World trip report installment. Navigate to the next page below!
I am totally on board with you for a whaling attraction. We have a whaling museum on island and it is amazing. They could totally do a ride where you are in the harpoon boat chasing, then harpooning, culminating in a “Nantucket sleigh ride”. Or they could do one on the main ships or a journey through whaling. It could be very impressive.
I love your review and pictures. We are going in August 2013. You made me wonder as to how to dress for dinner at some of the fine dining restaurants when we will be going straight from park activities.
Are lockers a possibility? If so, you could use them. If not, don’t worry about dressing too nicely. Dressing nicely is part of the experience for us, but isn’t strictly necessary.
We ate at Narcoossee’s on our recent trip at the end of August and we were not impressed either. For a $200+ meal I was expecting A LOT more. If the food was better it would have been great because the atmosphere was nice and the service was good. The Lobster Tail and Filet Mignon were NOT that impressive though.
Also, we watched the parade from the exact spot you took those pictures from. We weren’t planning on watching it but got trapped in Liberty Square/Adventureland area so we had no choice. It really is a wonderful spot to watch from; having Cinderella Castle in the background is really nice. Now if I only had a nice camera like you I would have had some decent photos…
ANYTHING is better than Captain EO. Some way, some how, i had managed to miss this show on every Disney trip until just two weeks ago. 25 minutes I will never, ever get back!
We ate at Narcoossee’s last week. I had the whole main lobster, and my friend had the filet mignon. While it wasn’t as good as it once was, it was still a good meal. But I agree, I don’t think it was worth the high prices. If it wasn’t for the “free” dining plan, I would be upset that I paid for it.
Oh…and you aren’t the only one who visit’s SGE to see Skippy! 😉
i would rather tour the swan boats loading dock for an hour than sit through stitch again. nice pics though.
WOW!! you willingly ride Stitch, multiple times?? Way to take one for the team! Disney Imagineers really need to come up with a better idea for that area. Meet the Robinson’s would be a good alternative!
Loved the Fireworks photos!
What can I say…either I really like Skippy, or I just enjoy subjecting myself to bad attractions! 😉
don’t tell me you like captain EO too.
Someone obviously didn’t read the trip report…
you did mention that in your report, my mistake.
I absolutely love the last shot on the first page! There are so many fireworks of different colors happening! It looks great! If I wasn’t trying to buy a house, I’d be upgrading my camera to something for real for my next Disney trip next summer.
Also enjoy your haunted mansion ride through pics. Talk about some easy old fashioned technology that serves the attraction very very well.
Intend. It’s truly impressive how Haunted Mansion (and POTC) has been able to stand the test of time. The same cannot be said for ANY of the Fantasyland attractions, in my opinion. I’m more likely to give Peter Pan’s Flight or Mr. Toad a pass because they’re iconic and good fun, but they have not aged as well as POTC or HM.
House over camera?! You need to get your priorities in check! 😉
I LOVE the photo of you and Sara taking photos of each other on Space Mountain! We always plan our “ride photos” out before we all get on the rides. It was especially fun this summer having photo pass plus knowing we would get a copy of all of them.
Anyway, love your trip reports! Thanks for taking the time to keep us feeling like we vacation there as much as we would like.
Definitely a nice benefit of PhotoPass+. As you can see by the watermark in the photo…we did not have PP+!
As hard as I try I can never figure out where the camera is in the ride. My wife looks so cool posing and I look like some brain damaged oaf the snuck onto the ride.
Really love those photos of the fireworks and of you guys in the tea cups.
And I forgot to add that my husband and kids would totally vote for the Alf ride! Ha!
I love reading your updates. I always laugh! Thanks!
Hopefully you’re laughing with me and not AT me! 😉
I actually like the heads in the pictures. Gives it a Mystery Science Theater 3000 feel. And personality. 😉
I approach each trip report installment from the perspective of “how can I make this more like MST3000?” Guess I succeeded this time! 😉