Top 10 Signature Restaurants that give you the most bang for your buck!
The first time I tried the dining plan was 5 years ago on a 5 day trip to celebrate my 5 year wedding anniversary. We indulged in the Deluxe Dining plan and I was eager to plan my reservations in advance. 3 table service meals a day was exciting and I was eager to try 15 new restaurants. With the Dining Plan, you only get an entrée and a dessert, but with the deluxe plan, you also add an appetizer to every meal. I should have thought this through, but let’s just say that my entire trip revolved around antacid. I also slept more in the days after my trip and gave new meaning to the term “food coma.” Now, when we add the deluxe plan, we often double up credits for signature meals. 2 regular credits will allow you to enjoy a signature experience or a dinner show.
Though the double credit saves my stomach, it sometimes makes me wonder if the price of the plan is worth the money. So, I sat down and did my research to find the best combinations of food to see how much bang for my buck I am getting. I have compiled this list of the most expensive appetizer, entrée and dessert options.* Remember that this is not the list of the best selections, but the most expensive! (though many are!)Also, the higher the price, the more tip you have to leave, so that can be an uncalculated cost. Oh, and I hope you love steak because this list is full of it!
*Often, a cheese board is offered at higher prices than some appetizers, but all desserts. Depending on of you choose, you can make a more expensive meal with a cheese board. You are also allowed to order a non-alcoholic beverage included in the plan. Ask for French pressed tea or coffee for an outstanding deal. Most sodas are $2.99, smoothies and shakes can cost up to $5.49 or more, but French pressed beverages usually begin at over $6.49.
#10 Flying Fish Café at Disney’s Boardwalk-$70
Start your meal with either Yellowfin Tuna Tartare and Crispy Tepura Tuna-Vegetable Sushi Roll Hijiki and Wakame Seaweed, Yuzu Tobiko, and Wasabi Foam with a Sweet-and-Spicy Sauce or Chardonnay-steamed PEI Green Isle Mussels with Fennel, Chiles, Pesto Crema, and Ciabatta Crostini. At $18, either will get you started off in a very expensive way! Dinner will be Char-crusted Angus New York Strip Steak with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Red Bermuda Onions, Young Carrots, and Haricot Verts with Classic Sauce Foyot. The steak is a nice choice at $43. Finish off this wonderful meal with a sweet delight in the Trio of Concession Sweets: “Out on the BoardWalk” Popcorn Mousse and Caramel Corn, Cherry-Limeade Popsicle, and Dark Chocolate Fudge “Burger” and Pound Cake “Fries” for $9.
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#9 Jiko-The Cooking Place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Jambo House- $71
Start with a very different type of appetizer with the Grilled Wild Boar Tenderloin with Mealie Pap, Chakalaka, White Truffle Oil, and Micro Cilantro at a $16 tag. Next up is Oak-grilled Filet Mignon with Ancient Grain Pilaf, Brussels Sprouts, and South African Red Wine Sauce at $44. End this meal with Lemon-Mealie Koeksister with Roasted Stone Fruit and Olive Oil Ice Cream at $11. I have personally had this exact meal and it was simply divine!
#8 Monsieur Paul, Epcot France Pavilion-$73
I ‘ll do my best to translate, but here is what you want to order! Start with Saumon mi-cuit mariné, salade de concombre (Lightly cooked marinated salmon, blinis, cucumber salad) for $17. Next, order Filet de boeuf grillé forestier, purée de pomme de terre, sauce (Bordelaise Grilled beef tenderloin with mushroom crust, mashed potato, Bordelaise sauce) a $43 selection. Finish your meal with any dessert selection except the Vacherin glace vanille, framboise, crème chantilly (Vanilla ice cream and raspberry sorbet in a meringue, whipped cream) because at only $11, it is $2 less than any other choice.
#8 The Dining Room at Wolfgang Puck Grand Café, Downtown Disney’s West Side-$73
A total tie with Jiko, either offers an expensive meal. Begin with your choice of 4 $18 appetizers: Wasabi Pea Crusted Crab Cakes with yuzu aioli; Seared Scallops in a cauliflower puree, caramelized cauliflower, brown butter-Meyer lemon vinaigrette; Lobster and Crab Salad with horseradish panna cotta, marinated tomatoes, avocado puree; or Roasted Beets frisee, arugula, goat cheese, pistachios, Florida citrus vinaigrette. Your main course should be Sichuan NY Strip “Au Piovre” with broccolini, shiitake mushrooms, caramelized shallot sauce, crispy potatoes for $45. Any dessert will do for $10.
#6 Fulton’s Crab House, Downtown Disney-$75
A common starter, you will be ordering Crab Cake: Jumbo lump blue crab, maque choux, fried green tomato, remoulade for $16. Your main course should be Narragansett, Rhode Island Lobster(1 ¼ pound lobster) with shrimp, scallop, mushroom, spinach and cream stuffing, toasted breadcrumbs, red skin potatoes at a $49 price tag. To end your feast, order Classic Tollhouse Cookie Sundae: Jumbo chocolate cookie topped with vanilla bean ice cream, chocolate sauce and whipped cream, served in an iron skillet for $11. This may only be #6 on the list, but I definitely want to order this combination!
#5 Yachtsman Steakhouse, Disney’s Yacht Club-$77
First, order the Charcuterie Board with Suckling Pig, Summer Sausage, Cured Meats, Accoutrements or Shrimp Cocktail with Fennel, Chervil, Meyer Lemon Gel, House Cocktail Sauce for $18. Next, you’ll want to ask for 12-oz Prime New York Strip Steak with White Cheddar Twice-baked Potato, Peppercorn-Brandy Sauce at $48. Finish this meal with Chocolate-Peanut Cake with Pretzels, Salted Caramel Gelato, and Liquid Ganache at $11. A hefty order!
#4 Citrico’s, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa-$80
Order the very tasty Tamarind-grilled Bershkire Pork Belly with Spiced Sorella Mascarpone Creamed Corn for $16. Next, Braised Veal Shank with Roasted Elephant Garlic-Smashed Yukon Gold Potatoes, Rainbow Carrots, Heirloom Long Beans, and Toasted Citrus Gremolata for $53. Finish with Warm Chocolate-Banana Torte with with Vanilla Ice Cream and Handcarfted Belgium Couverture Chocolate Crown or Tiramisù with Italian Galbani Mascarpone and Chocolate Sauce. This was the exact meal I ordered at Citrico’s the last time I was there (minus the Tiramisu) and I have to attest to the yumminess.
# 3 California Grill, Disney’s Contemporary Resort-$82
Begin with Baked Jumbo Prawns with Charred Lemon, Blistered Baby Tomato and Cippolini Onion Relish, Watercress for $20. Your entrée order should be Oak-fired Filet of Beef with Heirloom Tomato Risotto, Baby Vine Tomatoes, Petite Basil, Tomato Butter at $49. A sweet finish with Chocolate Pudding Cake: a Luscious Chocolate Cake with Nutella Filling, Meringue Kisses, and Mint Chantilly for $13.
#2 Le Cellier, Epcot Canada Pavilion-$83
I know you want the soup, but order “Le Cellier” Lobster Chopped Salad a Mixed Field Greens, Haricot Verts, Avocado, Tomatoes, and “Lake Meadow” Egg for $17. Go with the $56 Dry-Aged Bone-In Rib-Eye Dry-Aged for 21 Days, Fingerling Potatoes, Roasted Garlic Butter. And finish this delicious meal with either Neopolitan Cappuccino Cake and Cappuccino Mousse, Caramel-Pretzel, and Chocolate Cake; Coconut Three Ways: Coconut Gelée, Macaroons, Coconut Gelato, Candied Marcona Almonds, Chili-Laced Chocolate; or White Chocolate Cheesecake with Citrus Shortbread Cookie, Seasonal Berries, and Raspberry Air. All cost $10.
#1 Narcoossee’s, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa-$100
Oh, yes. This is where you want to go. Not only is it delicious, but you are going to get your money’s worth! Begin with Prince Edward Island Mussels in a Tomato-White Wine-Saffron Broth with Chorizo, Shaved Fennel, Red Onion, and Toasted Baquette for $19. Next is the INCREDIBLE Butter-poached Maine Lobster Tail and choice of Grilled Black Angus 12-oz New York Strip or 14-oz Bonless Rib-Eye Applewood-smoked Bacon Potato Gratin, Organic Summer Vegetables, and Salsa VerdeFOR $72. And, finish with your choice of Blueberry-Lemon Trifle Layers of Blueberries, Lemon Curd, and Sponge Cake with Roasted White Chocolate Gelato, Chantilly Cream, and a Cocoa Nib Tuile; Coconut and Chocolate Crème Brûlée Layered Coconut and Chocolate with Whipped Chantilly Cream and Toasted Coconut; or Chocolate Torte with Chocolate Crème and Raspberries all for $10.