Disney Dining is the thing in my family. Of the great debate: Dining First or Park First? We choose Dining first and structure our vacations around dining. We ate at numerous restaurants during our week-long tenure at Disney World in 2015 and ate out on the Deluxe Dining Plan. It has informed our dining decision making at Disney enormously on every trip since, of which there are soon-to-be three new Disney vacations (Summer 2015 for a month, Spring 2016 over Easter and upcoming Mid Summer 2016).
In 2015, I was unaware of how much things cost and whether I was getting a good deal or not. I have since become aware of my first-time Disney naivete and acquired much more Disney acumen since last Spring. Therefore, I've been sharing our list of the TOP 12 Disney Restaurants but in reverse order. This is our Worst-to-Best List, counting down to number one.
5th place: Raglan Road
Raglan Road was a wonderful experience. Unfortunately, we were rushed to get there since Raglan Road is at Downtown Disney, now called Disney Springs. Basically, If you are in the parks earlier in the day, you need to budget a minimum of one hour travel time to get out of any one park and into another. At least, you'll want to budget a healthy amount so as not be so stressed and running the equivalent of a half-marathon to make dining reservations and lose a possibly better table. What I have found is that Disney, in general, will always seek to accommodate you; only you'll likely lose out to a worse spot for having been late. In our case, we were between twenty to forty minutes late for Raglan Road. In other words, a lot.
We were seated at one of those high chair tables. You know, the ones where your legs dangle and you are reminded oddly of being on the toilet when you were a toddler and you just wished you could be bigger? I don't really like those tables. But, seeing as I was *really* late, I was not about to complain. (I'm not really a complainer anyway - in person, that is -- give me an anonymous forum like a blog post and watch me tear it up!) 😉
The great thing about Raglan Road was the service. In fact, the server sat down with me and covered my food allergies. He assured me that the chef would accommodate me and that they would be able to fry all their pub goodies in gluten, dairy, egg and soy free ingredients. I thought, "It can't be true!" But, it was true. And more importantly, it was delicious! I had the gluten and dairy free fish platter with gluten and dairy free onion rings and they were outstanding. Large, juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside with just the right amount of seasoning.
The kids had fried pub goodies as well and raved! They were tired and hungry, for sure, but for them to rave or get excited over any food? They ranked Raglan Road VERY high (and this isn't necessarily a kids' place! I mean you can certainly bring your kids here and they are welcome but as you look around, you'll see mostly adults for as far as the eye can see!) For the kids, Raglan Road ranked above many other kid dining favorites such as Crystal Palace and the *ridiculously* coveted Cinderella's Royal Table.
My one big mistake at Raglan Road (besides arriving late and getting less than stellar seating was the fact that I chose to pay my bill with Deluxe Dining Credits. As you can see on the bill, I had 12 Deluxe Credits remaining after Raglan Road. What I didn't know at the time was the value of a dining credit. For anyone over ten, one dining credit equals approximately $37.00. I spent $76.68 at Raglan Road so I came away with a loss for having dined there to the tune of $34.32. I'll do better at some other restaurants so we'll see if I'll break even.
One more thing! The live dancing is really great. They are truly professionals. After you've seen one too many dance recitals, you'll be oddly amazed that people can actually dance this well in real life - it's really above and beyond the best kid dancer at the Spring Recital, I gotta say.
Here's a little video of that dancing I was talking about. It's not the best video, mostly due to the fact that I was located in the wayyyyyy back of the restaurant. But hey, that was our fault for being late. Moral of the story? Plan, prepare and get there on time!