Reviews of Two New Dining Experiences at Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World keeps expanding their menu, so to speak, with great dining experiences throughout the resort.  Earlier this month I got to experience two of them in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney Springs: Sci-Fi Dine In’s new breakfast dining and Morimoto Asia.

Sci-Fi Dine In

At any time of day, this restaurant has been one of my favorite to eat at.  I love the atmosphere and the film loop they project.  The food is good, though I’ll admit not the best you can get on property.  It’s about the whole experience.  It’s one of the more popular eateries of DHS and sometimes hard to get a reservation for lunch and dinner.  I was excited to learn that breakfast was available on a limited basis.

As far as the atmosphere and drive in theater experience, nothing is different from other meal times.  You still check-in the same place.  You still get seated in the same places.  The menu is different for breakfast, of course.  But, I’ll take a moment to talk about the indoor outdoor ambiance for those that haven’t been there yet.  The whole inside is set up to look like a drive-in during the 60’s.  The tables are rows of seats in top down cars.  There’s a looping video of clips of trailers and movie scenes all themed around science fiction.  My favorite short is from the classic Disneyland show where Walt himself introduces the possibility of life on other planets.  An animated sequence takes place where aliens abduct a damsel in distress.  Or is she?  Anyway, the environment is an outdoor indoor decorated dining room.  It surprisingly feels intimate while accommodating several families.

Like I said, the difference is the menu for breakfast.  Where the usual menu has separate items, breakfast is a three course meal for one price.  There are selections within each course, but for $23.99 you get a very good sized meal.

To start off, a selection of pastries are brought on a plate for each row to share.  Croissants, orange-glazed cinnamon buns, and chocolate muffins are the variety of choice.  Breakfast drinks are included in the meal, like coffee or orange juice (or both as I chose).  Next to choose is the appetizer.  Yes, an appetizer for breakfast.  Between the yogurt parfait and seasonal fruit and berries I chose the yogurt.  It had a selection of berries and granola with it, and was very tasty!  It was a good amount for an appetizer, about as much as one could get at a place like Starbucks.

Entrées has quite the list including crab and eggs, steak and eggs, a traditional eggs and bacon and potatoes, Brioche french toast, shrimp and grits, a healthy choice selection, or Mickey Mouse waffle.  Though the waffle was tempting I went for the steak and eggs.  Accompanying the steak was a quiche-like egg dish and delicious potatoes cooked with horseradish and cheese.  It was quite the gourmet dish.  The steak was tender and had a good taste with spices.  The egg dish was fluffy and had good texture with the bacon and cheddar.  It was nice to have a little bit of vegetables with it too.  I was quite pleased with selection and would definitely have it again before I would try any of the other dishes!

Overall, the meal was very good for the price!  It may seem like a lot to pay about $25 per person for breakfast, but it’s a satisfying meal.  I didn’t have to worry about finding lunch that day because of being so full.  When it’s broken down, I would expect to pay over $20 just for the steak and eggs and yogurt parfait.  I know I saved money within the meal when you include everything else.  And, I consider the price to include the atmosphere.  You’re getting entertainment with a meal, and that doesn’t always happen.  So, I highly recommend trying breakfast here.  It’s a relaxing way to start the day and enjoy something unique with the whole family.  It was a delicious meal that is one of the things I remember most from the trip I just took!

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Morimoto Asia

I realize that this fine dining restaurant opened a couple months before my last trip, but I had missed its grand opening by a couple months on my previous visit in the summer.  This is one of the restaurants I had been wanting to try at Disney Springs since its first announcement.

What I expected with the experience lived up to expectations.  That’s not bad, as I imagined it to be one of the finer dining experiences on property.  Morimoto is an Iron Chef, if you know of that realm of fame from Food Network.  I had expected the restaurant to feel like everything was gourmet and exclusive.  I expected the food to be unique and tickle my taste buds.  It was all this, and even more!

I was able to go at lunch time, which seemed like one of the better times to go.  There was only one other table occupied at the time so I was seated right away.  The service was one of the best I’ve had anywhere!  Servers take the time to talk to guests and wait on everyone with great attention (it got busier as time went on).  The table I was seated at showed off one of the great features of the restaurant: an open window kitchen.  I was able to watch a lot of the process, which was very fun for this Food Network fan.  It was fascinating to watch preparation in progress, and try to guess what each person’s exact role was.

The rest of the dining room was very artistic and grand.  Light fixtures caught my attention as they were sculpted to do so.  Artwork on the walls made this feel like an exclusive club in LA.

As for the menu, it had a wide selection, mostly Asian fusion dishes.  And when I say Asian fusion, I mean entrées with tastes from Japan and China together, for example.  It was very hard to pick a dish, but recommended was a lunch bento box option.  It had some items I did want to try and went with that.  My drink of choice was a Morimoto brewed Hazlenut Beer.  This was an amazing drink!  Sometimes a drink will say it has a flavor added, but you can’t tell.  This had a nice balance of a good beer and a very hazlenut flavor.  You pay for a good sized bottle of it, but know that it’s a bit pricey for a beer.

The lunch plate started with a salad and miso soup.  The miso soup had a very good broth, better tasting than several places I’ve been.  The salad was a nice blend with a good dressing to it.  Though I wanted to have a lot of both of these dishes, I knew the better was to come.  Out of the choices for the main dish, I chose the orange chicken.  The chicken had a very nice glaze to it that was not overly orange flavored and just the right amount of kick.  The chicken was very tender and easy to bite using chopsticks.  With this entrée came kimchi, steamed bok choy, a California Roll a la Morimoto, and a couple of dumplings.  I loved the fusion of the Asian cuisines on one plate!  The California Roll used real crab instead of imitation crab meat that is often found with these sushi rolls!  The dumplings were flavorful!  Though not a big kimchi fan, I did try some of it and found it to be a very good taste.  It was not too spicy and didn’t have an obnoxious smell to it (as I grew up on homemade kimchi and it was hard to get through).  There was even a spring roll, which was not stated on the menu, but, hey, I’ll take it!  It had a flaky and crunchy wrap to it that was not greasy at all.  The mix inside was exquisite for a spring roll.

In all, I really liked Morimoto Asia.  It’s a wonderful restaurant that brings some class to the resort.  Not that the rest of the eateries are bad, but they tend to cater to the average tourist that wants quick meals.  This was a very elegant and relaxing dining experience.  Expect the prices to reflect this, but they aren’t going to burn a big hole in pockets.  The lunch set was a good deal, not just because of the price but because you can sample so much of the menu at once.  The menu has a wide selection where everything really does sound good.  It was a hard decision to make and was glad to have the lunch set.  I am looking forward to dining here again, and especially want to try the duck next time!

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