Ale & Compass Restaurant Breakfast Review

Two years ago we enjoyed a wonderful buffet breakfast at this restaurant when it was Captain’s Grille.  It is one of the more cost effective options for the Epcot Candlelight Processional dining package during the holiday season. Now it has been re-imagined into a more quiet & luxurious feeling restaurant and the breakfast menu has changed from a full buffet to an entree and optional continental buffet.


Overview

Location: Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
Hours:
breakfast 7:30am – 11:00am
lunch 11:30am – 2:00pm
dinner 5:00pm – 9:00pm
Dining Style:  Table service with an optional continental buffet for breakfast
Dining Plan:  1 table service credit
Atmosphere: Warm, quite and inviting
* all information subject to change
My review of this experience:  3.5 out of 5 stars
Read through for details on why I have given this review for this experience

Menu


Since we had the Candlelight Processional Dining Package during this visit, we selected the Buffet option which included the continental breakfast buffet as well as our choice of one entree. 

Review from my Experience
The Ale & Compass was our Candlelight Processional Dining package reservation.  The Candlelight Processional package allowed us to have guaranteed seats at the show with John Stamos as the narrator.  We have been wanting to try the Ale & Compass since the redesign and it was the most cost effective option as well.
Our reservation was for 10:55am and we checked-in at the podium 11:00am.  We were told that they were running a little behind & that they would text my cell phone when our table was ready.  We were okay with the wait because there are so many beautiful holiday decorations to look at in the resort.
I got a text around 11:35am & were promptly seated in a comfortable booth table & handed menus.  Our server did not arrive to acknowledge us for about 15 minutes & left after explaining our choices.  When he returned to take our order he told us to help ourselves to the continental buffet since it was included in our dining package.
When we visited the buffet, we found that they had limited amounts of food left.  The grapes were gone & there was only one cinnamon roll left.  Soon our food was delivered and we were told that the buffet was closing for lunch and we should go back one more time if we wanted to.  There was even less selection at that point.
– The Breakfast Flatbread was a very large portion, but I found it to be a little rich & oily in texture.  I may just be spoiled by the pizza at Via Napoli.
– The steak on the open-faced skirt steak sandwich was slightly tough; I prefer my steak to be very tender.
– The salted caramel-apple french toast was good comfort food and my family approved of the taste.
– The dark chocolate waffles were probably the favorite for our family topped with the rich cream and a side of bacon.

To their credit, when we mentioned that the cinnamon rolls were gone & they told us that they would not be making more, the manager overheard & did go to the Ale & Compass Market & bring some extra large cinnamon rolls from outside of the restaurant.  This is much more typical of the Disney service that we are spoiled by.

One of my favorite parts of the meal was my London Strand Earl Gray Twinings Tea.  I really enjoyed the beautiful flavors offered with my meal.  If purchased at the Twinings Tea store in the Epcot UK Pavilion, the cost of this tea is about $1.00 a bag.

I know that I may be slightly harsh in my review, but Disney has set the bar so high with their food that I now tend to expect excellence when my meal totals $180.00 for four adults.

What I would change for next time
If we take advantage of this low priced meal for the Candlelight Processional again, I will make a reservation for an earlier time.  I think that our experience could have been improved if we had not missed out on the delicious offerings at the continental buffet because we were seated so late.

Additional Information
I have to add that I did really like the redesigned bench seating at the back of the restaurant.  There is now a space behind the benches to set your park bags & other things.  This is very convenient & leaves more room on the benches to sit.


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Thank you for reading.  My name is Melissa and I am a Disney fanatic, I’m also a travel agent.  You will find me almost every weekend in one of the Disney theme parks with my family exploring all of the newest things that Disney has to offer.
Melissa Mathies – Pixie Dust Adventures
www.PixieDustAdventures.com
Melissa@PixieDustAdventures.com

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Pandora, World of Avatar Preview

Avatar is a movie that has touched my soul.  There are people that love Star Wars, Marvel, Star Trek & more.  Myself, I am more of an Avatar gal.  I love animals, nature & the message of this movie.  Pandora in Animal Kingdom really brought all of this to life for me and I may have or may not have squeaked a tear when I rode the Flight of Passage attraction; there is no proof.  Disney has done a phenomenal job of bringing this movie off of the screen & into reality.  It feels like standing on another planet; the design is flawless, the sounds of the indigenous species surround you and some of the plants are interactive.  If you are an Avatar fan like I am, you must not miss this new land in Animal Kingdom!
Be sure to scroll all the way to the end of this article for a video of my Pandoran preview experience.

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156-foot-tall “floating mountains” are the centerpiece of the Valley of Mo’ara

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Pandora Preview Map

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Pandora preview Map inside

One of the first things that we came to as we entered Pandora was a giant plant that smoked & made sounds when you touched it.  Right next to the plant was one of two brand new Wilderness Explorer stations located in Pandora.
For those of you that are not familiar with this program, you can pick up your Wilderness Explorer guide at various locations around the park and work through the (now 32) learning experiences throughout Animal Kingdom and earn badges (stickers) for each experience and a completion sticker at the end.

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Wondering through the Valley of Mo’ara was visually stunning.  Floating mountains, bright plants from another world, waterfalls and sounds of the Pandoran primates  from all directions immersed me in this distant world.

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We stopped for a few pictures before heading off to use our fastpass on the Flight of Passage attraction.  On the way we encountered an Amplified Mobility Platform, which is the huge motorized suit that the soldiers drove on Pandora.

The elaborate queue design for the Flight of Passage attraction is entertaining in itself.  The science lab in the queue was not operational during our visit & I look forward to seeing the Na’vi, growing in the fluid filled tube, on my next visit in a few weeks when the park opens to the public.  As we passed through the queue, we were given numbers & separated into different chambers to be ‘debugged’ for our link with our avatar.  Jackie Ogden appeared onscreen and took scans of our bodies and brain waves.  We proceeded from one room to the next where we were instructed by Sigourney Weaver on what to do for our experience with the Banshee flight.
The height restriction for Flight of Passage is a minimum of 44″

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One of the preparation rooms for the Flight of Passage.  You are asked to move around & as they scan you on the screen.

Once you are prepared and handed your flight glasses, you enter the room where you will link with your Avatar which is already seated on a Banshee high in the mountains.  You straddle the seats’ bike style’ and the back of the seat comes up behind you to hold you in.  Get ready for an amazing flight!!!  You can feel the Banshee move & breath as you ride.  (I’m not tearing up writing about this truly unique, amazing experience! really… I’m not)

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During your unbelievable flight through the stunning landscape of Pandora, every one of your senses is engaged.  The visually stunning landscapes rush past as you smell, feel and hear each and every minute of your flight.

Once your flight is over you exit into Windtraders gift shop where you will find numerous unique souvenirs.  My kids could not resist adopting their own banshee from the Rookery while we were there.

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Spending time in Windtraders is an experience in itself.  Parents be cautioned, the Banshee Rookery will draw you in & you may just leave with a new member of the family for the bargain price of $49 + tax
I almost expect Disney to eventually release a new version of the Banshee that is interactive with the Pandora park surroundings.

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Next Stop… the Na’Vi River Journey.  This peaceful boat ride takes you on a journey down the sacred river where you encounter bioluminescent plans, spinning orange disks, moving silhouettes of lizards and more.  Perhaps the star of this attraction is the anamatronic Na’vi Shaman singing toward the end of your journey.  This is the most advanced anamoatronic I have seen so far in a theme park; the Na’vi is so real & life like that you have to wonder if it is not a person in costume.
Scroll to the bottom on the article for a full ride through video of this attraction in my Pandora video on YouTube

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By the time we were done with the River Journey, our time in Pandora was almost over.  We wanted to be sure & stop for a few Photopass pictures to remember the night.

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near the entrance / exit of the park is a musical set of trees with drums embedded in the tree stumps.  Drumbeats will respond to you when you interact with these trees.

Although the restaurants were closing for the night, we took a few minutes to wander through them and look at the menus.  The food is unique and something that you will not find anywhere else.  You can pre-order your meal through the Disney Parks app & pick it up once you arrive to avoid the wait at the order counter. (another first in Disney tech)  I guarantee I will be eating a few meals there when the park has officially opened.

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As the sun set for the day, the pathways lit up with bioluminescent plant life.  They were still working on the details and not all of the affects were available.  Another reason for me to return in the near future.

If you would like to follow me through some of my Pandoran preview, feel free to watch the YouTube video below:

Thank you to all of my fans for reading and following as I share my adventures with you!
I am a HUGE Disney fanatic and I’m also a Travel Agent.  I charge NO additional fees to help you plan your next vacation, it costs exactly the same to book through me or directly through Disney.  Why not take advantage of a little free planning assistance?

My name is Melissa and you will find me almost every weekend in one of the Disney parks with my family.  We never run out of things to do, taste, try, experience & explore.  I look forward to helping you plan your own adventure to Pandora!

Melissa, Travel Designer & Destination Specialist
www.PixieDustAdventures.com
Melissa@PixieDustAdventures.com
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