Walt Disney World’s resort loop resorts house some of the most coveted accommodations on property. The deluxe resorts maintain some of the best rooms, quickest access to the Magic Kingdom, and beautiful views. Amongst all of the amenities on site include a variety of sit-down dining options. Today, we’ll look at one of the more accessible dining options offered at the Contemporary Resort: The Wave Restaurant.
On the first floor of this towering resort, tucked in the corner next to the front desk, is The Wave’s tunnel entrance. The short ramp brings you to the host desk and a chic lounge where you can wait for your table. With the thematic lighting and the small tables, the lounge evokes the feel of a hip urban bar.
The dining room itself, however, evokes more of a casual suburban chain restaurant. The “wave” theme shows itself with curving ceiling hangs and squiggly chair backs. But outside of that, there really isn’t much else that evokes the theme. Outside of your beverages, no water is visible. Overall, the dining room is nice but you won’t feel out of place if you’re dressed for a day in the parks. We did have issues with the noise level within the dining room and often had trouble hearing one another.
Service was friendly though a bit inattentive. Our waiter brought us what he described as “freshly baked” whole grain bread and butter with smoked sea salt. We were surprised to find that the bread not only was not warm but actually felt like it had been slightly chilled. The butter itself was so chilled that it could not be spread at all. Despite this, the smoked sea salt did add a nice taste to the bread.
Since we were heading to a party after dinner, we opted simply for entrees. We considered cocktails but nothing on the menu seemed to stand out above other cocktail menus we have seen before. As a whole, Wave’s menu is one of the less adventurous on property but would be more approachable for larger, diverse parties.
My entree, Seared Potato Gnocchi, was tasty if understated. The texture was fairly mushy with little crunch mixed in with the potato-filled pasta and very little searing to counter their softness. Though porcini mushrooms are listed as the first ingredient there was only a few small slices. Blistered tomatoes seemed to add slight color to the dish rather than being an integral part.
My girlfriend’s Grilled Beef Tenderloin was a much different experience. Ordered at medium temperature, the inside was properly pink but the exterior searing overwhelmed the meat and gave it a burned flavor. The “crispy shallot” was more akin to french fried onions and the Vidalia Onion glaze seemed like an A-1 clone. The Yukon Mash seemed like a scooped out baked potato while the “American Accoutrement” was a mix of sour cream, bacon, cheese, and chives. Basically it was a loaded baked potato without the skin.
Though I left feeling full, the value of the meal we had felt like it fell well short of the cost we had paid. Dining within Walt Disney World often comes with a higher price tag, but many of the options make up for it with exceptional atmosphere and service. At just under $60 for two entrees and no beverages after the Tables in Wonderland discount, our experience did not live up to the cost.
While we left The Wave underwhelmed by their food, I did feel full without feeling stuffed. This allowed me to keep going through our night’s activities without feeling sluggish or hungry. But the small benefit did not outweigh an otherwise forgettable dining experience.
Have you had a meal at The Wave? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments below.