We started reserving character meals years ago when my children were small. To keep costs down, we only incorporated one or two into our trips. One of the best things about receiving the free dining promotion for the past couple of years has been the opportunity to dine at many more character meals. I wanted to share a pictorial review of one of our favorites — Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner in the 1900 Park Fare.
My family and I often enjoy the Supercalifragilistic Breakfast at 1900 Park Fare, but this was our first dinner experience. I made our reservation for 4:40 p.m. so we would have plenty of time to see all the Christmas decorations at the Grand Floridian and enjoy a wonderful meal together before heading back to the Contemporary to veg out and later bask in the pleasure of drinking coffee while watching Wishes from our balcony.
We arrived 15 minutes early, just as any good rule-obeying Disney fans would. We checked in and received our pager and then headed to the lobby to behold all the wonderful decorations, including the magnificent tree and gingerbread house. At around 4:50 our pager lit up and we stood in a line to take our picture before going in. Here we are…
Our family of 10 included my mom, my sister, my brother-in-law, two of my nephews, my husband, our two sons, our daughter and me. What a motley crew!
After posing for the picture, we were escorted into the restaurant, just as all special guests are once they arrive at Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner. We took our places at our table. We were not seated in the large main area but on one side, which was just fine with me. The way I look at it, if we were on the side then someone with small kids could be in the larger area. Not to take anything away from my youngest nephew, who is only 11, but he is an 11-year-old boy, after all. That compared to a 6-year-old girl who dreams of becoming Cinderella…I’m sure you see what I mean.
Our server was there in the blink of an eye – the fairy godmother must have poofed her up. We ordered our drinks and then started making our way to the all-you-can-eat buffet. There were so many food choices it was ridiculous! You can see the menu selection here.
We all got back to the table and were thoroughly enjoying our time to be together on this wonderful trip at this wonderful restaurant with this wonderful food. Then, before we knew it – the mayhem began. Lady Tremaine, Anastasia and Drizella were in the house!!! We had spotted them…and they had spotted us. These girls were hilarious!
Anastasia latched on to my Johnnie right away. Even though he was wearing a Popeye shirt, she kept calling him her pirate! It must have had something to do with the tattoos. She kept feeling his muscles and she was wide-eyed and smitten!
She wouldn’t let him go and was brown-nosing all of us so we would welcome her into the family. Then, she was off – running all the way to the other side of the restaurant.
Soon, Lady Tremaine came over in order to question our boys’ intentions with her daughters.
First, she asked him if he had intentions to marry her lovely Anastasia!
It was not long before Drizella came around. She was looking for a husband too, you know, and she was trying to question all the other boys. In her attempt to clarify which one she was not supposed to choose, she YELLED across the restaurant, “Which one is yours, Anastasia?” And, even before hearing the whole question, Anastasia hollered back “I WANT THE PIRATE!!”
Then Anastasia came running back again to make sure her sister was honoring her request.
A little while later, after our initial excitement, we all had the pleasure of meeting Cinderella –who was undoubtedly the sweetest, most enchanting girl in the world. All the boys loved Cinderella, of course.
And Prince Charming got uber lucky to get to pose with all the pretty girls on his arm. He was a true gentleman and we were all very happy to meet him – especially my mom who has not been treated that royally in all her 75 years!
The Grand Floridian’s 1900 Park Fare is a beautiful restaurant with a large selection and great food, but if you are not coming for the character experience you might wish to dine elsewhere. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a tasty meal with some of the best bread pudding with vanilla sauce IN THE WORLD, mixed in with a humungous dose of fun and games with some genuinely talented cast members, then this is the place for you! Bon Appétit!
Brenda is a native Texan born and raised on the Gulf Coast. She visited Disney World twice as a teenager and always dreamed of growing her family Disney. She took her first-timer husband and their three children to Disney World in 2000 and they now spend every Thanksgiving there. Brenda writes with a comedic twist on various Disney topics. She will be sharing tips she has learned during her travels and also hopes to enlighten people on little-known freebies that Disney has to offer. She wishes she could have met Walt Disney and considers herself to be a student of Walt. In parallel to his dream it is her wish that everyone would take at least one trip to Disney World in order to share in its magic with their families.