Even though we’ve been to Disney World many times, we still haven’t done it all, and really, we’ve not even come close! Every time that we go, we try to incorporate new activities and restaurants, and the character dinner at 1900 Park Fare was one of our new experiences for this trip. We love doing character meals because it means that we don’t have to use park time to meet characters AND we get to check out different restaurants and resorts.
1900 Park Fare is located inside the beautiful Grand Floridian Resort, Walt Disney World’s Victorian-themed, flagship resort. While we often stop and wander around the hotel when we’re resort hopping on the monorail, this was the kids’ first time at a Grand Floridian restaurant (Jake and I went to Narcoosee’s and the Grand Floridian Café on our adults-only anniversary trip!).
We checked in a few minutes early for our reservation and were told that our party of 12 would be split into 2 tables, one for 8 and one for 4, as the maximum that their tables seat is 8. We were slightly annoyed as this was not disclosed when we made the reservation (and I have seen that disclosure at other restaurants), but since the hostess said there was nothing that they could do, we went along with it.
However, after being seated, we noted numerous tables (empty ones at that!) that could have been pulled together to accommodate a party of 12. After speaking with a manager, we found out that while they CAN seat large parties at one “table,” they don’t like doing it and it is really up to the personing assigning tables if they want to go to the extra effort for guest satisfaction. Now, for our party that consisted of four teens/tweens, it was not a huge deal to be split 8/4, but with a different configuration or younger children, it would have been incredibly inconvenient.
Once we got everyone situated, our server came around and took our drink orders and said everyone could head up to the buffet to get food and to make sure to check both sides because they had different offerings. I sent the kids up to get their food but told them to hustle so they didn’t miss any characters.
Prince Charming was the first character to come to our table. He chatted with the boys at their table first (Lexie was still at the buffet…) and then invited them to stand for a picture. The hardest part of having the tables split was that the characters didn’t realize that we had 4 kids at one table and 2 kids at the other. Or that the familial grouping of kids was actually 5/1 and we sometimes wanted pictures in that configuration, so we had to be very on top of things to get the kids in the picture.
The sweethearts with Prince Charming. I think the boys appreciated that this dinner wasn’t just a princess meal and featured a male character as well. And the girls love everything princess-related so it was right up their alley!
My niece, Hannah, wanted nothing to do with being in a picture with the rest of the kids and Prince Charming, however, she was content to smile for a quick picture from the safety of mom’s lap.
After Cinderella entered the room, she and Prince Charming danced around and quickly posed for pictures as a twosome, though not with any guests. It was fun to watch the interaction between the two of them since they do not typically meet together in the parks.
Cinderella was the next to come to our table and Ellie was in LOVE! Cinderella was so sweet to her and twirled her around a bit before posing for the pictures.
Cinderella and Lexie– a lot of the little girls that we saw were dressed up in their big princess dresses and while I feel like that would be uncomfortable for a long time, this t-shirt and tutu combo from the Disney Store was perfect, especially for the tween crowd as they grow out of the more common princess dresses!
Since Lexie got her picture alone with Cinderella, Ellie had to have one, too, and Cinderella was happy to oblige!
1900 Park Fare is known for their strawberry soup and it is served at both the breakfast and the dinner character buffets. It’s a chilled soup, tastes of strawberries and cream, and it is completely delicious!
After filling up about a dozen of the taster cups, Lexie finally filled a bowl with the strawberry deliciousness– it was her absolute favorite part about our dinner at 1900 Park Fare!
Anastasia, one of Cinderella’s stepsisters was the next to arrive and she was a riot!! Since the kids’ table had our three boys, she wanted to know which one was the richest or would have the best inheritance because that’s the one that she wanted to marry!!
Christopher and Benjamin quickly answered that Nick was the “richest” and Anastasia declared that they would be married! Clearly, Nick was not too sure about that proposition!
Drizella, Cinderella’s other stepsister was our last character of the night, and she played the role perfectly. She was loud, obnoxious, and made faces the entire time! Our crew got a kick out of the stepsisters and they were definitely the highlight of the evening! For some reason, Lady Tremaine, Cinderella’s stepmother was not meeting that evening though she does usually round out the group.
While the 1900 Park Fare dinner does not include a PhotoPass picture with a character (like at Cinderella’s Royal Table), you can get one with Cinderella’s glass slipper which of course, Lexie and Ellie wanted to take advantage of!
Overall we had an enjoyable experience though I don’t think it will become a must-do for our family. While the service (following the table issue) was adequate, it was not anything special or memorable. The food was good for a Disney buffet, in fact, it was one of the better Disney buffets that we’ve been to, but again, it was nothing hugely special or memorable so I’m guessing that’s why I forgot to take pictures of everything but the soup. It was a great opportunity for our family to meet characters that we haven’t met before and we really enjoyed the interaction with the stepsisters. If we return for another dinner, it will be more for the character interaction and strawberry soup than for the rest of the buffet.
Things to Remember for a 1900 Park Fare Dinner
- The usual characters are Cinderella, Prince Charming, Anastasia, Drizella, and Lady Tremaine, though that’s always subject to change and a replacement is not always available.
- Reservations fill up quickly so make sure to book 180 days out (or 180+10 if you’re staying at a Disney resort). If you can’t get a reservation, keep trying because people change and cancel their plans all the time!
- Parties bigger than 8 may be split up and it’s at the discretion of the person assigning tables.
- The more you interact with the characters, the more fun the experience will be. They love to play along but that means you have to participate and fuel the banter (especially if you have little kids).
- Try the strawberry soup!!
Have you been to 1900 Park Fare for breakfast or dinner?? What’s your favorite character meal at Disney World??