Review by Kevin Klose - 11/07
With friends visiting from out of town, we found ourselves with advanced dining reservations for 1900 Park Fare. The restaurant is tucked away in a corner just inside the entrance to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.
There were 6 adults in our party and more than one of us was curious as to why a character buffet meal was chosen when our goal was to enjoy dinner and conversation…but two members of the party love 1900 and visit on each and every subsequent trip. As they had already made the reservations, the rest of us agreed that we would go along.
The restaurant had recently undergone a rehab period and we were curious as to what changes had occurred.
You are greeted at a hostess stand just outside a set of double doors that are closed when you arrive. This is where you will check in. In the past, Fairy Godmother from Cinderella was in this area greeting guests along with two of the mice, Suzie and Perla. That initial character interaction seems to have been discontinued.
One of the hosts / hostesses escorts you to your table and as those closed double doors open, you are greeted by one of the loudest restaurants on Disney property. I realize that that this is not the thing you usually notice first about a restaurant, but it’s impossible to not notice. It’s a wall of sound and excitement.
You are now part of a character experience and the excitement and anticipation is palpable. Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine and her two daughters Drisella and Anastasia are in the house and the younger set knows it.
1900 Park Fare is a buffet and the menu changes from day to day. On the day we were there, they were featuring an international menu. There were selections from France (coq au vin, salade nicoise), Italy (pasta, seafood salad), Asia (stir fry, rice) and assorted other dishes with an international bent. There were also “American” offerings. They were slicing prime rib, turkey and all of the trimmings (mashed potatoes, gravy etc). There is also a children’s buffet with typical kid fare…chicken, pizz, mac and cheese etc. and a dessert buffet.
When doing something like this, I would usually be more descriptive regarding the food offerings but my understanding is that the buffet will change daily and to be perfectly honest, the food takes a distant second place to the character aspect of this restaurant.
Meeting Cinderella is one of the highlights of a Disney trip for many youngsters and this is a great place to do that. Reservations tend to be easier to secure than those at Cinderella’s Royal Table inside the castle in the Magic Kingdom.
At 1900 Park Fare, Cindy makes her way through the dining room frequently. She is joined by the other characters and I must tell you…at least two of the Tremaine ladies are a hoot. Lady Tremaine is imperious and sarcastically funny with a subtle evil edge and Drisella was loud, crass, rambunctious and the kids LOVED her. On the evening we were there, Anastasia was a bit more low key, friendly but quiet. Druzilla had the children involved and dancing.
With that being said….I must make mention again of the noise level in this restaurant. It hovers near “chaos”. In addition to the noise being generated as the characters move through, there are pre-recorded musical announcements to celebrate any and all occasions going on and on the night we were there…there were groups of children screaming for no apparent reason other than excitement.
We sat near a young family with 5 boys and at one point all five boys were screaming at the top of their voices, not at anyone in particular…just because they could. This even caused the lovely Cinderella to mention when visiting our table that “there are some rowdy Princes and Princesses here this evening.” She also mentioned that as soon as she spoke to these 5 princes, they would become absolutely silent and that’s exactly what happened. It was fun to watch the interaction.
To finish this up….I would suggest that you visit 1900 Park Fare to get some time with Cindy and the ladies Tremaine as that is what will create memories. The food is good but secondary. I would guess that a year after your visit, your child will remember dancing with Cinderella much more than nuggets and fries.
The cost of the dinner buffet is $28.99 for adults and $13.99 for kids aged 3 – 9. The price includes a non-alcoholic beverage.