Welcome guest author Jamie with a once-in-a-blue-moon review of The Great Movie Ride dinner event offered by Tables in Wonderland in Walt Disney World. PLEASE NOTE: This dinner is offered RARELY and cannot be booked through Disney Dining.
Who doesn’t like to go see a good movie? But what makes it even better? How about dinner and a movie! But not just any dinner, a four course dinner while you’re actually IN the movie!
On June 16, 2012, my wife and I had the pleasure of attending a Tables in Wonderland event at The Great Movie Ride in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World.
Once we checked in and got our wristbands, we were able to walk around outside and look at all of the famous hand prints that decorated the pavement in front of the main entrance. You might recognize this one!
Suddenly, a dapper looking figure comes bursting out of the main entrance. It was none other than Alberto Dante, the “famous” movie director himself. He proceeded to tell a few jokes and really got the crowd excited to see what the night had in store. I was extremely honored when he gave me one of his business cards.
After about 10 minutes, we followed Alberto through the front doors.
Once we were inside, we were led to where the attraction begins. Through his megaphone, Alberto said to follow him, as he led us down to the main floor. We were now walking on the track that The Great Movie Ride car travels down, in search of our first stop of the night — the Gangster scene.
Drinks and Hors d’Oeuvres in the Gangster Scene
Once we arrived at the Gangster scene, James Cagney was there watching over these colorful martini glasses filled with the evening’s frozen house concoction, along with our table assignments.
There was also an open bar. Angel, the bartender, kept the drinks flowing all night long.
There were several hors d’oeuvres that we were able to try while we waited on the main course to be set up in the Western scene: “Gambino” Balsamic Beef with Palermo Roasted Tomato, “Terranova” Blistered Artichoke Cheese Quenelle, and “Squid and Beans” Salad.
Once we got our fill of hors d’oeuvres and the drink(s) of our choice, Alberto raised his megaphone and asked us if we were ready for dinner. Everyone erupted in a loud YES. So he said to follow him. We were off to dinner in the Western scene.
Dinner in the Western Scene
Upon arrival, we were met by Clint Eastwood on the right and John Wayne on the left. We were lucky, our Jesse James table was right in between both icons of the big screen. There was seating for ten people at each of the tables.
What dinner would be complete without a little Mickey Mouse butter for the House-made Fire Roasted Corn Bread?
Once we sat down at the table, we were asked what we would like to drink. Offerings of Chardonnay, Merlot, and beer were available as well as any other beverage Angel could whip up.
For the non-drinkers, there were various types of soda, juice and water.
The first thing to be brought out was the Creamy Free Range Yard Bird Corn Chowder with Piquillo Peppers and Ciabatta Bread. That’s not only a mouthful to say, it was also delicious.
The next thing that was brought out was the salad: Wild Greens and Herbs with Cactus Cilantro Vinaigrette with Beet Tumbleweeds and Mandarin Rice Wine Marinade.
After nibbling on the salad, it was time for the main course: Poblano Barbeque Braised Beef Short Rib with Tobacco Onions, Smoky Cheddar Potatoes Gratin and Black Skillet Roasted Baby Green Beans with Mushrooms.
While we were eating, Alberto and his arch nemesis, “Ma”, were bickering about all kinds of topics. Ma was quite entertaining and stopped by our table several times. She even struck a very interesting pose for us.
Everyone kept thanking her for a wonderful meal and she said she was glad we could all come out and have dinner with her. Also, while we were eating, “Ma’s Boys” entertained us with some great music.
The tuba player did a nice rendition of the theme song from The Andy Griffith Show, without one single whistle.
As the dinner portion of the evening was coming to a close, Alberto and Ma took to the stage and asked if we were having a great time at the movies and enjoying some good food. We all replied with a resounding YES.
Alberto then told us to get up from our tables and follow him. We were “off to see the Wizard”… but first we had to walk through some classic movie scenes.
Upon entering the Land of Oz, Angel greeted us at his beverage stand. There were tables set up that four or five people could sit at.
In the middle of the room was a large table full of “munchkin sized” desserts to choose from: Yellow Brick Caramel Milk Cake, Wicked Witch Pistachio Cannoli, Emerald Cheesecake Pushups, Ruby Strawberry Panna Cotta, Auntie Em’s Apple Cake.
After “munching” on some desserts, Glinda the Good Witch made a special appearance and posed for photographs.
It wasn’t long before the mood quickly changed. The Wicked Witch of the West had made her presence known and wanted those Ruby Slippers.
However, Glinda told her, “You have no power here! Be gone, before someone drops a house on you too!” She replied, “Very well, I’ll bide my time. But I’ll get you my pretty… and your little dog too!”
After all these years, she still freaks me out.
But at last… the wicked old witch is dead. Then the Munchkins came out and we all joined in singing their famous song… do you remember the words?
As we were leaving, Dorothy reminded us, “There’s no place like home”.
Overall, this was a fantastic night. The event cost $165 per person plus tax and gratuity was included. So our total for the evening was $350.
The majority of the food was quite good. But in all honesty, you were there for the ambiance and the dinner was just a huge bonus. It was very special to be able to go behind the scenes and get up close and personal with such an amazing set.
I would highly recommend that this event be added to your Disney “must-do” list. It is an evening you will never forget. You might even appreciate the movies just a little bit more.
Share your thoughts on this Tables in Wonderland event! Do you like the menu? location? price?
Jamie and his wife, Amanda, are huge Disney fans. Being Florida residents, they have the distinct privilege of being Annual Passholders as well as Tables in Wonderland members. They visit Walt Disney World very frequently and have gone there for every wedding anniversary (6 years and counting). They hope to visit Disneyland, for the first time, in the very near future. They have one daughter, Yoda the Chihuahua, who is also a huge Disney fan. They live in Jacksonville, Florida.
Note from the editor: While this dinner doesn’t happen very often, it will be offered again at the D23 Sip and Scream event this Fall on October 2nd. You must be a D23 member to attend.