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Guest Review: Tables in Wonderland Great Movie Ride Dinner

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.

Entrance to The Great Movie Ride in Hollywood Studios.

Atmosphere

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!

Minnie Mouse Impressions

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.

Alberto Dante

Alberto Dante's Business Card

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.

Welcome to the movies!

“Singing in the Rain”, starring Gene Kelly.

“Mary Poppins”, starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke.

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.

“The Public Enemy”, starring James Cagney and Jean Harlow.

Martini glasses filled with the frozen house concoction.

Our table assignment… the outlaw Jesse James.

There was also an open bar. Angel, the bartender, kept the drinks flowing all night long.

Angel the Bartender

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.

“Gambino” Balsamic Beef with Palermo Roasted Tomato

“Terranova” Blistered Artichoke Cheese Quenelle

“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.

“The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, starring Clint Eastwood.

“Rio Bravo”, starring John Wayne.

The evening’s menu.

What dinner would be complete without a little Mickey Mouse butter for the House-made Fire Roasted Corn Bread?

Mickey Mouse butter.

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.

Creamy Free Range Yard Bird Corn Chowder with Piquillo Peppers and Ciabatta Bread

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.

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.

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.

Ma striking a pose.

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.

Ma’s Boys

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.

“Aliens”, starring Sigourney Weaver.

“Raiders of the Lost Ark”, starring Harrison Ford.

“Tarzan”, starring Cheetah.

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.

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.

Glinda the Good Witch

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.

Wicked Witch of the West wanting the Ruby Slippers.

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”.

“The Wizard of Oz”, starring Judy Garland.

Overall

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.

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28 Comments

  1. Amanda says:

    Thank you so much for sharing, Jamie!!! I love seeing pictures from these special dining events! <3

  2. melissa sue says:

    What a cool opportunity!! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Alan says:

    This looks like a fun evening and an event to remember. A DFB followers dream; food inside a ride. The Disney folks are very clever at using their facilities for events that were never imagined when those facilities were developed. Those imagineers are always thinking.

  4. Luv4Disney says:

    It was amazing! Don’t forget about the funny gangster and his girlfriend that wandered throughout the room in the Gangster scene. Food was delicious and it was a night we will never forget. We would definitely do this again!

  5. Sherri Erwin says:

    Sounds like so much fun! Thanks for sharing the adventure.

  6. Thomas says:

    Was there a vegetarian option for the main course? I didn’t see one mentioned.

  7. Dr. Nigel Channing says:

    Awesome report, thanks for sharing! :-)

  8. Jeff says:

    Adding this to my list of “Must-do-one-of-these-Disney-Days”!

    I have a question… They don’t keep the attraction’s soundtrack running do they? (I hope!)

  9. Jamie in Jax says:

    @Thomas – for the vegetarian option you have to tell the CM when you pay for the dinner over the phone. They will ask if you have any allergies, etc.

    @Jeff – the soundtrack is playing through each scene. Ma’s Boys played throughout the actual dinner though.

    Thanks everybody for the comments!

  10. Memmy says:

    What a great review! I didn’t even know about this dinner event. Your review has sold me and I will be booking for when I go in November. Were there any goodies to take home with you, like one of those lit martini glasses? This will be my husbands first time at Disney so I want to make it something he will remember!

  11. Keri says:

    Thank you so much for sharing – sounds like a amazing night!

  12. Lauren says:

    This looks AMAZING! I hope they plan to do this again **crosses fingers**

  13. Markerr says:

    Really well wrote up and fantastic pictures. Can’t wait to have a meal there now! Thanks guys

  14. Dr. Nigel Channing says:

    @Memmy — this isn’t an event that Disney puts on all the time. In fact, they don’t even do it every year.

    You also have to be a Tables in Wonderland cardholder, so keep that in mind, folks!

  15. Jamie in Jax says:

    @Memmy – they didn’t say if you could or couldn’t take the martini glasses, but we saw most of the guests walking out with them. You could keep the menu that was at your seat at the table and the table place card was also up for grabs.

    @Lauren – the CM I spoke with said they were planning on at least 2 of these Movie Ride dinners per year, so hopefully they will. I would love for all of you to be able to go! You could always sign up for the D23 Sip and Scream in October (see the link listed above). :)

  16. MoiMoi says:

    Um, Aliens? No.

    The scene is on board the Nostromo. That is from Alien.

  17. Chloe Simmons says:

    I.
    Am.
    So.
    Jealous.

  18. Aaron says:

    That is really cool. The food looks awesome. I wonder what other attractions could/do host events like this.

    I probably wouldn’t lay down $350 myself, but I see where the money went. I think it’s a fair price, keep those drinks comming Angel.

  19. JoAnn says:

    that sounds like an awesome event.

  20. Lana says:

    Sounds like a fun night! I might have to check it out next time! I wish they would do another 999 Happy Haunts event at the Haunted Mansion! I would definitely sign up for that one!

  21. mommary says:

    I was there on the 16th and it was awesome!
    It is something for all Disney lovers to experience at least once.

  22. Meg_Nikolaakus says:

    Sounds like a great time and great food!

    @moimois – Alien, Aliens, who cares! Have one of Angel’s frozen concoctions and chill.
    No need to be an ogle.

  23. Diane M says:

    What an experience. I worked at Disney World soon after they opened the Magic Kingdom, but I have lost track of the spectacular, once-in-a-lifetime events they offer. I will definitely sign up…thanks Jamie.

  24. Mark P. says:

    WOW Jamie, Looks like you had a fantastic night!

  25. Lenore says:

    what a cool event!! This seems like a once in a lifetime splurge that is totally worth the price!

  26. LizC says:

    This event looked amazing, great review! As a TIW member, I wish I could have gone. Any word on when they will be announcing the October 2012 TIW event? I will be in WDW then and would love to do something like this.

  27. Jamie in Jax says:

    @LizC – See if you can still sign up for the Sip and Scream in October. There is a link above at the end of the review. :)

  28. LizC says:

    @Jamie in Jax – Thanks for the heads up. I am not a D23 member, not quite sure what that even is actually. Plus I won’t be in Orlando till the 8th. That does look like and awesome event though. Oh well, maybe next year. :)

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