Review: 1900 Park Fare Dinner at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

Today, we’re back at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa to take in dinner at 1900 Park Fare!

You  may remember that the last time we were here, we were…nonplussed…unimpressed…frustrated…should I go on? Basically, we really didn’t have a great experience. But, as I always say, the only consistent thing about Disney restaurants is that they’re inconsistent. And some guests think this restaurant is fantastic — a great alternative to hard-to-get advance dining reservations like Cinderella’s Royal Table.

So we’re back at this character buffet for another try… . While breakfast at 1900 Park Fare left us flat, this time around we’re checking out the dinner spread and hoping for the best!

Atmosphere

You’ll find 1900 Park Fare off of the ground floor lobby of the Grand Floridian Resort. As you walk in the hotel’s front doors, the restaurant is located to your left, just past the Concierge desk.

1900 Park Fare Sign

The antique carousel decor flows with the Victorian feel that you encounter throughout the resort. While you can’t see the individual items on this menu board that’s displayed out front of the restaurant, you can definitely see the attention to detail when it comes to theme.

Menu Board Outside of 1900 Park Fare

When you first arrive and check in for your reservation (you DID make a reservation, right?), you’ll be given a pager and told to wait in the Grand Floridian lobby to be called when your table is ready. Note: this often takes A. LONG. TIME. In my experience, I’ve never been seated at this restaurant within 10 minutes of my reservation time. I’m always waiting quite a while to be called to the table. So if you’ve got little ones who are starving, bring some snacks to tide them over just in case.

Once you’re called, you’ll be told to get in line to have your picture taken with this mural. No…you’re not getting your photo taken with a character. Just with the mural. This can be a fun memory for families, but you might want to skip the pic and head straight in for your meal. Be persistent and make sure they know you don’t want to take the photo. They’re pretty serious about getting you into that line.

Trompe l'Oeil Mural Outside of 1900 Park Fare

Once you head into the massive dining room, you’re greeted with more Victorian charm in pastel shades. Even without windows, the sheer size of the dining room makes it feel airy.

There is a main area with high ceilings in front of the buffet, and some smaller dining rooms surrounding it with lower ceilings. I prefer these areas for seating, since they tend to be slightly quieter.

Dining Area

Seating itself is fairly standard, with cushioned chairs and nondescript tables.

Seating

The main dining room makes the best use of the carousel theme. There are several large statues of fantasy carousel animals situated atop half walls and surrounded by plants. You should take a moment to look at these, because they’re really beautiful.

Calliope in the Background and Carousel Horse Statue

The wall overtop the entrance to the restaurant plays host to an enormous calliope, reminiscent of the intricate musical instruments that you find on antique carousels. This [Read more…]

Review: Wine Country Trattoria at Disney California Adventure

Today, we are heading west for a visit to Wine Country Trattoria at Disney California Adventure! Located within the Pacific Wharf section of the park, Wine Country Trattoria is part of the Golden Vine Winery, celebrating the bounty and goodness of California wine country.

Wine Country Trattoria Plaque

Located centrally within the park, this spot makes for a beautiful haven during a busy day of park sightseeing. And if you’re planning to take in the spectacular World of Color light show, then you may also be interesting in booking a Dining Package for viewing the show later in the evening. The package includes a three-course prix fixe meal as well as access to a special viewing area for World of Color.

But would the food measure up to the beautiful surroundings? We wondered, too. Time to find out!

Atmosphere

I love the look and feel of WCT. It has a relatively big footprint, with lots of indoor and outdoor seating. Your first view is this hand-carved limestone fountain and a low, wide arch into the dining room.

Fountain at the Entrance

Cool and rustic touches are all around you, with tile floors below and beamed ceilings above. The variegated plaster walls give way to murals depicting California wine country.

Indoor Seating with a Wine Country Mural

There’s ample seating indoors, even if tables are situated a bit close together for my preference.

Additional Indoor Seating

But unless it is extremely hot, I heartily recommend that you [Read more…]

News! Menu Changes at ‘Ohana in Disney’s Polynesian Resort

Editor’s Note: In addition to the peanut dipping sauce, sweet and sour sauce is now being offered again. Thanks to Disney Mom Leslie for this update!

Thanks to Disney Mom’s Panelist and DFB Friend Leslie Krzan for reporting on menu changes at ‘Ohana in Disney’s Polynesian Resort.

We’ve got some interesting news about a few menu updates at guest favorite restaurant, ‘Ohana.

According to a server, changes were made to the menu here about a month ago with the posted menu outside of the restaurant still showing the old menu items. Let’s take a look at what’s been updated with this menu-go-round.

‘Ohana Salad Dressing Update

The fan-favorite honey lime dressing has been a stand-out at ‘Ohana as well as a much requested recipe, however it did not make the latest menu cut. Here’s Leslie’s take:

The new salad features a passion fruit vinaigrette with chunks of passion fruit and mandarin oranges. I don’t eat salad, but my husband said the salad was just OK. He really liked the old honey lime dressing. In fact, he usually eats the whole bowl of salad himself, but left about half of it this time.

New Salad at 'Ohana

DFB reader Anne T. also wrote to let us know about the change. She feels similarly about the new dressing: “The new dressing is still good, but not as good as the honey lime,” she says.

‘Ohana Stir-Fried Veggie Update

The vegetable dish has changed as well with this recent menu update. Here’s what Leslie discovered: [Read more…]

Guest Review: Vegetarian Meal at Monsieur Paul’s in Epcot’s France Pavilion

Join me in welcoming guest author Courtney Ketzler from Omaha, NE, with a review of the brand new Monsieur Paul Restaurant. When we first published the Monsieur Paul menu, many folks were concerned about the complete lack of vegetarian dishes. Courtney found that this isn’t a problem after all!

Being a vegetarian in the real world can be hard. I live in Nebraska, and the dining choices here are, well, limited. Dining at Disney World is another story.

My boyfriend and I are vegetarians, and we both LOVE food. It’s the only art we can really consume, and Disney World is one of the best places to visit with dining restrictions. I have yet to run into a bad meal, and during my last trip, encountered some very pleasant surprises, the biggest of which being the newly opened Monsieur Paul in the France Pavilion at Epcot.

Monsieur Paul Restauarant in Epcot's France Pavilion

Atmosphere

When we arrived, there were several unhappy looking people waiting to get seated. The very frazzled looking hostess told us we were on time for our reservation, but the reservations were not on time — it might be a 30 minute to an hour wait. We were using the deluxe plan and didn’t really have any other 2 credit options, so we sat down and decided to wait.

About 10 minutes later, a very kind manager came by and offered us both Kir Royales for waiting. Of course, how could we turn that down?

Stairwell leading up to Monsieur Paul

Eats

The drinks were delicious, and we ended up getting seated within a few minutes after that. Our server was very nice, and offered to walk us through the menu. We let her know we were vegetarians, and she started to tell us about fish options. I explained we don’t eat fish, and she said she would go speak with the chef.

She came back and said “the chef has told me he will be able to make you both a salad and a plate of vegetables”. Needless to say, we weren’t too excited by how the meal was being described and were hoping for our money that it would be a bit more sophisticated. She reassured us by bringing the chef out, and as he started to describe the meal, our fears melted away.

I am going to try my best to remember everything that was described about the meal [Read more…]

Food Photo Tour: Art of Animation Resort Landscape of Flavors Food Court

Life is a highway, and my pit stop this past weekend was Walt Disney World’s brand new Art of Animation Resort in Walt Disney World.

AoA is a value level resort, and like other WDW value hotels the main source of on-site nourishment is a food court, here called Landscape of Flavors.

I gathered dozens (hundreds?) of food photos to share, so you’ll be able to take a look at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert as well as pre-packaged goodies in the photo tour below!

Some of the elements of Landscape of Flavors will be familiar to those who have been to other Disney hotel food courts. There are multiple lines to order different types of food. There are self-serve soda and condiment stations past the registers, toasters for guest use, and a mug wash sink for rinsing your refillable mugs.

And the sides of the service area are lined with refrigerator cases of beverages and a limited selection of prepared items.

As for the actual food, Disney has tried to step it up a notch, offering fresher and more customizable options than in the other resorts. But before I get to that, here’s a tour so you can get the lay of the Landscape.

Overview Photos

You get to the restaurant through the Ink & Paint Shop gift store.

Ink and Paint Shop Gift Store

The seating areas are bright with blond wood tables and chairs.

Seating Areas

Overhead lights represent each of the four films highlighted at AoA: [Read more…]

New Menu Details! Landscape of Flavors at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

Thanks to Pam Brandon over at the Disney Parks Blog, we have even more details on the new Landscape of Flavors food court (which seems to have undergone a name change since we last reported!) opening this summer with Disney’s Art of Animation Resort!

Landscape of Flavors Concept Art -- Disneys Art of Animation Resort

Dining Concept

According to Disney Parks and Resorts Director of Food & Beverage Concept Development, Chef Ed Wronski, the focus of this new type of food court is customization. Guests will be able to “make your own” and choose from a variety of options more often in this spot.

Start planning now how you want to create your gelato sundae, smoothies, omelet, pasta, salad, sandwich, and more! There will also be a focus on “better-for-you” options in this location, so perhaps going of your diet won’t be as much of a temptation here! (Wait a minute…who are we kidding? They’ll still have Mickey Bars won’t they?)

Individual Menu Items

Like the other value and moderate resorts, this food court will still be a regular old food court in that it will have five “shops,” each themed to a particular type of food.

Soup-Salad-Sandwich Shop

Guest Review: Aulani Eats and Off-Site Treats

in front of the Lava Shack

Join us in welcoming guest author Beth Osborn with a tour of Eats at Disney’s Aulani Resort and Spa in Oahu. We’ve also got some great tips about eating at non-Disney spots around the resort! Brace yourselves — there’s Dole Whip, Shave Ice, Plate Lunch, and more — ahead! Don’t forget to check out Aulani restaurant info and menus here.

Arriving to Aulani on October 15, my husband Kev and I selected familiar WDW items — refillable mugs! We purchased purple and blue refillable mugs, which have an Aulani design that matches the beige wallpaper in the halls of the hotel. Red and green options were also available.

Even though the mugs are more expensive at Aulani, we felt we got our money’s worth at $18.99 each over the week we were there.

‘Ama ‘Ama Restaurant at Aulani

We had dinner at Ama Ama — Kev’s salt crusted fish was like nothing we’d ever seen before, with a completely removable crust. He said it was very moist.

Salt Encrusted Fish from Ama Ama

I had the French Maui onion soup and a tomato and cheese salad (two appetizers instead of an entree). Both were excellent.

French Onion Soup and the Tomato Salad from Ama Ama

Makahiki Restaurant and Rip Swirl at Aulani

We had a character breakfast at Makahiki with Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy. I wasn’t as excited about the buffet as some at Disney World, but I did enjoy the [Read more…]

Disney Food Pics of the Week: Creative Containers

DFB readers feed our foodie obsession with photos submitted to the Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza on Flickr! Help soothe our visual cravings by sending in your photos too!

The Disney Food Pics of the Week this week feature food presented in creative containers. Let’s take a look!

This salad is served during the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue’s dinner show.
Photographer: Amanda White/OhAmanda

Hoop Dee Doo salad

Dine at the Royal Palace on the Disney Dream to have your bread service via carriage!
Photographer: Kristen Kirk VanTassle/TheDVCMom

Bread Carriage

Dim Sum Basket for Two at Yak & Yeti in the [Read more…]

Review: Disneyland’s Plaza Inn (Fried Chicken!)

One of Disneyland’s most coveted meals is the fantastic fried chicken at the Plaza Inn on the corner of Main Street and Tomorrowland!

Atmosphere

While this location is a table-service character buffet (serving Breakfast With Minnie and Friends) in the morning, it switches to a counter service buffet in the afternoon and evening.

entrance sign

Plaza Inn entrance

Guests are greeted at the door by a large buffet and an ornate dining room full of velvet curtains, crystal chandeliers, and the kind of opulence you’re not used to seeing at a [Read more…]

Disney Food Pics of the Week: Salads

Thanks to all who have contributed their photos to the Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza! Keep sending them in — we love ‘em!

This week, the Disney Food Pics of the Week feature a dish that works as an appetizer or a meal — Salads! These greens look crunchy, tasty, and fun!

This Salmon Salad is served at Cafe Orleans in Disneyland! Photographer: Kirsten ☼ Marie

Salmon Salad

Kind of reminds me of Mt. Everest! This Mandarin Chicken Salad at Yak and Yeti in the Animal Kingdom looks large enough to [Read more…]