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…]

Disney Recipe: Strawberry Soup from Disney World’s 1900 Park Fare

Some dishes are the stuff of Disney legends.

If friends tell you they’re dining in at ‘Ohana, for instance, the first words out of my mouth are “save room for dessert! You’ve gotta try the bread pudding!”

The same certainly goes for 1900 Park Fare at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.

While our experiences here have been varied, many readers love the place! And one dish I agree is outstanding is the cold Strawberry Soup.

Creamy, sweet, and beautifully bright pink, the soup beckons to you, and you just know you must try it. Of course, it’s hard to describe this. I’m usually not a fan of cold soup, but I couldn’t get enough of this one!

The enormous bowl of bright red strawberries, to be used as a garnish, sweetens the deal.

Strawberry Soup on 1900 Park Fare's Buffet

The first time I tried the soup, I knew that [Read more…]

Disney Food for Families: Getting Kids to Try New Foods at Walt Disney World

It’s no secret that my daughter Louisa is more than a little produce averse. There was a period of about four years when NO fruit or vegetable crossed her lips, and even now at age 12 she still has to be cajoled into having more than a bite or two of something as innocuous as sweet potato or banana.

Frozen bananas, a gateway fruit.

So you can imagine my surprise when, on a recent trip to the Animal Kingdom’s Yak & Yeti restaurant, she consumed nearly the entire plate of wok-fried green beans we had ordered for the table. It was one of those parenting moments where you hold your breath and move slowly so as to avoid breaking the spell.

Yak & Yeti wok-fried green beans. My hero!

Those Yak & Yeti yummies didn’t turn Louisa into an inveterate bean eater, but she is now occasionally willing to nibble on a tempura string bean if we’re out for Japanese. Based on our prior track record with legumes, I’m going to count that solidly in the win column.

The Theme Park Food Effect

What was it about the Yak & Yeti beans that made Louisa such a fan? Yes, they were quite tasty, and yes, the green part was handily obfuscated by a crunchy, yumtastic fried breading coating; but we had tried similar ploys in the past to no avail. My theory is that the Yak & Yeti beans were flavored by the spice of (cue the orchestra) The Theme Park Food Effect.

Much like campers will say that meals eaten on the trail are the BEST, you know that their experience is colored by the fact that their senses are overwhelmed and they’re starving from an [Read more…]

Best Disney Soups

We threw out an inquiry asking for favorite Disney soups and got back a crockful of great ideas! Soups are satisfying meals and hearty snacks and can really warm you up on a chilly park day. Disney’s been working overtime creating memorable ones!

The Best Disney Soups

Thanks to our DFB readers and Facebook Friends for sharing their soup suggestions via the Disney Food Blog Facebook page!

Gorgonzola Onion Soup with Pear and Bacon Garnish at Grand Floridian Cafe

The hands down favorite soup mentioned was the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup at Epcot’s Le Cellier. Honorable mentions go to the soup selection at Boma and the French Onion Soup at Les Chefs de France.

Let’s take a look at the winners, then drool over the runners-up and a few of my own new favorites!

Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup

Made with Moosehead beer and bacon, the Canadian Cheddar Cheese soup is one of the reasons you should secure a coveted reservation at Le Cellier!

Sooth your soup craving and try the Cheddar Cheese Soup recipe at home.

Cheddar Cheese Soup at Le Cellier Steakhouse

Kathy B. exclaims “It is the BOMB!!!”

Margaret C. even has a cost-saving tip. She suggests [Read more…]

Guest Review: Palo Brunch on the Disney Wonder Cruise Ship

Welcome guest author Vikki Hurley-Schubert with a review of brunch at Palo on the Disney Wonder (Alaska Style)!

Vikki and her husband with friends!

Brunch at Palo is a must-do for us when onboard any one of the Disney Cruise Line ships. So, we were excited for our brunch while aboard the inaugural Alaskan cruise earlier this month and delighted in every morsel we tasted.

The highlight of the meal for me was the strawberry soup – I must confess, I did have two – one during brunch and one for dessert! It was a fragrant, rich, bright strawberry flavor and a rich magenta color with a minty background. It wasn’t too creamy or watery either – it tasted like fresh picked strawberries!

Strawberry Soup

Before our entrees arrived, we hit the tables of seafood, cheeses and fruit. The shrimp were cooked perfectly as were the crab legs. My husband loved the salmon, salmon mousse and cheeses. The asparagus wrapped in prosciutto were [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: January 30, 2011

Hello, hello, Disney food lovers! It’s the end of January, and that means two things: 1. You’ll be getting your January Disney Food Blog Newsletter tomorrow, and 2. We’re now only eight months away from the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival! OK…I know I’m a little too excited about that one, but we just booked our hotel, so I’m enthusing.

All righty — here’s the latest Disney Food News!

And now… on to the round-up!

Kevin Kidney combines the release of his new Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship replica (which I now need) with an incredible post describing the history and design of the actual Chicken of the Sea in Disneyland. A great read.

Daily Mail eats around WDW! (I’m itching to correct the zillion things that are wrong about that photo caption, though…)

Southern Plate highlights the recipe for 1900 Park Fare’s Strawberry Soup.

Eating (and Drinking) Around WDW reminds us to always tell your server when it’s your birthday

Main Street Gazette checks out the new burgers (veggie and decidedly non-veggie) at Liberty Inn in Epcot!

Cupcakes Take the Cake highlights some of our favorite Marvel characters, cupcake-style.

Disney Parks Blog checks in from the Dream!