Mini-Stepsister Dresses: 1900 Park Fare Dinner

I wrote separately about the odyssey that was sewing the girls mini-Evil Stepsister outfits. I can say definitively, though, that no matter how frustrating that project was it was totally worth it for the fun we had on our last trip. The girls wore their costumes to Cinderella's Happily Ever After Dinner at 1900 Park Fare (which I've reviewed previously) and received so many kind compliments and special attention.

From the minute we stepped into the Grand Floridian's lobby the girls were in heaven. While we waited for our table the explored the big, beautiful space, asking to pose for photos next to the sumptuous decorations. 

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My husband and I have a running joke that goes back to our first Disney trip in 2011.... Viola (who was only 3 at the time) was chosen to participate in the kids' parade as part of the Festival of the Lion King Show and my husband was responsible for video taping it. He taped the whole thing, zooming in and out, and it was super cute---- or so I'm told, because he never pushed the "record" button, and I've never let him forget that he never pushed the "record" button. We went back two years later and I was sure to take video myself, but still, it's not the same.... 

Anyway, I digress. Before being escorted to our table we had our photopass pictures taken. We felt a bit rushed through the photopass station even though there wasn't a line behind us; perhaps the photographer was reaching the end of his shift. The photopass pictures we get are usually very high quality but I was a bit disappointed with these ones. Still, they're better than the ones I took myself by far! 

We were seated at a table near the front of the restaurant, just as you walk through the doors. In the second room the characters were putting on a bit of a show where Cinderella and the Prince dance and the stepsisters heckle them. The girls ran over to watch and when Anastasia turned around and saw the girls in their mini-Stepsister dresses she made quite a fuss, pointing it out to everyone. I was right there with my video camera and I captured the entire thing..... or so I thought. 

That's right, I forgot to hit "record". And now my husband won't let me live it down! What a jerk, right? We returned to our table and waited for the characters to visit us. And visit, us, they did! Our visits with Cinderella and Prince Charming were brief, maybe because the girls made it known that they waiting to see the real stars of the night, the Tremaine family.

I am, by the way, a terrible photographer, did I mention. That's another part of why I'm such a fan of the photopass service. So, please excuse the poor quality of the pictures... 

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Every time Anastasia passed by I thought Eva was going to pass out from excitement and anticipation. Before we met the stepsisters, however, we met their mother, Lady Tremaine and she was spectacular! She spent a lot of time with the girls chatting with them and she even gave them a private singing lesson. That's right, they sang "Sing Sweet Nightingale" together and it was adorable! Don't believe me? Check out the video below! 

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Finally, there was no one left to see but Anastasia and Drizella! They tried to trade Viola for her hair bow, and requested that I make them a sweater for Lucifer. The girls were unusually shy (I think they were surprised by the level of special attention that the dresses brought) but they have talked about this dinner nonstop since! 

I'm so grateful to all the cast members for making our dinner such a special, memorable experience! We still have the dresses, of course, and I want to get them photographed since the girls will grow out of them before our next trip --- I tried my best, but as I mentioned above I am a terrible photographer so I'll have to find someone who actually knows what they're doing!  If I do, I'll be sure to update the blog so stay tuned! :-)

Cinderella's Carriage

While we were at Disney in February/March 2015, there was the opportunity for the girls to see / get their photo's taken with Cinderella's Carriage from the new live-action movie! It was really breathtaking to see in person! 

It wasn't until we returned home that the girls finally got to see the new Cinderella movie--- which they've been dying to see for months! I have to admit I was a bit on the fence about it (another live action remake?), but the film was lovely and funny and gorgeous! I'm very glad we got to see it in the theater on the big screen! 

The girls loved it, though I think their favorite part might have been dancing to the music as the credits rolled!

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On a related note, on our trip we kept passing this custom-made Cinderella's Carriage wagon. I was able to catch the owner on one of the days and he told me that he and his wife made it themselves! It was absolutely gorgeous, though I never caught a glimpse of the lucky girl who got to ride around in it! Too busy off having adventures, I'm sure! 


Teddy Bear Tuesday: Prince Charming

Happy Teddy Bear Tuesday! I thought you might enjoy this pictures from our 2015 trip! The teddy-sized Prince Charming outfit was hard to come by, but what else could he wear to meet Cinderella, dine in the castle, and ride the Regal Carousel? :-) 

This isn't Duffy's first visit to Cinderella's Royal Table, either. He escorted ShellieMay there on our last trip in 2013! See for yourself the adorableness!

After breakfast we swung by one of the girls' favorite rides so that Duffy could photobomb Mr. Winnie the Pooh.... or maybe is it the other way around?  

1900 Park Fare: Breakfast vs. Dinner

One of our favorite Disney restaurants is 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian Resort. In the mornings they offer the Supercalifragilistic Breakfast, and in the evenings it's Cinderella's Happily Ever After Dinner.  Both are buffet meals, eligible for Table Service Dining Plan credits.

In addition to these two meals, the venue offers the Wonderland Tea Party in the afternoons. This is an opportunity for kids aged 4-12 to enjoy tea, crafts, and character interactions sans parents. To date, my kids have been too young to participate in the Tea Party, but we have enjoyed the other two Park Fare offerings and am happy to share our experience for those of you considering one or both character meals. 

When you arrive at the Grand Floridian, be sure to allow yourself extra time to enjoy the lobby and the grounds. The resort is one of the prettiest on the property, and the Alice In Wonderland themed splash area is ranked as one of the top 5 pools for little ones! (Pool hopping is allowed in certain circumstances: if you're one of the lucky ones eligible to hop to the Grand Floridian's pool, definitely make sure you set aside time into your schedule to do that before or after your meal!)

During the holidays there are photopass photographers on the Grand Floridian's main lobby... that's where we got this amazing photo of our younger daughter in the midst of her very first crawl! 

And after you check in at restaurant's front desk, there is a photopass photographer waiting to take your family's portrait in front of the mural at the entrance to the dining room for both Breakfast and Dinner. 


Supercalifragilistic Breakfast

The Grand Floridian is located on the Monorail loop, which makes 1900 Park Fare a great breakfast option on days you're planning on attending the Magic Kingdom, which is just one stop past the resort. Breakfast is from 8:00-11:50 most days. The buffet offerings are fairly standard for a Disney buffet, with the addition of the restaurant's signature 'Strawberry Soup', which is served cold and is like a cross between a smoothy and a watery pudding. (Btw, the recipe is available online here, if you're looking to recreate it at home.)

The characters you can expect to see at the Supercalifragilistic Breakfast include Mary Poppins, Alice, the Mad Hatter, Tigger and Winnie the Pooh. An odd assortment to be sure. I'd happily trade Tigger and Winnie the Pooh for alternative characters such as Bert or the White Rabbit, especially because the Hundred Acre Woods friends can be found at the Crystal Palace already. 

The girls loved meeting Alice, Mary, and the Hatter. They were fun and spent a fair amount of time at our table chatting and interacting with the girls. 

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Cinderella's Happily Ever After Dinner

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The Park Fare dinner is a reception of sorts celebrating Cinderella and her Prince Charming, to which the Tremaine Family has been invited (or possibly crashed). There's a lot of entertaining back-and-forth between the Charmings and the Tremains, as well as other delightful moments, such as when Prince Charming and Cinderella take to the floor for a waltz. Prince Charming even chooses a lucky girl from the audience to dance with as well! 

For those whose favorite princess is Cinderalla, this is definitely a must-do! I personally preferred the focus of having only Cinderella characters over the mix of princesses that you'll see at the other meals. Though the food and the decor aren't as regal as what you will experience at Cinderella's Royal Table (CRT) or Akershus, the character interactions are as just as good ---- arguably better; my girls adored the back-and-forth snarky comments between the Tremaines, and you won't see that sort of cross-character interaction at the other princess meals. 

If you are traveling to Disney while CRT is closed, or are unable to get a reservation for one of the other princess meals, or just looking for an alternative, definitely consider Cinderella's Happily Ever After Dinner. Expect to see Prince Charming, Princess Cinderella, her Evil Stepmother, and Stepsisters Anastasia and Drizella.

We did this buffet dinner in 2011, but opted to skip it in 2013 in favor of dinner at Cinderella's Royal Table. The 1900 Park Fare dinner left an impression on my eldest daughter: almost four years later she recalls it clearly and made it #1 on her wish list of things to do on our next trip. How's that for an endorsement? 

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By far, one of my favorite pictures from the trip! Notice how contagious the Evil Eye can be.... 

By far, one of my favorite pictures from the trip! Notice how contagious the Evil Eye can be....