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Dining Review: 1900 Park Fare Dinner -- The "Other" Cinderella Meal

by MARY ALBRIGHT, PassPorter Guest Columnist

Princess meals are well represented at Walt Disney World. Mention eating with Cinderella and you usually conjure an image of eating in Cinderella's Castle at the Magic Kingdom. While that most sought after reservation can be difficult to book at best, there is another option for dining with Cinderella and her friends: dinner at 1900 Park Fare in the Grand Floridian Resort.

 My family always makes time to eat at 1900 Park Fare for dinner, but not because Cinderella is there. We choose to eat here because Prince Charming can often be found here, too. My son, Stefan, 11, likes that there is a boy character. Stefan can usually be counted on to pose for a corny photo op, with Prince Charming playing right along. Prince Charming has also always been the perfect prince to my daughter, Caitlin, 10, a self-professed "non-princess." Prince Charming always makes her feel like a princess, to her mother's absolute delight.

You'll find a veritable feast of characters for dinner at 1900 Park Fare. Cinderella does make her rounds, as does Prince Charming. In the lobby, before you are seated, the Fairy Godmother is usually around to sign autographs and pose for pictures. And don't be surprised to see those mischievous mice, Suzy and Perla, wander through the room.

If you are used to the small space inside Cinderella's Royal Table, you'll be pleased to know that 1900 Park Fare has probably double the space, in my rough estimation. That means you have a much better chance of being able to secure an Advanced Dining Reservation here. The restaurant is decorated as if you are at a Victorian era fair. Look for carousel horses and lots of pastel colors around the room. You feel special and fun all at the same time. Every server we've ever had has been gracious and helpful. We've never felt rushed and have always been asked if we need more beverages and encouraged to take our time.

But what about the food? Can you pronounce my daughter's favorite word used to describe great-tasting food? "Yumatrocious!" That pretty much describes what you get at 1900 Park Fare. It's not your standard buffet.

As you face the buffet, to your left is a wonderful variety of breads and butter, leading up to the salad section. Lots of wonderful salads are available, from a tomato basil and mozzarella, a simple green garden salad, and fresh fruit, to the famous strawberry soup. I don't know how they make strawberry soup. It's like sipping fresh strawberries. I don't know how else to describe it, but I usually eat three bowls while we are there.

As you come toward the center of the buffet, you will have some hot entrees and vegetables. These can vary, of course, but I've found my favorites to be Chicken Marsala with lots of mushrooms and an apple-glazed pork loin. I've also enjoyed the steamed broccoli and carrots. I know; simple. But they make simple taste so good.

At the center of the buffet you'll find the carving station, usually graced with prime rib. There is also a station where a chef prepares fresh pasta dishes.

Moving to the right side of center, you find a duplicate area of entrees and vegetables, right before you hit the greatest area of all. That's right, the dessert section.

You feel like you've died and gone to heaven when you get to this area. Not only is there an ice cream machine where you can get your own cone or dish of the sweet stuff, but there's also a buffet of toppings to make your own unique sundae creation. And if ice cream isn't your thing, you can sample cookies, bars, Rice Krispie treats, or brownies. My husband, Bryan, is usually torn between the apple cobbler and their key lime tarts. I myself enjoy their bread pudding. The kids, of course, always go for ice cream.

And the kids? Don't worry. If you have picky eaters, the typical kids' buffet is present at 1900 Park Fare. They can have all the pizza, macaroni and cheese, and corn dogs, among other things, that they can eat.

1900 Park Fare is a great place for dinner if you plan on being at Magic Kingdom for the evening, whether it's for Extra Magic Evening Hours, or a hard ticket event, like the Pirate & Princess Party. Once you are finished with dinner, you can hop a boat or the monorail to Magic Kingdom. If you are driving, park in the Magic Kingdom lot and take the monorail to the Grand Floridian.

Dinner at 1900 Park Fare is $28.99 for adults (10 and up) and $13.99 for children (ages 3-9). If you are on the Disney Dining Plan, this meal is 1 Table Service Credit per person.

Related Links: California Grill Review

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Updated 04/06/07 

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