1900 Park Fare is a character meal at Walt Disney World’s flagship hotel, Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, which is located on the Magic Kingdom monorail loop. This review covers breakfast and features food photos, a look inside the restaurant, anecdotes about character interactions, and our thoughts on whether it’s worth your money or Disney Dining Plan credits.
We sort of spoiled this review with our recent Best Character Meals at Disney World post, but I’m guessing that “surprising twists” are something you look for in Marvel films, but probably not restaurant reviews. In any case, I don’t think many Walt Disney World fans would be too surprised to read a praise-filled review of 1900 Park Fare. From what we’ve gathered over the years, this character breakfast enjoys a really strong reputation.
Where 1900 Park Fare does not excel is in ambiance. The main seating area is just one large room. The high ceilings and lack of any sound-dampening gives it a loud and echoing atmosphere. Worse yet, there are no windows.
I’d be curious to know what this restaurant was when Grand Floridian opened, but my guess would be that it didn’t exist. It feels like 1900 Park Fare was carved out of something else, perhaps a community room or large reading room? It feels like flex space that could be repurposed overnight with some temporary walls into convention space and no one would be the wiser.
As with other restaurants at the Grand Floridian, there’s a Victorian theme to 1900 Park Fare. There’s an amusement park motif here, and it’s reinforced with a variety of details. The carousel animals perched atop seating areas are nice touches, as is the pipe organ high up on the back wall.
Also as with other restaurants at Grand Floridian, this feels a bit tired. In the past we’ve commented that much of the resort feels like an early 1900s take on Victorian, and that applies here too. I hesitate a bit to write this, as I’d like to see these restaurants receive a refresh, but I worry that an over-correction might occur. (As has happened pretty much at every other resort that has been refurbished in the last few years.)
While I think an update is appropriate, I don’t want to see Grand Floridian’s richly-detailed spaces by replaced by the generically modern look of an airport Marriott.
In all likelihood, you won’t be focusing on the decor or cavernous setting too much, as the characters are the stars of the show at 1900 Park Fare. The characters at our breakfast were Mad Hatter, Alice, Mary Poppins, and Winnie the Pooh…
The first three of those characters were spectacular. As we’ve noted countless times, we are awkward around face characters. Me especially. Perhaps it’s because they are cheerful royalty, and being a curmudgeonly commoner, I just cannot relate.
Fortunately for us, these face characters were more our style. Mad Hatter is disarmingly goofy, Alice has a surface level naivety with a layer of wit underneath, and Mary Poppins has an acerbic edge but is a bit strange. We were much more comfortable with these characters than debonair princes and princesses, and the interactions were significantly better.
This is not to pat ourselves on the back–very little of the enjoyable interactions was our doing. These characters made us comfortable, and facilitated great encounters. All three were funny and perfect embodiments of their respective characters. They spent a good amount of time with us (not just quickly passing the two adults without kids over as some do) and were delightful. We noticed that their interactions were similarly good and lengthy with the tables around us, with the tone shifting depending upon each party.
Finally, there was Winnie the Pooh. As a lazy dude who wants to eat all of the time and not wear pants, I find Pooh very relatable. He was great, as always.
One downside to these meals as meet & greets is the lack of character attendants. I’m guessing for parents this isn’t as big of a deal, as they want photos of their kids and the characters, but I have little need for a photo of Mary Poppins and me.
Consequently, there’s always this awkward dance of asking one of the tables around us if they can take our photos. Most people are happy to oblige, but they don’t intuitively know how to use a large DSLR, so the results are almost always hit or miss.
Prior to our meal, I had heard passing references (mostly hype) for the Floridian Strawberry Soup, but hadn’t paid close attention to what is is. When I saw it on the buffet, I’ll be honest: I wasn’t really sure what to do. Was this soup soup? Or “soup” that is meant as fruit dip like chocolate fondue?
I’m not the kind of person who eats at an expensive breakfast buffet to fill up on cheap fruit, so I just assumed it was the former and started going to town. I’m still not entirely sure this is the way the soup was meant to be consumed, but if it’s wrong, I don’t want to be right. The soup was thick, creamy, and had a flavor that perfectly toed the line between rich and light. If I weren’t doing this meal for the purposes of the review, I probably would’ve had a few bowls of this.
I’m a big fan of Eggs Benedict, and had it a couple of times during our breakfast at 1900 Park Fare. One time, I foolishly grabbed the last one, which left a lot to be desired. The next time, I was at the buffet as the serving tray was being set down–much better.
The moral of the story is that, as with all buffets, so much of the taste is dependent upon how long the food you pick has been sitting under the heat lamps.
The omelet was pretty good, as were all of the fresh meats and other buffet items on the buffet.
Nevertheless, my favorite items were the Cheese Blintz, House-Made Corned Beef Hash, Carved Hickory-Smoked Ham, Eggs Benedict, and aforementioned Floridian Strawberry Soup. I definitely went for more of a rich and decadent breakfast rather than a lighter meal. I was ready for a nap afterwards, but have zero regrets, because these ‘heavier’ items were delicious.
By contrast, Sarah went for such a lighter breakfast. She is the kind of person who doesn’t mind eating fruit at a Walt Disney World breakfast buffet. She had several plates/bowls of fruit.
The fruit tasted like fruit. (So if you were reading this review, worried that the fruit might taste like pizza, rest assured that it did not.)
Seating for 1900 Park Fare breakfast goes until nearly noon and the restaurant does not serve lunch, so unlike other Walt Disney World buffets, it’s not possible to do a ‘twofer’ of breakfast and lunch for the price of one here. However, there are some more substantial and heartier items on the buffet, so doing a later seating and just having this be your lunch is not a bad idea.
This will also make the price easier to stomach. The price for adults is over $30 here, which is on par with other character breakfasts, but still pricey. Unlike ‘Ohana, which is unquestionably a breakfast, there’s enough at 1900 Park Fare to treat it more like brunch. At least, this is how we justified the expensive meal to ourselves–your mileage may vary.
Overall, we really enjoyed our experience at 1900 Park Fare’s breakfast. When viewing the food in isolation, it doesn’t quite stack up to Boma or Trail’s End (our favorites) in terms of breakfast buffets. With the characters factored in, 1900 Park Fare jumps to near the top of the pack of breakfast buffets at Walt Disney World. These characters are fantastic, and that plus very good food and more substantial options makes this a breakfast buffet that we can justify. With that said, it’s not for everyone; if you want a quiet, low-key breakfast and aren’t interested in characters, you’ll definitely want to look elsewhere. For us, 1900 Park Fare is one of the rare WDW breakfasts that we view as “worth it” and is the best overall character breakfast at Walt Disney World.
Have you done any of the character meals at 1900 Park Fare? Breakfast or dinner? What did you think of the food? What about the character interactions? Do you agree or disagree with any of our review? Does this character meal look appealing to you? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!