When Will 1900 Park Fare Reopen?

1900 Park Fare is a popular character dining experience at Grand Floridian Resort that serves breakfast and dinner, but is (still) temporarily unavailable ~4 years after the closure of Walt Disney World. This covers restaurant reopening rumors, changes we expect to see if the Supercalifragilistic and Cinderella meals return, plus potential royal replacements.

Walt Disney World is mostly back to normal on the restaurant front, with a handful of character dining experiences being the biggest exception. Among these, by far the two we receive the most questions about are 1900 Park Fare and Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno. The latter reopened right away, but has been character-free ever since. It’s little surprise that longtime fans want to see both return, as they ranked highly on our list of the Best Character Meals at Walt Disney World.

Before we fall deeper down the rabbit hole, we should bluntly answer the titular question: we don’t know. No one does. If you’re simply looking for a confirmed reopening date for 1900 Park Fare, Walt Disney World has not announced one. Officially, no one knows. If you want to be notified when there’s concrete news about 1900 Park Fare, subscribe to our FREE email newsletter! While we don’t have anything official, there’s a decent amount that can be surmised or speculated…

For those who are unfamiliar with it, 1900 Park Fare previously offered two distinct character dining experiences. In the morning, there was the Supercalifragilistic Breakfast. This was a fabulously festive, all-you-care-to-enjoy breakfast buffet! “Popp in” for custom-made omelets, fluffy mini pancakes, Mickey-shaped waffles, carved ham and more. Disney characters at 1900 Park Fare for the Supercalifragilistic Breakfast included Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, The Mad Hatter, Tigger, and Winnie the Pooh. It was quite the eclectic crew.

In the evening, the character dining experience transformed into Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner, an enchanting buffet dinner hosted by Cinderella and Prince Charming. The Princess’ storybook friends joined in the festivities as guests had a ball dining on delectable seafood, salad, pasta and beef specialties. The culinary selections are representative of several “kingdoms” from around the globe and include such kid-friendly fare as chicken, cheese pizza, and macaroni & cheese.

The nature of these character dining experiences is relevant because meals featuring face characters (typically meaning princes and princesses–but Alice, Mary Poppins and Mad Hatter would also qualify) but have generally been slower to return. Not only that, but those that are back have been slow to scale up. Not to ruin the illusion, but this is all due to staffing shortages–finding performers suitable for certain roles has been no easy task.

It wasn’t until last spring that princesses finally returned to Cinderella’s Royal Table, and that’s the most iconic character meal in Walt Disney World’s flagship park. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall didn’t restore breakfast and lunch until last summer, and that’s the top character meal in EPCOT. It struggled to keep up with ADR demand at first, and still isn’t completely back to its preclosure operating hours.

It’s not just the restaurants, either. Meet & greets still aren’t quite back to their pre-closure capacity, which is why wait times for characters spike during the daytime hours in Magic Kingdom during Party Season. These performers are needed for the after-hours events, reducing their availability during normal operations. Staffing shortages are getting better–but they’re still not completely resolved to pre-2020 normal.

Staffing is not the only impediment, just what kept 1900 Park Fare from being among other character meals to first return in physically distanced form. If staffing were the only issue, there’s a good chance Walt Disney World would’ve announced the return of 1900 Park Fare’s character breakfast and dinner in time for last Christmas.

The other still ongoing issue is the reimagining of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. This began in 2022 and is still a work-in-progress. This is a multiple-pronged project that’s bringing new guest rooms (see Grand New Rooms at Walt Disney World’s Flagship Resort for a look inside) along with modernizations with “Enchanted Gardens” as the unifying visual style.

If you’re not sure what that means, it’s more or less the look of the lobbies and hallways of the outlying buildings–Victorian meets modern meets Mary Poppins motifs. We actually like this aesthetic a lot, and think it delicately balances themed design with the expectations of regular guests dropping a ton of money to stay at Walt Disney World’s so-called flagship resort, and not expecting it to look like “grandma’s house” (a very common complaint). It’s certainly not perfect, but it does as well as possible satisfying demos with preferences that are often at-odds.

Along with the guest rooms and common areas, most restaurants at the Grand Floridian have also been modernized. This includes Enchanted Rose Lounge, Citricos, Narcoossee’s, and Victoria & Albert’s. It would be a colossal stretch to claim that there’s any unifying style among these restaurants–they’re all over the place. But the point is that they’ve all received major refreshes in the last few years.

That leaves 1900 Park Fare and Grand Floridian Cafe, both of which are not-so-coincidentally located on the lobby level of the main building. As the room reimagining and overhaul of outlying buildings has wrapped up, construction crews have moved into the main lobby, which is being done in phases.

Crews paused their work for last year’s Christmas season, continuing outside on the roof and exterior of the main building (which is now mostly finished) but not inside the lobby. At the time, we were told that they’d resume inside after the holidays in 2024. Frankly, I would’ve expected that to start by now, but it has not.

We were also told that 1900 Park Fare and the Grand Floridian Tea Room would not return until after the reimagining is finished, and that Grand Floridian Cafe would close temporarily to receive a refresh during the lobby reimagining. These are the last ‘old school’ restaurants at Grand Floridian, and all of them are (over)due for modernizations.

All of that makes sense, especially not reopening 1900 Park Fare only to close it again “in a few months” once the resort reimagining progresses to that point. The problem is, that’s been the thinking since late 2022/early 2023. By now, 1900 Park Fare could’ve been operating for a year or so before closing for reimagining.

Somewhere along the way, we’re assuming there was a delay. This is a fairly safe assumption if you simply look at the timeline and the pauses in the project at Grand Floridian. Also, in pretty much all other construction around Walt Disney World in the last ~4 years. Almost nothing has been completed on schedule, with delays due to staffing shortages, allocation of resources, etc.

In a logical and ideal world, 1900 Park Fare would be reimagined alongside the lobby, and open in time for Spring Break 2024. So that would be our prediction if Walt Disney World were doing this strategically and had unlimited resources at their disposal. At present, there’s no indication that’s the case–no construction activity has been observed in or around either.

If you believe recent rumors, that Spring Break 2024 timeframe for the reopening of 1900 Park Fare checks out. However, we are more skeptical. There have been a few false starts with 1900 Park Fare, even among Cast Members at the Grand Floridian who had heard that it would be reopening and transfers would start soon.

At this point, that doesn’t really make sense unless the stars align and Walt Disney World is able to complete the lobby reimagining in the span of a couple months. Another alternative is Disney throwing in the towel and opening 1900 Park Fare in virtually the same form as it existed up until March 2020. While both are plausible, they strike me as squandered opportunities that I don’t think Walt Disney World will want to pass up.

So instead, our prediction is that 1900 Park Fare reopens when it reopens. Very insightful, we know. But that’s basically a way of saying that it will not be timed strategically, and instead will happen when it’s able to happen. At this point, our best guess is not until Summer 2024 at the earliest, unless work is already occurring inside the venue already and whatever happens inside the lobby is going to be a light refresh rather than a fully-fledged reimagining. (Hey, we told you up front that we don’t know when it’ll reopen! Given the circumstances here, we think it’s inappropriate to make a shot-in-the-dark guess at a date.)

When 1900 Park Fare finally reopens, don’t be surprised if it looks different. In fact, expect it to look different. And I don’t just mean the interior, which almost assuredly will receive a refresh before reopening. The breakfast and dinner could feature different characters. Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if 1900 Park Fare is overhauled entirely, to the point that the old concept is unrecognizable.

I don’t say this with any inside info or insight, but the Grand Floridian is Walt Disney World’s flagship resort and 1900 Park Fare felt antiquated even in March 2020 following the debuts of Storybook Dining at Artist Point (a retrofit) and Breakfast à la Art with Mickey & Friends at Topolino’s Terrace (a brand new restaurant at Riviera Resort). Even had the closure never happened, I wouldn’t have been surprised if 1900 Park Fare received a major overhaul between then and now.

As for what it might resemble, look no further than Royal Banquet Hall. As to which one (there are several!), either the brand-new one at Disneyland Hotel in Paris or the one inside the castle in Shanghai Disneyland (see our Royal Banquet Hall Review). The new Disneyland Paris restaurant is elevated character dining, with a commensurate price: ~$100 per person.

While I certainly wouldn’t want to see that cost copied, I could see the meal being cloned for Walt Disney World–right down to the character costumes and costliness. As someone who would love to see more meals with Mickey and Minnie in unique costumes, I’m totally on board with that part. The regal looks of Mickey, Minnie, Daisy, Donald, Pluto and Goofy found elsewhere are fantastic. (I’d even take Jester Goofy to mix things up!)

Again, I know absolutely nothing. But I see the newer character meals at Walt Disney World that started rolling out in 2018-2019, then this elevated experience at Disneyland Hotel in Paris (not to mention ones at the Grand Californian and Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel), and I can’t help but wonder when Walt Disney World is going to get in on the action in some capacity.

One of the big reasons why this resort reimagining has happened in the first place is because Grand Floridian was reportedly not meeting the standards of Walt Disney World’s flagship resort. As a whole, dining was/is not one area where the hotel falls short. Well, with one exception: 1900 Park Fare as it existed before–a somewhat random grab bag of characters–was not flagship caliber.

Don’t get me wrong, we loved 1900 Park Fare–it made our ‘best of’ list. But if you dropped me blindly into 1900 Park Fare with no prior knowledge, I don’t think I would’ve guessed that the rag-tag band of characters and meal was the top-tier resort character dining experience at Walt Disney World. I would’ve guessed that’s Breakfast a la Art at Riviera.

Transforming 1900 Park Fare into Royal Banquet Hall or Enchanted Garden Restaurant (HKDL version) makes infinitely more sense for the flagship Victorian resort. It also “allows” Walt Disney World to charge a boatload more money, so win-win for everyone, I guess. (Well, except for those who loved the old 1900 Park Fare or don’t enjoy paying $100 for a meal…two not-so-minor exceptions!)

Ultimately, this is a lot of words to say “I don’t know” when Walt Disney World will reopen 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian. The main point is that 1900 Park Fare will return at some point, probably in 2024 after the resort reimagining is completed. Well, unless it receives a new name before returning, in which case, technically it won’t be 1900 Park Fare that’s reopening.

The big unanswered question is the scope and scale of the Grand Floridian resort reimagining of the lobby level and, by extension, the degree to which changes are planned for 1900 Park Fare. If the main building overhaul is consistent with the outer ones, there could be several more months to go–the project might not be finished until right before the start of the Christmas 2024 season.

If it’s more on par with the (very) light refresh done to the lobby at BoardWalk Inn, it could be finished within a matter of weeks–by Spring Break. So there’s a wide range of possibilities based on the ambition level of the lobby reimagining. It really depends upon whether Walt Disney World believes their flagship resort falls short of real world luxury and opulence, and if they have the appetite for it be a veritable construction zone for half the year.

If I were in charge of Walt Disney World, I’d probably aim for a middle ground. There are ways of updating the resort and its aesthetic to make it look less dated (unfortunately, less themed also comes with the territory) and adding statement pieces as a signifier of luxury and lavishness. New carpet, furniture, and fixtures–things like castle chandeliers. Again, Imagineering just finished up work on the Disneyland Hotel in Paris (see above); cherry-picking the best, biggest impact elements from that multi-year reimagining would be savvy.

From my perspective, an entirely redone 1900 Park Fare is the lowest-hanging fruit on that front. Character dining is relatively easy to transform, and that space is essentially a blank slate that could be redone into a royal character dining experience via regal wall coverings, character portraits, and other decor (that would also help compensate for the noticeable lack of windows).

Perhaps most importantly, character meals are highly marketable. Disneyland Paris has leaned heavily on Royal Banquet in its campaign for the redone Disneyland Hotel, and Disney’s Riviera Resort likewise heavily utilizes images of Mickey and friends from Topolino’s Terrace. No better way to signal that a Walt Disney World resort is “fit for royalty” than with photos of Queen Minnie and King Mickey Mouse greeting their loyal subjects!

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Your Thoughts

When do you think 1900 Park Fare will reopen? Have you done breakfast or dinner here? Would you prefer it to stay as it was pre-closure, or for a Royal Banquet Hall or Enchanted Garden Restaurant type character dining experience replace it, featuring Queen Minnie, King Mickey, and other members of their royal court? Agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions? Hearing your feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts or questions below in the comments!

21 Responses to “When Will 1900 Park Fare Reopen?”
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