Monday, October 18, 2010

Dining with Character(s)

One thing people impressed upon me as we planned our Disney trip was the importance of dining reservations. This is something I may have taken a bit too lightly overall. Fortunately, I did make it a point to schedule some of the coveted meals with characters.

The first was dining at Cinderella's Royal Table, within the castle itself. I had hoped to make this a girls' meal, with Clare, Donna and I enjoying a meal with the princesses. Sadly, despite scheduling this more than three months in advance, I was only able to secure a reservation for two. So, off Clare and I went. Given that her princess mania reached its zenith about three years ago, I wasn't sure how excited Clare would be about this meal, although she had told me she wanted to do it. I'm so glad we did, too, because we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Clare beamed broadly for her photo with every princess that strolled through the restaurant, so much so that it was hard to choose which photo to post here. (I ultimately chose Belle because Clare has decided that she is her favorite, given that Belle loves to read so much.) She was thrilled with the wands they dispersed. Even the food itself was a pleasure for both of us (Clare got to decorate her own cupcake!). It was a very nice opportunity for us to get some one-on-one time and revel in girly pleasures.

Meanwhile, the rest of the crew headed over to The Crystal Palace for a buffet lunch. I chose this place primarily because it was also located in the Magic Kingdom, and I could get a reservation within five minutes of our princess lunch. The Crystal Palace was going to feature Winnie the Pooh and friends, something I feared Danny would pooh-pooh (ha ha) given his anti-Mickey stance. Fortunately, a jaunt on the Winnie the Pooh ride prior to lunch, after which Danny declared, "I have to do that again," made me feel better about the plan.

Rightfully so. After feasting on flank steak and other buffet delicacies, Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore came calling, all of which Danny happily reported to me when we met up after eating.

We had one final character meal on Tuesday morning, which was Donna and Larry's last day. We headed over to 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian for a buffet breakfast. In addition to some excellent food, we got to visit with Mary Poppins, the Mad Hatter, Pooh and Tigger. Larry was probably the most eager to see Mary Poppins, and that's about all we'll say about that...

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