We had a 5:50 reservation for this character dining experience. We had spent the day at HS and arrived to WL by bus around 5:15 to relax and enjoy a pre-dinner beverage at Geyser Point. We checked in at Artist Point right on time and waited about 5 minutes for our table to be ready.
I was struck by the room upon our entry. I had heard how well themed it was, but while it was a pretty and welcoming room, it did not feel themed in any particular way. I wonder if it feels more so at night. With floor to ceiling windows and the sun far from setting, it lacked the ambiance I expected.
We were seated and provided with our menus. Our server was attentive but seemed rushed and stressed all through the meal, and this was notable right from the start. He explained how the meal would work both in terms of food service and character interaction, and took our drink order. I had a glass of red wine, foregoing the specialty cocktails created for this experience. I just hadn’t heard anything good about them and couldn’t see having something I’d probably hate just for the sake of doing so. The red wine was fantastic: Willamette Valley Vineyards ‘Founders’ Reserve’ Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley. I’ll be getting this back home!
My kids – who are, ahem, Disney adults, being over the age of 10 – are very picky eaters and the menu was too adventuresome for them. So when our server returned we requested to be informed of the alternative meal options. He explained the choices and reiterated that the price is still the same regardless and while that hurt me right in the wallet, I understood that would be the case and took another swig of my wine to ease that pain.
Our appetizers were soon served and they were positively adorable! My family ate a little bit of the Hunter’s Pie and a smidge of the mushroom soup, most of it was left to me and I was not sad about that in the least. The mushroom soup was amazing and my favorite by far. The shrimp was a little bit bland but enormous. And the Hunter’s Pie was tasty too. I did get my son to try a little bit of everything, and he claims to like shrimp now.
For our entrees, my husband chose the Prime Rib and I had the Veal Shank. Both dishes were absolutely scrumptious! The meats were flavorful and tender and the accompaniments were perfection. My husband said the horseradish mashed potatoes were among the best potatoes he’s ever had (and he’s a bit of a potato aficionado). The celery root was so tasty and the wilted greens were prepared expertly. We both raved about our meals. My kids said the pasta with red sauce was “ok”.
While we dined, Snow White visited us. She was incredibly charming. I’m not a big fan and I absolutely fell in love with her. She was sweet and beautiful and interacted so wonderfully with our kids. Grumpy came by next and was soooooooooooo grumpy! It was fantastic! He scowled at my daughter so long she cracked up laughing! And Dopey was the other dwarf to visit and he was adorable. Loved him to pieces! In between visits there was some singing and dancing in the restaurant by the characters which provided some fantastic entertainment.
But the star of the show was the Evil Queen. We met her after our main course and after the other characters had come by. She was disgusted by everyone and everything and so dismissive. It was perfect. We loved every awful, nasty, rude minute, our own and those of other guests who met her before and after us. The price of the meal was almost worth it just for the interaction and photo ops with her. She is Evil!
Dessert was delivered in much the same way as the appetizers: mini servings of each item so we could sample everything. All of us loved the gooseberry pie, and the poison apples were amazing - I could have eaten 20 of them. The Miner’s Treasures (spongecake, gems, and buttercream frosting) was a miss with all of us and we left most of that behind.
The real treat was the Hunter’s Gift to the Queen. Here is where our server’s hurriedness really had a negative impact on the experience. I’ve seen how this is supposed to be done, in videos shared by well-known bloggers and friends alike. And instead our server was more or less like, “See this? Isn’t this cool? Here, have some.” and more or less threw it at us and moved on. I was sooooooooooo disappointed in this failed presentation. It is supposed to be the culmination of an evening’s adventure and fun and it really fell flat because he was so rushed and stressed.
Overall this could be a fun meal for grownups, or even kids who have a more adventuresome palate. But if your kids are going to order the pasta, ESPECIALLY if they are Disney Adults, it’s not worth the cost. This was my main sticking point. I think DH and I would have enjoyed this as a ‘just us’ experience, and the value would have been there. That said, the kids did enjoy the experience, if not the meal, and there is something to be said for that indeed. I hope they can get the servers to slow down and/or employ more of them so that they are not so rushed. For me, at this time, this is a one and done but would consider it if I could be guaranteed slower service and did not have picky eaters in tow. I would caution families to review the menu carefully and make an honest assessment of whether your kids will partake of the offerings.
I will share photos in a separate post in the thread