Friday, December 15, 2017

Jolly Winter Holiday at 1900 Park Fare

By Ron Baxley

Come have a jolly winter holiday at 1900 Park Fare inside of Disney's Grand Floridian Resort Hotel and explore the lobby of this beautiful resort destination during the Christmas season with Disney Avenue’s very own “Bert” of all trades, contributing writer Ron Baxley in today's new article…

Editor's Note: I highly recommend choosing track number C12 titled Disney's Grand Floridian Resort Christmas Area Music in the Christmas Edition of the Disney Avenue Music Player above while you read today's article. Happy Holidays!

- Keith Mahne

“It’s a jolly holiday with Mary. No wonder that it’s Mary that we love.”

Guests at the Walt Disney World Resort who are seeking a jolly holiday season with Mary Poppins and/or other characters will definitely want to have brunch at 1900 Park Fare, a character brunch/buffet, at the Grand Floridian Resort Hotel. You do not have to stay at the resort hotel to have brunch there, but you will need reservations for it.

I made reservations for 1900 Park Fare during a recent visit in October, was very pleased with the buffet and character visits, and plan to return again during the winter holidays later this month. I highly recommend the buffet for families with children and for those Disney fans who are young at heart. Speaking of which, did I mention the carousel horses as part of the décor which also appeal to the youthful?

The 1900 Park Fare buffet has Disney-specific options that are just not available at other holiday brunches in the city and other options that are as classy as some urban restaurant brunches. Disney-specific ones for the 1900 Park Fare buffet include the now classic Mickey-shaped waffles, which have been at Chef Mickey’s at Disney World, and were also available during my 2015 visit to Goofy’s Kitchen at the Disneyland Resort Hotel near Disneyland. An option available at classy urban brunches yet also at the Disney-specific one was the sweet New Orleans-esque bananas foster option for the waffles themselves among other toppings. Another Disney-specific option could be the chilled strawberry soup that is served which is more like a very thin strawberry mousse and reminds one of something that might be served at a British garden party. The cool soup will be a welcome addition to the relatively warm Florida winter holidays. And so much more urban restaurant brunch fare is available on the buffet such as omelets of almost every type, eggs benedict, an array of fruits, and those snappy sausages Disney loves to include. Hot dog! … G’ARSH… I mean mild sausages!

Next, what is available elsewhere at some resorts as a tropical option but was absolutely delicious to me was the acrid and sweet mixture of orange juice, guava juice, and passion fruit that they serve along with coffee or other choice of beverage there. Dare I say their juice mixture was a close second to the Dole Whip float at Adventureland for my taste-buds and maybe just above some cock-tails I had at Trader Sam’s in Disneyland? I found it nearly as exotic as the much touted Satu’li Refresher at the Satu’li Canteen in Pandora: the World of Avatar in the Animal Kingdom. After you have tasted it, were I there, I would simply reply like our favorite Hawaiian demi-god, “YOU’RE WELCOME!” In fact, my waitress must have poured me 10 juice glasses full of it, and “Maui” you be very refreshed by its tropical juices in future. In short, 1900 Park Fare’s tropical juice concoction may me feel like Mary Poppins had me pop through a chalk drawing to a tropical locale for a while.

Speaking of Mary Poppins, she may just pop by your table as she did mine (characters vary, but you will probably meet anywhere from three to four as I did). She was practically perfect as she asked about my day at the parks.

Alice from Alice in Wonderland did as well, and I showed her a White Rabbit pin based on the original illustrations for the book (the pin was given to me by my friend and Disney Avenue and Oz/Wonderland fan Rocky Jordan), and Alice stated she was amazed by the pin and that she was happy to see one of “her friend, the White Rabbit.” In fact, the character interaction during the brunch is key and is sure to be enjoyed by the young and the young at heart. They never break character.

When Tigger stopped by, I joked that people, because I am portly and friendly, call me Pooh Bear from Winnie the Pooh, and he pantomimed a giggle about that.

Speaking of Winnie the Pooh, the major photo opportunity with a backdrop for that day existed with him (characters vary for this, and you can have this as part of your Memory Maker part of your Walt Disney World package or just have them use your camera to take the photograph). It became Pooh with Pooh at that point, and I joked with him about that too (I have on a free celebrating button too because I was celebrating just being able to go back again another time this year):

When you finish holiday brunch, make sure you stick around at the Grand Floridian Hotel where 1900 Park Fare is located. The Victorian hotel is very comparable to the historic Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, California with its red-tiled turret towers and high ceilings and is decorated gorgeously for the holidays with the usual fare such as Christmas trees, garland, and wreaths but also a tradition since at least the 90s, a yearly gingerbread house in the main lobby.

Also available are classes on how to decorate a gingerbread house and other holiday options right after your brunch at 1900 Park Fare. 

Who knows? Perhaps when Mary Poppins had on her shopping list for gingerbread when she and the children ended up at Uncle Albert’s that really she intended another glorious outing among a place comparable to this. I know one thing for certain, I was certainly floating to the ceiling with laughter and giddiness after my brunch at 1900 Park Fare. I certainly felt like I had a wondrous tea party on the ceiling with all sorts of goodies and whimsical company. I hope you too will have a wonderful holiday with a brunch at 1900 Park Fare or a holiday with friends and family elsewhere at one of the Disney Parks. Escape into your own Currier and Ives-esque or “Mousier and Burl Ives-esque” (but more winter magic than summer *) chalk drawing soon! Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it, Happy Hannukah to those who celebrate it, and/or Happy Winter Holidays in general to my beloved readers and fellow Disney fans at Disney Avenue!

(* Search for “Summer Magic” online to get this reference if you do not already.)


S.C. native author and former 15-year educator Ron Baxley, Jr. has visited Disney World since he was three in 1978. His mother, Marleen Baxley, was originally from Jacksonville, Florida and had family there who facilitated going to Disney World. Ron has been invited as a guest author at Oz festivals and science fiction cons since 2010 and was recently awarded the honor of a lifetime membership by the International L. Frank Baum and All Things Oz Foundation in Chittenango, New York, birthplace of L. Frank Baum, in June for his lifetime Ozian achievements. Within the past year, Ron posted a social media article with photographs entitled simply “Dad and Disney” in which he compared a lifetime of experiences in the Magic Kingdom in Disney World with his Dad including his first-time experiences in Disneyland after attending as an authorial vendor at OzCon in San Diego in 2015. From having a plush Mickey Mouse as his favorite, earliest toy to watching Disney films, Ron has been a Disney fan as long as he has been a fan of “The Wizard of Oz.” If he is not occasionally traveling to the closest Disney Store outlet in Concord, N.C., he enjoys yearly trips to the Disney Parks and collects different types of Mr. Potato Heads there and elsewhere.

Ron recently went on board with Mad Hatter Adventures Company, a travel agency that specializes in Disney destinations, as a part-time outside sales contractor selling Disney vacation packages. Contact Ron at for more information on Disney vacation packages and visit his Mad Hatter Adventures Facebook Page here.

Ron is an Oz, fantasy, science fiction, children's, and young adult author of 25 years and part-time correspondent/reporter for the Orangeburg “Times and Democrat” in Orangeburg, S.C. He has most recently had an article on Eugene and Eulie David, former M.G.M. Wizard of Oz “Munchkin” actors and brothers who lived in his hometown of Barnwell, S.C. published in the August - October 2016 issue of the glossy national magazine “Filmfax” after it appeared in three newspapers. He placed this article and a fictionalization of it as well as stories which followed his previously published Oz books in a brand new Oz fan-fic collection, After Th’Oz, available from Amazon. A full listing of his Oz, co-written Oz/Wonderland, fantasy, and science fiction books (some of which were traditionally published from Maple Creek Press) can be found by clicking here and information on his other projects and updates can be found at his author page, here.

You can find all of Ron's articles here.

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