Not so magical dinner with Cinderella

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by joyerbides, Sep 9, 2007.

  1. joyerbides

    joyerbides Mouseketeer

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    I just thought I'd give my review of our dinner with Cinderella at Grand Floridian Cafe (moved from 1900 Park Fare). Let me start by saying that we had a grand gathering of 12 people. Four adults and 8 children. Of the 8 kids, only 2 were girls DD3 and DN9. This was a birthday dinner for them both and really the only reason we decided to dine here. It was suppose to be "THE" magical dinner. The one we looked the most forward to. They both dressed in their princess gowns (Cinderella, of course and Belle). Our ADR's were for 5:45 pm on Thursday (9/6/07). They were under two ressies. When I called to make the ADR's they said they could not put both families together, but we would be close, so we had one for 7 people and one for 5. No problem......OK.. so we get there at 5:30 thinking it wouldn't take that long:rolleyes1. I checked us in (both parties) and the CM said she would put us all together. :yay: UH HUH....not so great. We waited for an hour to get a table. I went up to the front after waiting for about 30 minutes and asked how much longer it was going to be. (Lots of impatient little ones). Besides, my DD3 was no longer looking like Princess Cinderella, more like Cinderella after midnight :rotfl: So, the CM politely tells me that because she is putting us all together, it's going to take awhile to get tables. UH......she could have told me this 30 minutes ago, we would have kept our original ressies. Ok, we are at Disney, just relax.....So another 15 minutes go by and my princess is now turning into the evil stepsister. Again, I walk up to the front and the CM sees me coming. She says that the people at the tables we are waiting for are on dessert and it will only be a little longer....Finally after an hour, we are taken to our tables. My DD3's hair is no longer looking princessy, but who cares....lets eat:yay: Well our not so magical server comes to our table. She was not smiling, she was not happy, she was basically just going to serve us. OK...I'll get over it, maybe she is just tired. This goes on for awhile, while she takes our drink orders. She leaves. Then here comes Cinderella and Prince Charming, the ones we came here to see. :love: While they are signing autographs and taking pictures, with our 8 children, the waitress/server moves right past them and starts taking orders:scared1:. Hello... but what the heck. She cut right in front of them. I know we were there to eat, but couldn't she wait a minute. I mean really, maybe it's me, but I thought it was rude. So, finally we get our orders taken and the other characters come around (Suzie and Perla the mice... I think that's their names). After awhile, our entree's are delivered. Hold on... where are our appetizers????? I let the food servers know that we never got them, they go and get "Happy the server" and she actually had the audacity to tell me and I quote, " It's just salads and soups, you can eat them with the meal". :snooty: Well, I just sat there stunned. Actually I was furious :mad: She left after that and evidentally someone (probably the food server) informed the manager. She came out and said that the appetisers were being prepared and they would only be a minute. Hello, I'm eating my prime rib now (by the way, I think it was excellant, I'm not really sure though since I was sooooo mad, I really didn't pay any attention. However, my DH and DNephew and DNiece said it was). Just a side note, I ordered the stawberry soup-appetizer-that I heard so much about and was looking forward to it all day. I didn't want to eat that with my meal. So we eventually get our appetizers, and everyone was almost done with their meals and waiting for dessert. By this time, I had had enough of the UNhappy server. So I went to front and asked to speak with the manager. I told her about the whole dinner, the server, etc. and asked if we were still even going to get the girl's birthday wishes, as planned. (who knew at this point). She said she would go to the bakery and get them cakes (on the house) for my inconvience. So I went back to the table, waited for dessert and the cakes I guess. We now had been there for 2 hours. We had plans for that evening, and it was cutting into that time frame. I had no idea that this dinner was supposed to be so long :confused3 . She finally brought our desserts and cakes, no one cared to eat them anyways. By the time all was said and done, we had been there for 3 hours. The characters keep shrugging their shoulders everytime they walked by, all I could so is the same. Needless to say, our evening plans went to the wayside. I was seriously disappointed with this meal. The food was good, the service was poor. For such a high class restaurant, they certainly didn't put forth the disney magic:mad: Oh well, what can I say. At least we didn't have to pay for that meal as we were on the free DDP. But that server still got her 18% tip out of. She didn't lose anything, but we lost the magic and time from our evening.
     
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  3. kathie859

    kathie859 DIS Veteran

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    Ok...I think you win! I've had less than "magical" dining moments at WDW but nothing quite as pitiful as your experience:confused3
     
  4. Dorisk3

    Dorisk3 DIS Veteran

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    I'm sorry to hear about your experience - that sounded truly bad. It made me think of the new DDP- and how next year I won't be crazy about the idea of an additional gratuity- but the only good thing about having control of leaving your own tip is when you have truly bad service that is actually the fault of the server you can leave him or her the amount he or she deserves. Hope the rest of your trip was better!
     
  5. eeyore45

    eeyore45 <font color=darkorchid>Do-it-yourself pixie dust =

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    I'm glad you were pro active with the manager -

    I too would've been upset - 3 hours for a TS meal - well I hear they do take 2 hours - it was a buffet, not is plated, it sounds like the servers havent a clue on how to "change" and serve meals -

    (hmmm reminds me why I do not want to leave 18% tip for a buffet!! - sorry that's off topic)

    Glad you were able to get through your meal - and I'm glad you posted your experience... I'm sure you will get a lot of great reviews, but they'll probably be of smaller groups and a different server, its most helpful that you posted your reactions, and what led you to speak to the manager - you have a lot more patience than I would have, I'm sure it was because you were in Disney, with your family and you didnt want to put any negativity out there - until you were pushed too far!!

    Good news is this wont last long - once they get back to buffet status!! We were a grand gathering and I made ressies for 12 - and was told we had to take the first ressie of the evening in order to be seated together, but if we wanted a later seating, it would go faster if we split our group -

    That might have been helpful information for you, that they didnt give you!! (until an hour into your wait!)
     
  6. livndisney

    livndisney DIS Veteran

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    I am so sorry this happened to you. I am sorry to say we had a similar experience a few days before. It was so far from magical.
    We may have had the same server. We had to wait for 45 minutes for bread, she told us she was not sure how to serve it :confused3. We were there almost three hours. Our server actually looked surprised when I asked if Cinderella and the prince would ever come to our table. My DD was so disappointed she sat with her Cinderella crown (which I know was uncomfortable) on her head for over an hour. "Mommy, I just know they will come over soon". She finally changed it to "Mommy, I don't think they are ever going to get here."

    Not to hijack your thread-I hope the meal and service improves once it is moved back to where it belongs.
     
  7. joyerbides

    joyerbides Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for all of your support everyone. Yes, we got through the meal, it just wasn't what we expected. I tried very hard to be polite and non-demanding, but enough was enough. Thankfully, that was our last TS meal, so we didn't have to go through anymore waiting for food. I think you're right about them not knowing how to serve (used to the buffets). Most of our meals were buffet. Maybe that's why they were all MUCH better. Oh well. It didn't ruin the vacation, just dampened the evening. However, if I could go back and do it again, I'd rather be there, than home with my post vacation blues :sad1: Well, now that I am officially addicted to disney, I think I may start planning for next year's trip ;)
     
  8. sandybobandy

    sandybobandy DIS Veteran

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    Aww this makes me so mad for you! Good for you for voicing your frustrations at the time though and being proactive in getting a solution. Still though-ugh!

    Thanks for sharing your experience. Hope the rest of the trip was wonderful!
     
  9. AnnetteF

    AnnetteF DIS Veteran

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    I'm so sorry to hear this happened to you. I know how important it is when you want it to be special for the children. We ate there on Monday 9/3 and actually had a good experience but our disaster dinner came the following night, at Coral Reef - the last night of our vacation. I posted about that one on another thread asking about long wait times during free dining so I won't go into all the details again. I know how you feel, though.

    I know what you mean about the post vacation blues. I've got them, too. You're right, time to start planning our next Disney vacation!
     
  10. super_crunch

    super_crunch Mouseketeer

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    I am so sorry you had to deal with all that.

    We had an amazing meal with Cinderella and the gang at the GF cafe. Our server was amazing...not to mention entirely adorable.

    I am glad you let them know how it went. No one should have to deal with all that.
     
  11. jcemom

    jcemom Official Tag Fairy Assistant

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    Oh my! :eek:

    I sure hope we don't get that server!! We have an ADR there for DD's birthday in a couple of weeks. I've ordered a cake and am already a little nervous that it won't be there or won't be as ordered. I hate to worry about getting a server with an attitude like the one you got. I would be tempted to ask NOT to have her if I knew her name. :rolleyes1 :laughing:
     
  12. joyerbides

    joyerbides Mouseketeer

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    I Believe her name was Linda (she was an older woman, I'm guessing approximately between 55-60). She was short/blondish hair and stocky in stature. I hope you don't get her either. Maybe she was just having an off day or something. Plus it was dinner not lunch, so it was later in the day/evening. Oh well, Good luck with your meal. Here's some pixie dust for you:wizard:
     
  13. angelmav

    angelmav DIS Veteran

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    Just be glad you were on the 2007 DDP because your group would have been OOP on the 18% automatic gratuity for such lousy service on the new version.
     
  14. joyerbides

    joyerbides Mouseketeer

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    :lmao: Thank God for small favors.
     
  15. disneyfan55

    disneyfan55 DIS Veteran

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    Hope your other dining choices were better!! We have reservations for GFC during the last week of this month. Hope we have better luck than you did. Exactly what is the menu for the restaurant since Cinderella is there? Thanks for your help!!
     
  16. joyerbides

    joyerbides Mouseketeer

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    I had the prime rib and pototoes and I think asparagus. My appetizer (that I got later in the meal) was strawberry soup (YUMMY). Desserts were family style. I don't really remember what the menu had on it. I knew what I wanted before I got there. But if you go to the dining portion of this website, I think you can get the menus from there for all the restaurants.
     
  17. jcemom

    jcemom Official Tag Fairy Assistant

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    This is what I have as the dinner menu, it might be missing a thing or two:

    Appetizers - choice of one per adult
    Strawberry Soup
    House Salad
    Mushroom Trangolini
    Spicy Shrimp with Grits Cake

    Entrees - choice of one per adult
    Prime Rib w/ mashed potatoes and house vegetables
    Shrimp Penne Pasta
    Smoked Pork Loin w/ mustard sauce
    Pan-Seared Chicken Breast w/ au gratin potatoes and asparagus
    Grilled Salmon Napoleon
    Herb Marinated Tofu

    Dessert - one per table
    Dessert tray with various mini-desserts (includes chocolate mousee, fruit tart, creme brulee, carrot cake) plus bread pudding with vanilla sauce

    Children's Menu
    Appetizers - choice of vegetable selection of cut carrots and celery with ranch dip, or a fruit cup

    Entress - Penne Pasta with meatballs, or Chicken Fingers with mashed potatoes, broccoli and carrots, or cheese pizza
     
  18. jcemom

    jcemom Official Tag Fairy Assistant

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  19. disneyfan55

    disneyfan55 DIS Veteran

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    Thank you both for your help. It's just when we were making the reservation we were told that the menu wasns't the regular menu since it was a character dinner. It still just is one TS right? Just want to make sure. Thanks and have a nice day!!
     
  20. jcemom

    jcemom Official Tag Fairy Assistant

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    Yes, still one TS.
     
  21. castanhope

    castanhope Mouseketeer

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    We were actually there the next evening (9/7) and had pretty much the same experience as you did!! While we didn't have to wait an hour for our table, we did have to wait at least 25 minutes (I lost track of the exact wait because we arrived early to begin with since MK closed at 6 and our res. was at 6:40 so there wasn't much to do in between). While we waited for our table I saw more displays of poor parenting than I have ever seen in my life (but that's another story all together!) and more tired and cranky kids who obviously were having to wait toooo long to be seated. The place was absolutely packed! We finally did get a nice table and a decent waitress. She wasn't the most cheerful waitress on the planet but it was hard to blame her with all the mass chaos going on around us. The appetizers came promptly, the mice came to take pictures, and my dd's wanted nothing on the menu... My seafood chowder (soup of the day) was excellent and the desserts were outstanding, but the entrees were very bland and substandard I thought. My prime rib was dry and didn't seem to have any type of seasoning on it at all. Both my girls who love steak and roast beef had prime rib as well and barely touched it. They thought it was too dry as well and ate their chicken soup appetizers as their meal. Anyway, on top of the bland food, the mass confusion, the long wait, and the chaotic atmosphere of the restaurant, the girls kept asking and asking where Cinderella was and when was she going to come see us??? Well, midway through our hour and a half long meal (why do the meals seem to take so long??), Cinderella must have been on break because she was nowhere to be found. My 5 yr old dd said she thought Cinderella had to go to a meeting, lol! Finally, just as we were leaving she stopped by our table for a quick photo. She seemed very rushed and barely spoke to the girls. It was highly anticlimactic!! The food was decent and the service was ok, but it certainly wasn't a "Gala Feast" and not very magical! I had picked this as our first Disney meal experience and was definitely disappointed!
     

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