I have to preface this by saying that when I had read about others doing this, I had in my head that it was more of a “party” type thing where everyone would be involved. I’m not sure why, but you all understand when you read or hear something you get a certain picture in your head, and that was mine.
Our reservations were for 3:30 p.m. at the Garden View Room at the Grand Floridian on a Saturday afternoon. We were seated promptly against the wall closest to the lobby, so one of us had a view of the lobby and the other had a view of the outside garden area. If I did it again, I would request a view closer to the window.
Our waiter brought out the menu and I was surprised at all of the lovely choices they had for tea. I opted out for the “Mango Oolong Tea” and Bethany chose the “Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.” We could have just got the tea, but they now have packages to try which include some fun sugary snacks and scrumptious sandwiches.
We chose the “Buckingham Tea” package which included any choice of tea, sandwiches, scones, and then choice of dessert. This package only costs $25.00 a person, and for what you get, I feel it was well worth the money to try and enjoy this- at least once anyways. Bethany mentioned that this menu used to be ala carte, but sadly, it is no longer.
Because I had walked over from the Poly in the heat of the Florida sun, I was in dire need of a glass of water with my tea- I didn’t think it would be wise or satisfy my thirst at all to down the tea. Sadly, our waiter forgot to bring the water, and so I waited patiently after he brought our tea out and had to be asked again. The tea was brought out in pots, and then your waiter pours it for you. Still waiting for the water, I decided to drink the hot tea for something down my throat. I did add a few sugar cubes to it, but I didn’t feel it had a strong or light taste of mango at all- it tasted like hot water with a small hint of mango- almost like it was left in the pot and they added the hot water to it without mixing it. Because I don’t drink tea often, I did have Bethany try it to see what she thought. She thought it tasted bland as well, but she did very much enjoy her “Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.”
Still with no water, I finally just asked him for a Coke and Bethany wanted a tea cozy for the tea pots to keep them warm. They apparently don’t cover them right away because they are so hot- makes sense! The Coke was finally delivered (30 minutes from the first time we asked for just a water) and I was happy to enjoy it with the tea. Soda products are not on the menu, but they were more than happy to get it for us – it was just a matter of actually getting it.
Bethany had done the tea before, and knew the sandwiches that are offered were something she was not really keen on eating. He was more than accommodating to switch out the sandwiches for more of the others she liked, plus they traded in a couple of ham and cheese ones that they offer the kids for us as well- score!
He brought out the ones we asked for, and even though he gave us each the wrong order, we traded and I know that I gobbled them down due to being famished- but I truly thought they were delicious! I ate the pear and Gorgonzola, the egg salad, not the salmon, not the chicken, curry, but I did also try the watercress and cucumber and last the ham and cheese. My favorite was the watercress and cucumber – my thoughts were “I want to have these at home all the time!” On the side they also brought us a onion tart- oh my gosh, this was DELICIOUS! If you are a fan of grilled onions, these are AMAZING!!
The next course, which I have to admit I was getting close to full on all of the sandwiches, was the raisin scone and strawberry tart. The lemon curd smeared on the scone was TO DIE FOR! They give you a choice of the lemon curd or strawberry jam, with also a dollop of clotted cream.
After he came to take our dishes and asked if we would like to choose two several delectable pastries OR the strawberries and cream dessert. Having heard from many of you, I went for the strawberries and cream and that was SO NEAT to see come out- the “G F” inscripted on top of the cream with the yummy fresh strawberries nestled underneath. These are chilled ahead of time, and the treat was not only delicious, but it tasted fresh and not frozen. Sometimes with fruit that is cold, it can hurt the teeth to try and eat it- these were nice and soft.
All in all we sat, ate, drank and chatted from 3:30 till 5:30 p.m.. Now you can eat faster I am sure, but it IS hot tea and you want to be able to enjoy it in a relaxing time. We were in no rush, and I would advise that if you are interested in this, find a block of time in your day where you can really just sip, taste, and enjoy the experience. I know with a lot of the Disney meals offered, we would feel excited and rushed for what needed to be done AFTER the experience that we had a hard time sitting and enjoying the moment. This is one you especially have to go into with the thought of having a nice and relaxed moment.
On a side note, it would be really sweet if they had “Mrs. Potts” and “Chip” on a cart, like they have “Remy” in France, come and talk to you at your table. Also why not have more of an overall “Mrs. Potts” presence during this experience- kids could drink out of a “Chip” type cup? Bethany loved the tea cozy so much she asked how much they charge for it, and yes they will sell it, but it will cost you $75.00.
I would definitely do it again, with a different tea, and I think it was well worth the money. Thanks to Bethany for sharing this wonderful experience with me and helping me cross off something on my bucket list.
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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!