Today we finally had a birthday party for the Dancer. Her birthday was almost one month ago, but with the start of the school year we were just now able to get together a party for her.
Here’s a secret.
I hate throwing birthday parties.
They’re expensive and SO MUCH WORK.
This one had 15 girls all around the age of 12 at a bowling alley/night club for three hours.
It kind of felt like forever.
I wonder how I can convince my kids that we should celebrate birthdays with a family dinner out at the restaurant of their choice with one or two friends.
The fifteen friends thing is tough.
It doesn’t help that both girls have birthdays as we go back to school – meaning that we have to deal with all of the back to school craziness on top of planning two birthday parties.
SO. I need a bit of a break. Tonight, therefore, I want to write about Disney World and take a bit of a mental vacation. On our last trip we did something that I really loved that we haven’t done before. We visited the Wilderness Lodge for dinner with Snow White.
As my kids get older, the occasional character meal is so great because it lets us all have a nice sit down, relaxing dinner, even while we meet a few characters – something we don’t devote a ton of time to in the parks anymore. Never Chef Mickeys (shudder), but there are some character meals that never let us down and that are just so easy and relaxing that we always seem to end up doing them again.
So anyway. The nice thing about this Snow White meal was that they brought out three different small appetizers and three different small deserts for each person. It allowed the girls to be adventurous and to try things that they might not have if they had to choose them as their only starter. It was also a pretty cute presentation.
The other thing I like about character meals is when the characters come to the table. It’s so much nicer than standing in a line. You get more personal interactions that way too. The characters aren’t as rushed and you don’t feel the waiting eyes of other guests watching you and judging how much time and how many different pictures you’re taking with the characters.
At the meal, Grumpy and Dopey circulate along with Snow White. There’s also a backdrop set up where you can meat the Evil Queen. Your wait person will come invite you to meet her when it’s convenient and there isn’t a line so it’s no wait, even though you have to go to her.
The set menu is decent – the kids meals were AWESOME. I might even prefer the kids meal to the gnocchi, which is a thing I rarely say. But the appetizers and the deserts are brought out for everyone. The kids meal comes with a starter that involves a roll growing out of a clay pot, filled with rye dirt and ranch with vegetables. It’s much more adorable than it needs to be.
Plus, the Wilderness Lodge is not a place I had visited before. It’s so lovely. We rode over on the boat and enjoyed a breezy ride across the water on a fairly uncrowded boat – we even managed to sit in the bow and enjoy the views of the cabins that are available via the Disney Vacation Club. It was nice to escape the parks and to experience something new that I haven’t done before. I think it’s important to, even though we love doing our old favorites, to try ONE new thing every trip. It keeps things fresh and it makes Disney feel like a different, yet familiar, experience each time we go.