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June 9, 2011

Royal Changes at Disney's Garden View Tea Room

If you follow me here at DGTG, you already know that I am a HUGE fan of Afternoon Tea the Garden View Tea Room, nestled inside of Disney's Grand Floridian Resort.  On my recent visit back in May, I had neglected to make reservation to the Tea Room, thinking I would skip it for a change... But one afternoon, I ended up in the Grand Floridian at around 2pm and just couldn't resist attempting to "walk-up."

Those of you familiar with this special Disney experience know that it is virtually impossible to walk-up to the Garden View Tea Room without a reservation...This was my lucky day, and after a 5 minute wait, we were seated and were coincidentally greeted by our usual attendant.

After placing an order for my "usual" Grand Tea, the attendant informed me that a new offering had been added to the Tea Room Menu: 
  • The Princess Kate Tea: A Spring Tea served with a classic dish of potted shrimp, followed by a medley of cheeses, an array of seasonal fruits, and cheddar cheese biscuits.  A scone, a jam tart, and a selection of delicate pastries accompanied by a glass of Veuve Cliquot Champagne and a choice of tea. ~ $38.00 Per Guest
The Garden View Tea Room began offering the Princess Kate Tea the afternoon of the Royal Wedding, and during conversation with my attendant, learned that many guests had questioned the name of the new offering since Kate is really a Duchess and not a Princess!  In my opinion, it's a selling point, and doesn't offend me at all!  I mean after all, there are several Disney Princesses who were not born Princesses! :)

And before you ask, let me answer:  Potted Shrimp is a very traditional English dish consisting of small shrimp which have been prepared or marinated in a tiny "pot" of sorts, with mace and cayenne pepper, and butter, and in my opinion is a spread of sorts, usually served with bread or toast.  I can't comment on the style in which is is served at the Garden View Tea Room since I chose to stick with my usual choice, The Grand Tea!

Another change I noticed was the absence of the dainty little tea strainers on the tables.  My attendant explained that the Tea Room cast had recently been trained by a Tea Company rep who informed them that the proper way to brew the tea is to remove the leaves before serving.  She said she was happy about the change, because in the past many guests had complained that their tea was too strong by the near of the seating.  I must admit, I've never noticed my tea being too strong and actually like the silver strainers, but I guess it doesn't make much difference!

In closing: I highly reccommend the Garden View Tea Room as a "Go To" experience at the Walt Disney World Resort!  Have you been to the Tea Room lately? What do you think about the changes? Have you tried the Princess Kate Tea? Do you think the name should be changed???


Amanda said...

I have not had the opportunity to try this out yet, but hope to someday with my mom and sisters. I think i would love the Princess Kate tea - it sounds yummy! I don't mind the name at all :)

Lee said...

This sounds like so much fun. But I'm on the West Coast. Is there something similar in the Disneyland Resort? If not, I may have to start planning a trip.


Diane M said...

I have never been but it sounds like an experience everyone should have. My daughter and I would love to experience being treated like Princesses at the Princess Kate tea.

Linda (TINK) said...

We have been a number of times, but not since the new offering. This will make a big hit with my husband as he will eat shrimp anytime anywhere,anyway ... it is such a relaxed feeling there..Thanks for the update

Melissa said...

What a great review. Thank you so much for sharing! It sounds like such a fun and unique experience!

Jennifer G. said...

I actually wrote to Guest Communications about the removal of the strainers, following a trip in April, 2011. They responded promptly and courteously, but didn't explain about the "tea training".

Part of the tea room experience that I enjoy most is the ritual of Tea - the motions of preparing it, and the attention to detail and respect of history shown by the venue to provide the appropriate tools with which to do so. Part of that experience is to explore with my companions how the tea changes - from the first light, aromatic cup with which to start your conversation, to the final robust cup that fortifies you for your return to the bustle of the parks. Pre-steeped tea doesn't give you that. Part of what I appreciate most, and what makes the venue worth the expense, is the respect the staff and the venue seems to give to those traditions. I was disappointed and a little sad to see this bit of gentility and elegance slip from an otherwise excellent experience.

That said, I still LOVE the Tea Room and like you, try to work it in every trip - and will continue to do so! Thanks for the info on the Princess Kate tea - potted shrimp, how perfectly British!! ;)