Great Movie Ride Dinner – a Tables in Wonderland Event

Greetings, and please be patient as the nearly-250 photos load!

This post is about the Tables in Wonderland Great Movie Ride Dinner on March 8th, 2013. If you would like more info about Tables in Wonderland, click here. This event was what finally made me decide to buy a Tables in Wonderland membership, as it was my best friend’s birthday and I knew this would be the perfect gift. I also roamed around a bit before dinner and got some shots of Hollywood Studios at twilight.
The tickets were steep – $200 each – which is why you’ll see me taking a more critical eye than usual with this event. Two tickets cost me more than my annual pass. Think about that. The event was 2.5 hours of fun, though, and I’d highly recommend you participate if you ever get the chance! My pros and cons are below:

  • Pros:
    • You get to walk around and eat dinner inside the Great Movie Ride(!!!!)
    • Two-and-a-half hours of very unique entertainment
    • Delicious food
    • Exclusive event held fairly rarely
    • Great photo opportunities
    • Lots of fun overall
    • Open bar
    • I love walking out of an empty park
    • Finally a chance to find those Hidden Mickeys that had eluded me
    • Bragging rights
    • Adoration of thousands of twitter followers
  • Cons, on the part of the event planners:
    • Steep price tag, which would be justifiable if they addressed the cons here
    • Seemed understaffed and/or over-sold
      • 80 people heading down the one tiny stairwell took 10 minutes of the evening
      • Only one bartender, so the open bar meant very little
      • Ran out of appetizers and/or were unable to get past the long bar line (see above) to feed the other half of the crowd
      • The rear table in the Wild West couldn’t see what was going on until “Maw” started circulating
      • Inconsistent service in the Wild West – drinks/salads/bread arriving randomly over a very long period of time
    • Rushing us from scene to scene – very little lingering in many parts
    • When it was time to go, we got about 30 seconds of warning and told that “We’re turning the Emerald City off, so you’d better hurry up and get a picture and move on.” We abandoned drinks and desserts to get photos.
    • Someone should’ve turned off the sound in the queue room – couldn’t hear our “director” – this is sort of petty, but the price tag allows it :)
  • Cons, on the part of the event in general and in NO WAY the fault of the event planners:
    • Everyone bumbling around in the dark to get photos means they’re not paying attention to you – you WILL get run into, often
    • Open bar and pre-gaming means that many of these people bumbling around in the dark are also intoxicated
    • Surprisingly, children were present – one three-year-old was running around in the dark, screaming. Not how I’d spend $200 on a kiddo, but that’s up to the parents.
    • People utterly lack awareness that other people are there – every single shot you see in this gallery represents at least five shots taken to get people out of the frame, you will trip over things in the dark like the expensive DSLR camera and bag left on the dark floor, you will very likely have someone else’s drink spilled on you.

PLEASE do not look at the longer cons list and assume that this event wasn’t fun or worth attending. This event was AWESOME and a GREAT TIME! After the stumbles in the Chicago scene, things got a lot better. The food was amazing and the Oz desserts would have made up for a Cast Member directly insulting my heritage.

After this event, my advice is as follows: 1. Join Tables 2. Go to this event.

The equipment was the usual: Canon T3i, 28mm lens, 50mm lens, iPhone 5, and a rookie photographer.

As usual, the pics are below, ask anything you would like in the comments!

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