Yosemite National Park's annual Bracebridge Dinner is a world-class musical dinner-theater event showcasing the gorgeous Ahwahnee Hotel during the holidays. This iconic Renaissance feast began in 1927, the same year that the Ahwahnee Hotel opened for business. The festivities are based on the famous fictional story, “Squire Bracebridge's Yule” by Washington Irving. Set in England in the 1700's, Irving's character, Lord Merrick Bracebridge, invites the forest folk and peasants to feast with him for Christmas dinner.
Guests are seated in the Ahwahnee Hotel's 50-foot-high Grand Dining Room at their candlelit tables. Views of the snowy Yosemite Valley are featured through the towering cathedral windows. Guests are greeted by the fanfare of royal horns invoking the Christmas Spirit and inviting them to join Squire Bracebridge for a holiday feast. The cast enters the room, each with a candle, singing a hauntingly beautiful Christmas song. This is the beginning of a three-and-a-half-hour world-class dinner-theater opera that is sure to fill hearts with the nostalgia of Christmas from centuries gone bye.
The hosts of the extravaganza are the Squire and Lady Bracebridge, who sit at the head of the grand hall and oversee the food and entertainment. The Housekeeper and Chef Pierre are the main players who interact regularly throughout the production. The Housekeeper of Bracebridge Hall is essentially the main character. She greets the forest folk and villagers and orchestrates the cast of guests. Chef Pierre presents the food as it is brought forth in a grand theatrical procession, including peacock pie, Boar's Head and Baron of Beef. The actual food presented to the Bracebridge guests consists of a gourmet seven-course-meal brought out in time with the magnificent dramatization.
The Minstrel plays the lute and sings for the guests, the serving wench serves, the Jester juggles and the choir sings. Comedic songs and emotionally touching moments make the experience a full spectrum of positive feelings. Lady Bracebridge raises her glass in the name of love. The dinner closes with an ambiant farewell as the cast exits, each with a candle, singing the final song.This benevolent celebration of winter has been an Ahwahnee tradition since 1927 when there was only one performance. The traditional feast has grown to eight full performances to accommodate its popularity. The Holiday Pops Concert continues as the night goes on for the guests of the Bracebridge Dinner.
Bracebridge Dinner is a very special event that everyone should see at least once in their lives. Reservations for Bracebridge Dinner are made up to one year in advance and it often sells out. Book your Bracebridge Dinner seats early to take part in this Christmas Tradition. Call National Park Reservations today to secure your Bracebridge Dinner reservations as well as your rooms at the Ahwahnee Hotel.