Tips And Tricks For The Best Character Dining At Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World is the stuff of childhood fantasy. Where else can you meet Mickey, sing along with Elsa, and hurtle through a galaxy far, far away, all in one day? For the ultimate Disney vacation experience, we highly recommend adding at least one Disney character dining meal to your itinerary.
After all, for many children, the highlight of visiting Walt Disney World is getting to see and even talk to their favorite characters. Why should the fun stop when lunchtime rolls around?
Character dining is a unique concept in which beloved Disney characters roam the restaurant, interacting with guests throughout the meal.
Whether youre going glam with Minnie in Hollywood, or going on safari with Mickey and friends, character dining is an unforgettable experience for the whole family. They offer an incredible way for your family to get away from the crowds and spend some precious time with the characters your children love most.
Ready to create some magical memories? Here are our must-have tips and tricks for booking the best character dining at Walt Disney World.
Look for more helpful Disney and theme park tips coming to OrlandoParenting.com! Well be launching soon, and you can find helpful info with our theme park like a local pieces.
Chef Mickeys Disneys Contemporary Resort
Characters: Mickey, Goofy, and pals dressed in chef attire
Character Meals Available: Breakfast, Dinner
Food: All-you-care-to-enjoy breakfast featuring eggs, bacon, beef brisket, and Mickey Waffles. Dinner is prix fixe, with your choices of a first course, main plate, side dish. Desserts are served family-style. Options include citrus-poached baby shrimp, roasted salmon, and herb-crusted New York Strip Loin.
Price Range: Breakfast around $42 per adult, $27 per child, Dinner $55 per adult, $36 per child
How Do I Book A Character Dining Experience
When it comes to dining at a Disney World table service restaurant, we are sticklers for making Advanced Dining Reservations . An advanced dining reservation allows you to book a timeslot for a given day. Once you arrive at the restaurant, youll be provided the next available table fitting your party size.
While not a true reservation, an ADR does ensure that you will get a table. While it isnt impossible to find last minute availability at a Disney World restaurant, spaces at popular dining establishments can sell out for a day. This is often the case with character meals. If you book a Disney World character dining reservation, you will be assured a table.
Booking ADRs is simple. Just visit the Disney World website, hover over things to do in the top navigation, and then select make reservations under dining in the dropdown menu.
From there, you will be taken to a listing of all Walt Disney World restaurants. To narrow down the results, simply click on the box that says character. Doing so will eliminated any non-character meals from your available options.
When you find a restaurant you want to book, simply click on the arrow to the right of the restaurant name.
You will then be taken to a page for booking. Select a day from the drop-down calendar and click check availability.
You will then receive a list of available timeslots for that day. Click on the one you want to book, and youll be guided through the booking process.
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Best Magic Kingdom Breakfast At Disney
Crystal Palace in Disneys Magic Kingdom park is a classic, have-to-do-at-least-once breakfast experience for you and your family. Located just past Caseys Corner on the way to Adventureland, this beautiful Victorian-inspired building will have you feeling inspired to go on a new adventure!
The restaurant has gone through some changes since 2019, but it is still a great place to have a hearty breakfast with a little bit of magic.
One of the big changes to this restaurant is that this dining experience was originally a buffet.
There was a set-up on one side of the restaurant where guests could help themselves to a plethora of delightful foods that were both familiar and a little different, including the ever-famous Mickey Waffles!
However, when the restaurant reopened after an extended closure in 2021, it was a table service restaurant with a prefixed menu with a family-style delivery.
Many of the same great foods are on the menu, including customizes egg scrambles and omelets, and fresh-baked pastries, and they have a plant-based menu, but now you dont have to leave your seat to get the food you want!
But the real reason why this restaurant is one of the best places to get breakfast in Magic Kingdom is the character meet-and-greet! At this restaurant, your entire family can meet Winnie the Pooh and his friends! Thats right!
It is a great quick service that serves coffee, tea, and orange juice as well as breakfast sandwiches.
What Is The Cheapest Character Breakfast At Walt Disney World
Since the COVID-19 shutdown, weve seen a lot of changes with returning favorite character breakfast spots, which makes this section a bit more difficult. Therefore, where there used to be many cheap Disney character meals for breakfast, the list is much smaller now. There are four restaurants priced at $42 for adults and $27 for children, which happens to be the cheapest character breakfasts at Walt Disney World.
Cheapest character breakfast at Walt Disney World 2023
- Chef Mickeys at Disneys Contemporary Resort
- Hollywood & Vine in Disneys Hollywood Studios
- Topolinos Terrace at Disneys Riviera Resort
- Tusker House at Disneys Animal Kingdom
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Best Character Dining At Disney World
Cinderellas Royal Table at Magic Kingdom
Cinderella Royal Table is arguably the best character dining at Magic Kingdom and Disney World. Youll get to explore Cinderellas Castle, be greeted as my lord and my lady, and spend quality time with your favorite princesses, including Cinderella.
Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this Disney character dining option sprinkles a little bit of royal magic into each of their dishes. Try royal avocado toast for breakfast, the castle salad for lunch, the fancy chickpea panisse for dinner, or the chocolate-filled the clock strikes twelve for dessert.
The food here isnt the best you will find at the character dining restaurants, but what youre paying for here is the experience. Dining inside the castle is something youll want to do at least once in you life!
Because so many people want to dine at the best character dining at Disney World, it is vital to make a reservation FAR in advance if you would like to dine here. This is probably the hardest reservation to get so plan ahead!
Akershus Royal Banquet Hall at Epcot
Just a note though: this is temporarily closed, and we are waiting for it to reopen and to be able to see our favorite princesses again!
Donalds Dining Safari at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom
Chip n Dales Harvest Feast at Garden Grill at Epcot
Topolinos Terrace Breakfast a la Art with Mickey & Friends
Storybook Dining At Artist Point Disneys Wilderness Lodge
A new entry to our best character dining at Disney World is Located in Disneys Wilderness Lodge and is the most upscale character dining experience you will find at Disney World. Disney revamped Artist Point a few years ago and now the restaurant is the Enchanted Forest.
For those of you who loved the old Artist Point, Story Book Dining at Artist Point still has a very upscale and sophisticated menu, however now its completely Snow White-themed,
This character dining is dinner-only. One of my favorite aspects of this restaurant is the special potion-themed cocktails and mocktails, my kids loved the In the Clouds beverage.
For characters, youll see Snow White, Dopey, Grumpy and even The Evil Queen. Those last three are a real premium because while you can meet and greet Snow White in other places around the park, you can only meet with the queen and the dwarves at separately-ticketed seasonal events. But the best part of the experience is probably dessert, as the meal finishes with a sweets flight inspired by Disneys first feature-length film, from shiny poison apples to Miners Treasures that feature chocolate gemstones.
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Best Character Dining Meals At Disney World
Here are our rankings for the best character dining locations at Walt Disney World in order from best to worst:
- Topolinos Terrace, Flavors of the Riviera
- Cinderellas Royal Table
- Hollywood and Vine
Below is a summary of every Disney character meal available by location. Well start with the theme parks before moving on to the resorts. Then, Ill share a few things you need to know for planning these meals.
Animal Kingdom Character Dining
Characters: Donald, Mickey, Goofy, Daisy in safari garb.
Character Meals Available: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Food: Family-style dining. Breakfast features pastries, Mickey & Simba waffles, egg curry with jasmine rice, and safari bread. Lunch/Dinner features Moroccan-spiced beef, berbere-marinated pork, Impossible Durban curry, and macaroni & cheese.
Price Range: Breakfast around $42 per adult, $27 per child, Lunch/Dinner $55 per adult, $36 per child
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Whats A Character Meal
For those new to Disney travel, character meals are dining experiences in which Disney characters meet and greet guests in the restaurant. Disney pals generally travel from table to table, stopping to interact with each party for a hug, photo, autograph, or possibly a conversation. Your group gets guaranteed quality time with characters in air-conditioned comfort , while simultaneously enjoying waffles, pasta, carved meats, or in some cases, adult beverages. Its a win for junior as well as mom and dad.
Mickey Mouse taking photos with families
Our Disney World Character Dining At-a-Glance below provides an overview of character meals based on mealtimes, location, and featured characters. for even more information including all of our reviews for each location! For even more details on Character Dining in Disney World, scroll to the bottom of the page to find links for further information.
Every Character Dining Disney World 2023 Experience Reviewed
Character Dining Disney World is a perfect way to make special memories on your Disney World vacation and provides the best way to meet a lot of Disney characters while avoiding lines that often form to meet characters in the Disney World theme parks.
Disney World Character meals give guests an opportunity to have one-on-one time with several Disney World character which makes it easy to get autographs and photos. If meeting Disney World characters is a top priority for you then this is a great way to meet a large variety of characters while you dine at some great restaurants. Every character dining option features a different theme and characters so it can be tricky trying to figure out which one is best suited for you.
Our guide has you covered on everything from what to expect, tips and tricks, average cost, and food options at each dining experience.
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Pros And Cons Of Every Disney World Character Meal
First, its important to note that the Disney Dining Plan is temporarily suspended, but Disney has that dining packages are returning at some point in the future.
Please keep in mind that some photos below may not reflect current procedures and are intended for reference only.
Now, lets dive in and look at the pros and cons of each character meal
Trattoria Al Forno Character Dining
Where? Disneys Boardwalk Walt Disney World Resort
What meals do they serve? Breakfast and dinner
What do they serve? Breakfast allows you to choose one starter and one entree, with choices such as eggs, pancakes, and more. Dinner offers a variety of delicious Italian fare, from the Pesce con Ravioli to the Lasagna al Forno to the Oak-grilled Strip Steak.
What characters are here? Characters are only available during breakfast. Youll meet characters like Ariel, Prince Eric, Rapuzel, and Flynn Rider.
Who should go? This restaurant isnt a buffet and is quite sophisticated, so this is a good choice for someone looking for a more upscale experience. This also one of the only dining experiences where youll find princes with their princesses, which is quite rare in the park.
What costs are involved? Breakfast will cost $34 for adults and $20 for children. For dinner, youll expect to pay around $11 for appetizers, around $19 for pizza, and up to $38 for main courses.
Pro tip: Take advantage of the Adventure Journal that youll find on your table that you can use to get autographs from your favorite characters.
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Best Breakfast At Disney Springs
Homecomin is one of the best restaurants in Disney Springs, and since they serve brunch, it had to be on our list of best breakfasts in Disney.
Run by Florida native and famous chef Art Smith, this restaurant will have you feeling like youve arrived home in the south.
Some of the popular dishes on this menu include the Grand-daddy Plate which is comprised of 3 eggs in any style, pecan-smoked bacon, cheddar cheese drop biscuit , and a choice of two sides.
Another dish is the Hallelujah Biscuit, which is made of an open-faced biscuit with Chef Arts famous southern fried chicken, two eggs over easy, pimento cheese, pecan-smoked bacon, all smothered in sawmill gravy, and your choice of a side. Talk about a filling dish!
Most of the items on this brunch menu are not going to be allergy-friendly, and there are not a lot of modifications that they can make to the dishes as they are pre-set by the chef. However, you can call and ask ahead of your visit to see what some of your options are.
If you are waiting for your table and it is going to be a while, then check out some of the fun things you can do in Disney Springs!
As one of the new eateries in Disney Springs, Everglazed is a dont shop tucked off the main path of stores and is near one of the Orange Garage parking exits.
This place is unique as it offers unique flavors to the traditional donut, and they are also bigger than a regular donut!
What Are The 2023 Best Restaurants For Breakfast In Disney World
- Kona Café- Disneys Polynesian Village Resort
- Topolinos Terrace Disneys Riviera Resort
- Boma Disneys Animal Kingdom Resort
- Grand Floridian Café- Disneys Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Main Street Bakery- Magic Kingdom
- House of Blues Restaurant and Bar- Disney Springs
- Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie- EPCOT, French Pavilion
- Woodys Lunch Box- Hollywood Studious, Toy Story Land
- Pongu Pongu- Pandora, Animal Kingdom
- Sleepy Hollow- Liberty Square, Magic Kingdom
- Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant- Disney Springs
- Ale & Compass Restaurant- Disneys Yacht Club Resort
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The Downside Of Character Dining At Disney World
Since character dining at Disney World offers you the chance to sup with some of Disneys biggest stars, there is one drawback you may experience. Character meals are very popular with guests and do book up quickly.
Guests have the chance to make advanced dining reservations beginning 60 days before their arrival date. The reservation window opens at 6:00 am eastern time, and for some of the more popular restaurants, such as Chef Mickeys, all available spots will book up within an hour of system opening.
If youre staying at a resort offsite, you may find added difficulty in snagging a more coveted reservation. Thats because offsite guests are only able to book dining reservations 60 days in advance of each date. By contrast, guests of Disney World resorts can book for their entire trip beginning 60 days prior to arrival. This means by the time you log in to book reservations, guests of Disney World resorts have already filled several spots for the day, simply because they were able to book a day or more before you.
If this happens to you, we recommend that you keep checking back, particularly in the 2 weeks leading up to your departure. Often guests will rearrange plans at this time and cancel.
Another option is to show up at the restaurant as a walk-in and see if they have availability. While this strategy is less likely to work for a character meal, its worth a try if youll be in the area.
Overview Of Character Dining At Disney World
Disney World has quite a variety of character dining experiences, ranging from Disney royalty to Mickey and friends in unique outfits. You’ll have plenty of food options to choose from, as well. Each location offers a fun themed experience sure to delight the entire family!
Each of the four theme parks has at least one character dining location, as well as some at the resort hotels. Over the last two years, character dining has slowly returned, and we are hoppy to say the majority of locations are now open! While there may still be some modifications at some locations, all the open locations have returned to traditional greetings, so you can get your hug and close photo .
The only character dining locations that have not returned yet are 1900 Park Fare at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa and Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast at Disney’s BoardWalk. There are no expected dates yet, but we hope they return in the future.
We’ll go through an overview of each experience below, grouped by location, as well as our top tips for making the most out of your character dining experience. Remember that valid park admission and a park reservation are required to dine inside the theme parks. Advanced dining reservations are highly recommended for all locations.
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