Character Dining at Walt Disney World

January 5, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Posted in Disney Travel, Disney Travel Planning, Walt Disney World Resort | 1 Comment

What beats sitting down for a wonderful meal and having Mickey Mouse, Stitch, or Cinderella interrupt your meal to greet you and interact with your children? NOTHING! Character meals are an excellent way for you and your children to meet their favorite characters. There is no shortage of character meals at Walt Disney World. Every theme park has at least one, and even a few of the Walt Disney World Resorts have character meals, making these exciting meals very convenient for everyone!

Which one should you choose? That depends! What is your schedule? How old are your children? Who are their favorite characters? Do you want breakfast, lunch or dinner? Is a royal atmosphere important or do you just want to eat? We’re here to help break down these character meals for you!


Magic Kingdom

Cinderella’s Royal Table: This character meal is perfect for little princesses! It is held upstairs in Cinderella’s Castle. What better place to hold a wonderful meal for your little Cinderella! You are greeted at the counter outside of CRT at the bottom of the castle. From there, you are brought inside in groups according to your Advance Dining Reservation time. The very first thing you will see is CINDERELLA, herself, waiting for you and your family to come and take a picture with her! The photo package IS included with this meal. One thing to remember about CRT if you are on the Disney Dining Plan or Disney Deluxe Dining Plan is that CRT will take 2 Table Service Dining credits. After your photo session is complete, you are brought up the grand winding staircase to the main dining room. There are huge beautiful stained glass windows overlooking Fantasyland. The tables by the windows are fantastic. Your little prince or princess will be given a wand and a wishing star to take part in the “show”. The food is great, although not a huge selection. My favorite is Captain Domo’s pie, a Disney take on a sheperd pie. Kids selections are standard kids fare, which they will like. The dessert selection is tasty, and the kids will love the ice cream sundae in a chocolate crown. Characters that can be may (they’re never guaranteed) here are Cinderella (although she does not make the rounds of the tables), Aurora, Snow White, Jasmine, Mary Poppins, Ariel, and Belle. Advanced Dining Reservations are encouraged and a MUST if you wish to eat here. Plan on being on the phone with Disney Dining at 7:00 am Eastern time the day your booking window opens! Character dining is available for breakfast and lunch.

Crystal Palace: If you or your little ones are fans of The Hundred-Acre Wood, then this is the place for you! Crystal Palace serves a bountiful buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Settled right off of Main Street USA, this beautiful restaurant allows you to interact with Winnie the Pooh characters while enjoying a great meal. It’s a fun place and it’s perfect for small children. This buffet meal is 1 Table Service Dining credit, and in my opinion, is very much worth it! The buffet itself is full of all different types of offerings, including carved meats, veggies, excellent side dishes and mouthwatering desserts. Kids will love their section of the kids buffet as well. Characters seen at this meal are Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Tigger and Piglet. The characters make their rounds in a timely fashion, and you will get a decent amount of time with each character, considering how big this restaurant is. Advanced Dining Reservations are encouraged for this dining experience. Reservations can usually be gotten as you get closer to your trip, but be prepared to be open to dining times, and don’t think by any means that you will definately get a table! Depending on the time of year, this meal can fill up quickly! (Crystal Palace will be closed for refurbishment for a couple of months at the start of 2010. Check the Disney World website to see if the closure will impact your vacation. As a replacement character meal, Liberty Tree Tavern will be hosting character meals once again, but there is no word on what characters will be present).


Garden Grill: This is probably one of the most overlooked character meals at Walt Disney World, and I can’t explain why- it’s a great place! Garden Grill has a nightly character dinner with Mickey Mouse, Pluto and Chip and Dale. It’s held in The Land Pavilion, and the really cool part is that the restaurant revolves as you are are eating, giving you an ever-changing view. Some of the best views are of the Living with the Land ride, where you can see the ride vehicles move past you. A fun fact about Garden Grill is that much of the food that you are eating comes straight from the greenhouses that you see while riding Living with the Land and grown right there at Epcot. The menu changes depending on what’s in season, but when I was there, we had roast beef, catfish, potatoes and vegetables, all served family style. Kids get their own “family style” plate filled with their favorites, such as macaroni and cheese. Advanced Dining Reservations are encouraged here as well, although it’s easier here to get a walk-up reservation than some of the other character dining locations.


Akershus Princess Meal: This princess meal is thought of  by some as an “alternative” princess meal for those who could not get into Cinderella’s Royal Table, but I say this meal should be high on your list of must-dos for all Princess lovers. Akershus is located in the Norway pavilion of Epcot. The theme is an old-time Norwegian castle, and they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Everyone’s Royal Feast  for lunch and dinner begins with a “Taste of Norway.” This magnificent feast includes sliced deli meats, seafood, and a grand selection of prepared salads and cheeses.  Entrees are typical Norwegian fare, but everyone will find something that they love! And don’t worry, there are kids options such as hot dogs and pizza. After the meal, the whole family can share The Royal Chef Dessert Plate! Breakfast at Akershus is more traditional American breakfast fare. Princesses that may be found here are Jasmine, Ariel, Aurora, Cinderella, Mary Poppins, Belle, Alice, Mulan and more. Appearances are not guaranteed at any meal. Advanced Dining Reservations are recommended.


Hollywood Studios

Play and Dine at Hollywood and Vine: This is a perfect meal for those die-hard Playhouse Disney fans! Little ones can interact and dance with JoJo and Goliath and June and Leo from Disney’s “Little Einsteins”. Enjoy a delicious breakfast or lunch with these fun characters, but be warned: it’s LOUD in here! Both  meals are served as buffet style, and breakfast includes Seasonal fruit, Freshly baked pastries, Assorted yogurts, Breakfast Meats, Scrambled Eggs and Frittata, Mickey Waffles with assorted toppings, Oven Roasted
Potatoes, Sausage Gravy and Biscuits. The lunch buffet includes Creative array of Salads, Sliced Deli Meats and Cheeses with freshly Baked Breads and American Favoritessuch as Pot Roast, Fishcakes, Herb-crusted Salmon, Baked Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Spoon Bread and Seasonal Vegetables. And save room for soft-serve ice cream and other assorted desserts! Advanced Dining Reservations are strongly encouraged!

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Tusker House Character Breakfast: Have breakfast with Donald Duck and friends! Tusker House is located in Harambe Village, and the breakfast consists of traditional American breakfast fare, some with an African flair. Be warned this can be a hard dining reservation to get, as they only serve breakfast, and it is the only character dining experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. When you arrive, you’re made to feel as if you’re embarking on a safari into the African savannah, which is fitting since you are only a few steps away from Kilimanjaro Safaris! Tusker House hosts a party every half hour or so, where children (and adults who wish they were children) are invited to dance with Donald Duck, Daisy,  Mickey Mouse and Goofy, all decked out in their safari best. Make sure you try the Jungle Juice, and make sure that you call for Advanced Dining Reservations! This one definately requires Advanced Dining Reservations as it is the only character meal at Animal Kingdom, and they only serve breakfast!



Chef Mickey’s:  This is without a doubt the best place to dine if you wish to see the Fab 5- Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck and Pluto! This buffet-style feast has wonderful views of the monorail going through the Contemporary Resort. Breakfast and dinner are served here daily. Breakfast consists of eggs, pancakes, Mickey waffles, fruit, cereal and more. At dinner you will find carved meats, seafood, pasta, veggies, pizza and salad. And who can resist the delicious dessert bar? Brownies, cookies, key lime pies, tarts and of course, the ice cream sundae bar! Be sure that you stay for at least one of the celebrations, which occur every 30 minutes. Get up out od your seat and sing and dance with your favorite characters! The menu will also please the pickiest of little ones!



1900 Park Fare: Hear ye, hear ye! Gather at 1900 Park Fare for a delicious breakfast or dinner buffet. The sophisticated buffet menu and subtle decor make this one of the most elegant character experiences at Walt Disney World. At breakfast, you will be entertained by Mary Poppins, Alice, and friends (characters vary.  During dinner, you will meet Cinderella and her storybook friends! During breakfast, you will feast on pancakes, sticky buns, muffins, danish, eggs and waffles. At dinner time, you will dine on prime rib, pasta and seafood. For dessert, enjoy key lime pie, cheesecake and bread pudding! Dining at 1900 Park Fare is a great way to start out a day at Magic Kingdom. The Grand Floridian is a quick monorail ride away from Magic Kingdom! And don’t worry! While the food is fancy, there is still plenty for the children!


‘Ohana: Located on the second floor of the resort’s Great Ceremonial House, you will find ‘Ohana. ‘Ohana serves breakfast and dinner, but it is at breakfast where you will find Lilo and Stitch along with their great friends, Mickey and Pluto! Remember that character line-up can change from time to time! Breakfast is presented family style and includes fare such as Mickey waffles, eggs, biscuits, fruit and bacon. You can also find scrumptious baked goods! This is a great meal as the characters spend a good amount of time at each table. You’ll receive excellent fast service with a beautiful view of Cinderella’s Castle and Bay Lake.


Cape May Cafe: This is an excellent character meal for those guests staying in the Epcot resort area! Sit down for breakfast at a seaside picnic with Minnie, Goofy and Donald Duck! You will enjoy seeing the characters in their swimming attire as they stroll among the guests and pose for pictures and sign autographs! At Cape May, you will find eggs, breakfast pizza, Mickey waffles, sausage, fruit, cereal, crepes and more!

You can’t go wrong with a character meal at the Walt Disney World Resort! And best of all, these meals are all included in the Disney Dining Plan! Make sure you plan ahead, as Advanced Dining Reservations can be made 180 days out of your dining date. If you are staying at a Disney resort, you can book 180 days + 10, meaning you can book 180 days out of your check-in date PLUS ten additonal days of your stay! It gives you more time to book those reservations!

For assistance with dining reservations or vacation packages, contact us at Magical Mousecapades!


1 Comment »

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  1. Disney character meals are always fun!
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