I highly recommend doing a few character meals while you are at Disney. The character meals allow your kids to meet the favorite characters without having to wait in line for hours. We loved:
Chef Mickey’s- Contemporary
On our first night, we had dinner at Chef Mickey’s with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Donald and Daisy. Our four-year-old had passed out in the stroller and was out for the count, but we still had to pay for him. Ouch. If we paid out of pocket, it would have been $180. If anything, the dining plan takes the sting out of how much money you spend on food. But seriously, these giggles are worth every penny-
Crystal Palace- Magic Kingdom
We started out our first day at the Magic Kingdom with breakfast at the Crystal Palace with Pooh bear, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore. The Crystal Palace is just a beautiful place and such a classic Disney experience. We had our son’s birthday breakfast here and he even got a cupcake with a candle in it at 8:30 in the morning (no complaints from him)!
Tusker House- Animal Kingdom
Breakfast at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom is where Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Daisy and Donald done their safari gear. It has a great atmosphere and you really feel like you have been transported to Africa. It is at the back of the park so if you can get an early reservation, you can hop on the safari before the lines build up.
Hollywood & Vine- Hollywood Studios
Breakfast at Hollywood and Vine was with all of the Disney Junior crew- Jake, Handy Manny, Sofia the First, and Doc McStuffins. This was my youngest’s favorite. He is 4 and was still pretty terrified of the characters, but for whatever reason, it was Handy Manny who got him to pose for a picture for the first time. Not only was it really fun, but our breakfast reservation got us into the park before it opened, which allowed us to sign up for Jedi Training before the stampede. Since that was our #1 priority, that reservation was worth its weight in gold.
Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant- Hollywood Studios
At the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant, you will feel like you were transported back to the 50’s as you sit down in your convertible car to eat lunch. We loved watching Tom and Jerry cartoons on the big screen while we sipped on milkshakes.
We would have loved to eat at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall with all of the princesses and I have heard wonderful things about it but we could not score a reservation the day we were at Epcot. If you have trouble, try out the Disney Dining app. I could not have gotten any of the reservations that I got without the help of that app. For a link to this app as well as the other apps that I highly recommend, click here.
Although we did not experience these restaurants, I can’t make this list without mentioning Cinderella’s Royal Table or meeting Prince Charming at 1900 Park Fare. I can’t wait to bring my daughter back for her princess training! Other contenders are: Cape May Cafe at Disney’s Beach Club Resort and O’hana at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.
We were always done with breakfast in an hour, but please note that it can take up to an hour and a half to meet all the characters. It really depends on where they are in the room when you arrive. Your waiter will have you stay at the table if a character is about to approach so you don’t miss them while you are at the buffet. They do a circuit around the room in a clockwise pattern- you don’t go to them. If you just missed the circuit, it can take longer. We didn’t really wait around for them, but usually met them all. It just depends how much time you want to give it.
Note: if you need to change or cancel a dining reservation, do so 24 hours before otherwise you will lose your deposit. For dining shows, you need to cancel 48 hours in advance. If you are running late for a reservation, they will give you a 15 minute grace period. After that, it is first come first serve.
What are your favorite character meals at Disney World? Tell me below in the comments!