There are many options when it comes to dining with characters at Walt Disney World. You can have a sit down meal, or eat buffet style, and you can meet the classic Disney characters or Disney junior friends, just to name a few. Here are my family’s favorite character dining experiences.
Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort
Meals served: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Who’s there? Meet Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, and Donald. It’s a typical American buffet with a Disney twist. Picky eaters rejoice! My boys loved the MIckey shaped waffles for breakfast and chicken nuggets and mac and cheese for dinner. You can tell we’re not exactly food connoisseurs!
Hot tip: Book about 2 hours before the Wishes fireworks show. You can see the spectacular show from a platform opposite from the Contemporary.
When to book: Early! Book about 180 days before your visit. The restaurant is very popular and easily accessible by monorail from the Magic Kingdom.
1900 Park Fare at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
Meals served: Breakfast and Dinner
Who’s there? We had both breakfast and dinner here. At dinner, we saw Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, Drizella and Anastasia. The stepsisters were a hoot; they had my boys in fits of laughter. Prince Charming taught them how to bow and Cinderella wowed them with her charm. The buffet included prime rib, and the most delicious strawberry soup. Seconds please!
Breakfast included visits from Alice, the Mad Hatter, Winnie the Poo and Tigger and Mary Poppins. Since the Grand Floridian is also on the monorail, it is easy to start your day here.
When to book: You guessed it: 180 days in advance. Are you seeing a theme? These dining options are quite popular. But don’t despair. I missed the window on one of my trips and I ended up getting a reservation with the help of my hotel’s concierge. Your best bet may be the breakfast for last minute cancellations.
Hollywood and Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Meals served: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Who’s there? In the morning, we found our favorite Disney Junior characters: Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Sofia from Sofia the First, Handy Manny and others. At dinner, we saw Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Daisy wearing their best Hollywood outfits. We celebrated my sons’ 4th and 6th birthday with a special cupcake for each boy and an extra big hug from all of their favorite characters. It was well worth the cost of dinner!
Even though character meals are expensive (check Disney’s official site for latest prices), they are always a highlight of our Disney trips. We can interact with our favorite characters, take pictures and get autographs in a relaxed setting. Bye bye long lines for a 10 second interaction with a Disney favorite! These three happen to be my family’s favorites but there are plenty of other options for character dining. Check out the Walt Disney World site for more information. Happy dining!