Top 10 Disney World Character Dining Restaurants

Some of the most requested and favorite dining options in Disney are character restaurants. These are typically buffet meals (and often somewhat similar in cuisine). These are the top choices for those with kids and are also a good use of Disney Dining Plan table service credits (although not a great choice if you are doing deluxe dining). My top 10 is based on the most coveted reservations and best character interactions.

10. Hollywood & Vine. The best place to meet Disney Junior Characters. This location is available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. While it doesn’t get rave reviews for meal content, it’s great for the little ones in your life! A pre-park opening reservation is perfect if you want to participate in Jedi training later in the day. If Jedi training is a must do, I highly suggest doing a breakfast reservation as well (even if your kids don’t want the character experience).

9. 1900 Park Fare Supercalafragilist Breakfast. One of the few places that you can see Mary Poppins, Alice, and the Mad Hatter. (Alice and Mary Poppins are available in the parks, but not often and lines are often long). This is a great breakfast right before your Magic Kingdom day or to take a break in the late morning! It’s a nice alternative to ‘Ohana if it’s not available!

8. Crystal Palace. Available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Pooh and friends are available for hugs! The best part of Crystal Palace for me is breakfast! I try and snag a pre-park opening breakfast for a stroll down Main Street USA and some castle photos. Breakfast is tasty here and character to table ratio is pretty low so they come around quickly. You don’t spend a ton of time waiting for characters when you’re done with meals!

7. Cape  Make Café. A breakfast only character dining experience, this is usually not a tough ticket. No Mickey here, but you can say hello to Minnie, Donald, and Goofy. Food is good and it’s just steps or a boat ride away from Epcot or Hollywood Studios. Breakfast reservations begin here before 8 am (which is never offered at parks!)

6. 1900 Park Fare Happily Ever After Dinner. Always a favorite of kids and adults. This is the best place to meet Prince Charming and Cinderella’s stepmother and step sisters. There’s a lot of great conversation and sass! This is a great place to meet Cinderella if you can’t get into her royal table at Magic Kingdom!

5. ‘Ohana. This is a character meal for breakfast only, but the only place to find Lilo and Stitch in Disney. Located in Disney’s Polynesian, join Lilo and Stitch on a tropical breakfast. This is one of the tastier breakfast buffets in the world and has more than the basic waffles. I like doing a later breakfast after rope drop at Magic Kingdom and hopping the monorail over and then being full until dinner!

4. Tusker House. This is only also character meal for breakfast, but it’s a great one to get before or around park opening. Have a safari breakfast with Donald, Daisy, Mickey, and Goofy. It’s another fun place for great character interaction and the food is a little different, plus you get a different photo op than the typical Mickey and Goofy attire!

3. Chef Mickey’s. Located in Disney’s Contemporary Resort with a view of the monorail, this is the best place to meet Mickey, Minnie, and the gang. Another extremely popular reservation, prime breakfast and dinner times go quickly. I like lunch reservations, because it’s a nice break from Magic Kingdom (and you can walk or take the monorail).

2. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall. One of the greatest princess meals and it’s only one credit on the Disney Dining Plan! Cuisine is Norwegian (pretty standard breakfast stuff). You receive a photo before your meal with the princesses and it’s delivered to your table. Character interaction here is some of the best among all the parks and it’s open for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Before park opening breakfast and dinner reservations before 7 are the first to go. It’s a great option if Cinderella’s Table is unavailable.

1. Cinderella’s Royal Table. This one is no surprise! Dining in Cinderella’s Castle is the most magical experience in all of Disney World. A personal photo with Cinderella before your meal and priceless interaction with many of the Disney princesses at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. These reservations go quickly (especially breakfast before park opening and dinner reservations before 7 pm).

Sorry Garden Grill for not making the cut on my top 10. It does get honorable mention for having chip ‘n dale available! It’s somewhere I’ve yet to try, but it’s on the to do list for a future trip.

Do you have a favorite character dining meal or special family tradition with character dining? I’d love to hear about it!


Ready to get started planning your 2015 Disney World vacation? Please contact me at any time for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!)It’s also a worry free cruise opportunity. I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!

More Disney World Dining Tips and Tricks

 

Well from what my blog is telling me, Disney World Tips and Tricks seems to be the most important things to viewers on Pinterest and reader suggestions. Adding to the previous dining tips & tricks, here is a continuing list of dining suggestions. Whether you are taking advantage of the Disney Dining Plan or not, these should be useful on your next trip!

  1. Seasoned veterans know that it’s most ideal to book dining 180 day in advance. Most first timers don’t book their trip that far in advance. It’s good to know some alternatives to the most popular meals. There are some great dining options at the resorts surrounding the parks. Don’t be afraid to venture outside your home resort!
  2. When on the Dining Plan, don’t be afraid to tell your server that you’re new to the dining plan and would like some guidance. They are there to help and not mislead you in any way!
  3. Water is free at any Disney quick service restaurant. This is especially popular in the summer months. No need to order anything. A cast member can give you a plastic cup with ice water for no charge.
  4. Book a late morning reservation for breakfast and save money on meals – this is more pertinent to those not on the dining plan.(bring a snack so you’re not starving).
  5. Along the same lines, snacks can be meals! If you plan correctly, a well timed cupcake can suffice as breakfast (hey, it’s vacation!)
  6. Only pay for the food you want. This was lightly touched on in a previous post, but I figured I would expand: Only want a hamburger, ask for no cheese. Don’t want fries or chips? Ask for just the burger or sandwich. it will cost a lot less as well!
  7. Plan for food cost, even if you aren’t planning table service meals! Check out AllEars.net for accurate food costs for both quick service and table service restaurants.
  8. If characters are a must in your trip, find out where you can see them in the parks. If dining with a character is not important, then set up a FastPass when possible!
  9. Adults, don’t be afraid to order off the kids quick service menu (if not on the Disney Dining Plan).
  10. Learn about the Disney World Must Eat Snacks and decide which ones you would like to try. My short list:
  • Dole Whip Floats (Aloha Isle – Magic Kingdom)
  • Zebra Domes (Animal Kingdom & Animal Kingdom Lodge)
  • Specialty Cupcakes (various locations)
  • School Bread (Norway Pavilion – Epcot)

Related Posts


Ready to get started planning your 2015 Disney World vacation? Please contact me at any time for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!) I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!

 

Dining at Disney with food allergies or special dietary requests


\Dining at Disney with Food Allergies

For parents that have children with allergies or dietary restrictions, going out to eat can be a nerve wracking experience! For those with extremely sensitive allergies, eating out may not even be a possibility. Disney has done an absolutely amazing job to both being aware and sensitive to all types of allergies. The chefs at many Disney restaurants can accommodate many common food allergies including:

  • Gluten/wheat
  • Lactose/Dairy
  • Peanuts and tree nuts
  • Shellfish
  • Soy
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Corn

Most restaurants also have vegetarian options on their menu.

Disney does not require advanced arrangements or notice for guests with dietary restrictions due to allergies. Just speak with your server upon arrival. The only restriction is for guests with multiple food allergies or multiple food allergies among guests in the same party. Disney does require advanced notification (at least 14 days prior to arrival). Most times the chef will come to visit your table and discuss restrictions and menu options. Food is carefully prepared. When I book advanced dining reservations for my guests, I do make mention of any known allergies. Disney does not require this but it is extremely helpful and often gives you a more wide range of options when chefs have advanced notice.

Guests with food allergies are allowed to bring personal food items into the parks and dining locations. As you enter the park, please inform the security team that you (or a family member) has a food allergy.

When staying at your Disney resort, guests who have items that must be refrigerated due to food allergies should ask the front desk for a refrigerator in their room. Most (if not all) Disney resort rooms have a small refrigerator, although some are in the process of being replaced. Refrigerator subject to availability at the time of request.

If something should happen while dining at Disney, a first aid station is available at all parks. Please note a cast member of any emergency as soon as possible!

For a great resource on food allergies at Disney, check out Allergy Eats: http://www.allergyeats.com/disney/. This great website has a function to search by allergy and location.

Kosher Meals

Recently I was asked about Kosher meals for the first time. After a little research, I found that Disney is Kosher friendly as well! Meals are available for select table-service restaurants. This requires advanced notice when making your dining reservation and a follow up call 24 hours before your dining. There are a short list of table service restaurants that do not offer Kosher meals. Please contact me for more specific information if needed. A small handful (at minimum one per park) have quick-service locations with Kosher meals. Six of the Disney resorts also have Kosher quick-service dining options. For pricing and specific menu options, please contact Disney dining directly or request that your travel investigate further.

Some more basic information:

  • Meals are prepared off site in Kosher kitchens and then warmed in Disney ovens (in individual packaging)
  • Entrees include a vegetable and starch accompaniment, two dinner rolls, and stainless utensils. Pasta shells include only the vegetable, no starch. Meals are individually boxed.
  • Buffets: Guests will receive one plated mean and be charged the Kosher meal price
  • A credit card guarantee is required for all Kosher meal orders. Full price of ordered meals will be charged for guests that no-show

Participating Restaurants

Most table-service restaurants that accept advanced dining reservations are able to provide allergy-friendly meals. For buffet means, guests should speak to a chef or manager after being seated. Often chefs are able to walk guests through the buffet and explain what can be eaten. Some select quick-service restaurants offer menu items that may accommodate certain food allergies. Please speak to a cast member before ordering.

As a note, chefs do not have separate kitchens to prepare allergy free or specialized meals for guests. Chefs do take every precaution possible to prevent allergens and contamination of food. It is up to guests’ discretion to make smart choices in dining.

Ready to get started planning your 2015 Disney World vacation? Please contact me at any time for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!) I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!

Disney World Tips and Tricks


Everyone knows that a Disney vacation is not cheap. It’s something that that needs to be planned for both mentally and financially. To make the most of your 2014 Disney World vacation, I’ve created a new, easily accessible section to my blog: Disney World Tips and Tricks! This page is broken down into sub sections: Money Savers, Time Savers, Dining Tips, Reservation/Booking Tips, and General Tips and Tricks.

Under the money saving section, there’s specialized tips to help you save money on Packages, Park Tickets, Dining, Transportation, and Souvenirs & Gifts.

This project has been a labor of love and still a work in progress. In my attempt to give guests and my clients a comprehensive list of tips and tricks, I’ve attempted a huge brain dump. There’s definitely more to come on this subject, so keep checking for updates on each page.

Related Post:


Ready to get started planning your 2015 Disney World vacation? Please contact me at any time for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!) I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!