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!

Disney World Tips & Tricks: 20 do’s and don’ts from Disney veterans

 

  1. DO get to the parks early. At least 20 minutes before park opening. You’ll get to experience 2-3 attractions before your breakfast digests. Sometimes you get lucky and the park opens before the post time giving you even more opportunities before the rest of the crowds get there.
  2. DON’T go to the park with early morning magic hours, unless you are arriving before park open and you have park hopper passes. These parks tend to be more crowded than the others.
  3. DO go to the park that had extra evening magic hours the night before. Historically, crowds are lower.
  4. DO plan out your dining. Know where the best quick service restaurants are and make advanced dining reservations for table service restaurants. Make your reservations as far out in advance as possible to guarantee the best locations and times.
  5. DO work with a travel agent your first 2-3 times. They know the ins and outs of Disney, are able to give you specific hints and time savers.
  6. DO know when discounts are available. A travel agent can give you a good idea of historical data and the type of discounts offered. Free dining is usually available September – early December; room discounts are almost always available the remainder of the year with varying percentages. Use the discounts to your advantage and play with the numbers to save yourself the most money!
  7. DO NOT travel to Disney World over Christmas and New Years. Parks are extremely crowded with the longest wait times (sometimes up to 4 hours!). In 2013, Magic Kingdom parking lot was totally full and only allowing select guests to enter.
  8. DO travel at off peak times. Weather is cooler, parkers are quieter, and prices are lower. You are also offered better incentives.
  9. DO plan ahead! Discounts are typically available around 3-4 months before travel dates. At the beginning of the year, lesser discounts are available 2-3 months in advance. The sooner you can book your trip, the better. You are always able to change the discount if you get a better deal closer to your trip.
  10. DO check for PIN codes. These are personalized, exclusive discounts and include % off rooms or free dining. To check if you have one available, call Disney and select your dates and then ask if you have a PIN attached to your account. The worst the cast member can tell you is no!
  11. DO set a budget and DO factor in travel costs with your budget. You are always able to modify your Disney reservations (46+ days out from your trip) at no cost if you’d like to upgrade or remove options from your trip.
  12. DO NOT stay in the parks all day. Even adults need a little break. Enjoy your resort’s pool, take a nap, have a long lunch. You’ll burn yourself out in no time if you try and stay from park open to park close.
  13. DO look into the dining plan. Know what each plan includes and if it would be cost effective for how your family eats. Ask your travel agent to do the math for you based on your favorite types of restaurants or Disney restaurants you want to try. I don’t try to upgrade people to the dining plan if they will save money paying out of pocket. Sometimes the sticker shock is hard up front, but showing them the math makes the most sense!
  14. DO know that you have to pay tips for Table Service meals are not included in the dining plan. You will likely pay an addition $75- $150 out of pocket depending on your length of stay.
  15. DO NOT waste your money. Purchase the right number of days of park tickets, know how to use your dining plan credits, and know what the park hopper option vs. the water park option will get you. If you only want one day of water park passes, it may be in your best interest to just purchase a day pass at your arrival at the park.
  16. DO look at more expensive resort hotels. While the cost is greater, your travel time is greatly decreased! Locations like Polynesian, Grand Floridian and Contemporary give you monorail access to Magic Kingdom and one quick transfer over to Epcot. Resorts such as Beach Club, Yacht Club, and Boardwalk are all within walking distance of Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Wilderness Lodge is also a short boat ride away from several resorts and Magic Kingdom.
  17. DO NOT take the ferry to the Ticket & Transportation Center or to get to your car. It’s a huge bottle neck and REALLY slow!
  18. DO know when parades are scheduled in each park if you are trying to get in or out of a park, to a reservation, or to when to ride some more popular attractions.
  19. DO wear comfortable shoes. It doesn’t matter if you wear flip flops at home. 8-10 miles a day for 5-7 days (or more) will kill your feet. Between blisters and sore feet, you’ll wish you brought something different! DO bring flip flops in case there is rain. DO bring an extra pair of shoes in case your first pair gets wet or you get a blister. The change may help save your feet.
  20. DO enjoy yourself. DON’T stress out if plans don’t go as you hoped.


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.

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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!