Magical Monday – Character Dining at Disney World

Let me tell you a secret. I have met a lot of characters in my Disney travels – Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy, Cinderella, Ariel, Snow White, Belle, Jasmine, Aurora, Tiana, the list goes on. I never hardly ever wait in those insane lines you see in the parks to meet them.

What’s my secret? Character dining. You get to relax and give your feet a break, enjoy a nice meal with your family, and your favorite characters come to you while you dine. In fact, I may have already spoiled my children with these experiences. On our last visit to Disney World, my daughter saw Goofy strolling through the park en route to his meet-up location. She smiled and waved, genuinely excited to see him. When I asked her if she’d like to wait in line to meet him, she looked at me like I was crazy.

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Character meals are also a good way to gauge whether or not your children are terrified of the characters or not. On our first family trip, Aidan was three, and Neely was barely over a year old. Our first stop after checking in was dinner at Cinderella’s Royal Table. At the time, you’d meet Cinderella in the lobby, then Fairy Godmother and some of the mice put on a show during dinner. Those mice? Terrifying, apparently. Check the bottom right corner of that photo above – that’s a screaming baby. We didn’t bother with character meets the rest of our vacation.

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On our next visit, we ate dinner at Chef Mickey’s on our first night. By this time, Aidan was six, and Neely was three. Neely was in heaven meeting Mickey Mouse and company. Aidan pretended he could care less, but most of the characters could at least coax a smile from him. We repeated Cinderella’s Royal Table a few nights later, and meeting five of her favorite princesses at one meal was a highlight of the trip for Neely.

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Most kids enjoy meeting their favorite Disney characters. Character dining experiences make this less of a headache for parents.

Me & Minnie

Okay, some adults are a little nuts about it, too. 🙂

Where should you eat? What characters can you find at which restaurants? I’m glad you asked.

Restaurant Location Meals Characters
1900 Park Fare Grand Floridian Magic Kingdom area Breakfast

Dinner

Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, Mad Hatter at breakfast; Cinderella and Prince Charming at dinner
Akershus Royal Banquet Hall Norway Pavilion at EPCOT Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Snow White, Belle, Cinderella, Ariel, Princess Aurora, Mary Poppins
Cape May Café Beach Club Resort

EPCOT area

Breakfast Goofy & friends
Chef Mickey’s Contemporary Resort

Magic Kingdom area

Breakfast

Dinner

Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Donald Duck & Goofy
Cinderella’s Royal Table Magic Kingdom Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Cinderella and other Disney princesses
The Crystal Palace Magic Kingdom Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and friends
Garden Grill EPCOT Dinner Chip & Dale, Mickey Mouse, and others
Hollywood & Vine Hollywood Studios Breakfast

Lunch

Disney Junior Friends, such as Jake, Sofia, Handy Manny, and Doc McStuffins
Mickey’s Backyard BBQ The Campsites at Fort Wilderness Dinner Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Chip & Dale
‘Ohana Polynesian Resort

Magic Kingdom area

Breakfast Lilo & Stitch, Mickey Mouse, Pluto
Tusker House Animal Kingdom Breakfast

Lunch

Safari Donald Duck and friends

My family’s personal favorites are Chef Mickey’s and Cinderella’s Royal Table. Just know that if you are using Disney’s dining plan, it’ll cost you two of your table service credits to eat at Cindy’s. If princesses are a must, but you want to conserve meal credits, 1900 Park Fare and Akershus are great alternatives. If you’re planning your Disney vacation with me, I’ll help you get reservations for these fun places!

There really is a character meal for just about everyone, and you can’t beat the convenience of being able to skip some of those meet and greet lines.

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One thought on “Magical Monday – Character Dining at Disney World

  1. […] characters to hold). If you want to see a list of available character dining experiences, check out this post from a few weeks […]

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