Meeting your favorite Disney Character while enjoying a memorable meal is the essence of this Walt Disney World experience!
Here are the Top 10 Character Dining Experiences at Walt Disney World
Before we start the article, it’s important to stress that our goal is to provide you with the building blocks of a magical vacation to Walt Disney World. Dining is a very personal and subjective discussion point, so if our recommendations don’t match with your plans – have fun and just know that we’re doing this because we love the parks!
In addition, We are going to do our best to give you a list that goes over food and entertainment in the same post. This may be crazy, but gotta have some fun sometimes!
10. Crystal Palace
We’re starting out this list with a little controversy, but this is about providing you with as much research and insights as possible without giving you the same old character dining list that you’ve found all over the internet.
Crystal Palace is a solid option, but outside of the location, this location provides little for us to really say that you should 100% book it, without a shadow of a doubt. In fact, we would go as far to say there are very few people that we would actually give the go ahead to book this ADR. We recommend this character dining if you are a young family with kids who absolutely love Winnie the Pooh characters, or just want to stay in the Magic Kingdom all day without leaving, then this is an option for you.
Why am I being this critical? Well the food is very limited, the staff is very run-down early in the day due to the amount of younger guests in the restaurant. The dining room is also very cramped, which makes for difficult character interactions.
Am I saying to never go here? Absolutely not…in fact, we dined there within the last 12 months and with over 300 restaurants on property…going in the last 365 days is pretty reasonable.
Also, the restaurant is well-known for not sticking to the reservation times. So although you can have a reservation at 2pm, you may not be seated until 2:45pm (even if you’re there 30 minutes before your reservation time to check–in).
Characters: Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet
9. Chef Mickey’s
This is a tough one, as the restaurant does a great job of keeping the flow of guests in and out of the dining room at a brisk pace. It’s ranked at this spot because of the quality of the food, and theming of the location.
It’s not an interesting experience from start to finish, so unless you just really want to check this character meal off your bucketlist (as we wanted to), then by all means go for it! If you want to meet Mickey and the gang, there are better options.
Characters: Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Donald
8. Hollywood and Vine
Probably one of the most unknown locations on our list, this Hollywood Studios character dining experience is designed for younger guests who absolutely love Disney Junior!
The only thing that I’ll say is that the location is perfect for a family experience in the middle of a park that’s undergoing a huge face-lift.
Characters: Disney Junior
7. Cape May Cafe
Looking off the beaten path is what brings us to Cape May Cafe. Yes, it is a breakfast buffet, but it’s more about who’s not listed to appear that may surprise you. It’s known as Minnie’s Beach Bash Breakfast, but if you do a little research on google and TripAdvisor, you’ll definitely want to put this on your list of ADR’s to try to get (if you’re a breakfast buffet kinda bunch).
Characters: Minnie, Donald & Goofy
6. Garden Grill
Dining inside of The Land at EPCOT is always a thrill, but this has an added draw because of the quality of food. Served in the style of a good ol’ fashioned family feast, this restaurant has definitely made a strong comeback after adding a lunch serving.
Oh, and the character part of this meal is definitely a plus, as the dining room has a very intimate and exclusive feel to it!
Characters: Chip, Dale, Mickey, and Pluto
The breakfast “all you care to enjoy” experience is one that brings you into a high energy time with Lilo and Stitch! Not only is this one of the most difficult ADR’s in the system, but it’s completely worth the trouble to get it as soon as reservations are open. Families, solo travellers, couples…everyone can enjoy this meal.
Characters: Lilo, Stitch, Pluto, Mickey
4. 1900 Park Faire
This ranks high on the list because of the sheer variety of characters that you could see. The Supercalifragilistic Breakfast brings you face-to-face with everyone from Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, Winnie the Pooh and more. It also allows you to have a dining experience in the Grand Floridian, which always helps to start your day!
The dinner is a little more subdued, as the food is a basic buffet lineup (similar to Chef Mickey’s), but they give you the chance to meet a few of the more difficult characters to run into in the parks.
You’ll get to meet Prince Charming and Cinderella, along with Lady Tremaine and her daughters, Drizella & Anastasia. Overall, it’s a positive experience for any classic Disney fan.
Characters: Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, Drizella, Anastasia.
Do you like Disney princesses? This is the meal for you. No questions asked…get this reservation because it’s basically made for you. Do you have nightmares about pixie dust getting caught in your clothing and never (and I mean ever) get it out? Then you may want to skip this one.
It’s ranked as high as it is because the reservation is almost impossible to get, and the experience is actually a fairly positive one across the board. The buffet comes in the form of appetizers, which a few options for the main course that you order like a regular restaurant. You are here for the characters though, so enjoy it!
Characters on Rotating Schedule: Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Snow White, Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Mulan, Cinderella, and/or Mary Poppins.
2. Tusker House
I have never been more impressed with a buffet experience with characters than at Tusker House.
**Insider Tip….try to aim for an 11am reservation…you may be lucky enough to get the cross-over between breakfast and lunch. First plate with bacon, eggs and Mickey waffles…second plate with carved ham, curried goodness and a ton of options for lunch. This is 100% not guaranteed or promised…but if you ask the server around 10am when you should come back…you never know;)
Characters: Safari Donald, Daisy, Goofy and Mickey Mouse.
1. Cinderella’s Royal Table
Ok, so there is nothing more magical than eating in Cinderella’s castle. In fact, this is one experience that will stick with you for the rest of your life. The castle itself is part of the dining experience, as it comes to life from the second that you check-in to the moment that you leave.
The food is incredible and will leave you full (we actually had to take our dessert home in a to-go container).
You get to meet with princesses across the spectrum, at your table…in a dining room that provides nothing but exclusivity.
This is by far the best dining reservation involving characters across Walt Disney World!
Characters Rotates Through: Cinderella, Ariel, Aurora, Jasmine, and Snow White
Related Article – Top ADR’s to get ASAP
Theme Park Character Dining Experiences
- Cinderella’s Royal Table
- Tusker House
- Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
- Garden Grill
- Hollywood & Vine
- Crystal Palace
Resort Character Dining Experiences
- 1900 Park Fare
- Cape May Cafe
- Chef Mickeys
- Trattoria al Forno (Breakfast on the Boardwalk)
- Garden Grove (Character Dining at Walt Disney World Swan Hotel)
- Storybook Dining at Artist Point with Snow White
- Good Morning Breakfast with Goofy and Pals (at Four Seasons Resort)
What do you think? Did we leave any of the Top 10 list that you would have included? What would you have taken off?
The goal is to provide you with the best reasoning why (or why not) to make an ADR (Advanced Dining Reservations) with Characters involved. Not every restaurant is perfect for every situation, and this is the perfect forum to go into those points.