The problem that arises when you attempt to categorize postings is that from time to time something falls into multiple categories. This is the case with character dining. Character dining could be either a Dining experience or a Magical Moment. Either way, it is a must for so many guests.
We received a question on our Facebook page as to which character dining we recommend. Since the answer is not quite as straight forward as the question, we thought a post may help.
There are three main things to consider when planning to attend a character meal:
1. Is the main guest a boy, girl, or is it a mix?
2. What character(s) or types of character(s) are you most interested in?
3. Do you want breakfast or dinner?
Let's take these one at a time. First, it is important to know who is attending the meal. If you are hoping to create a special memory for your son, you may want to attend a meal with Stitch or Mickey Mouse. However, if your daughter is the guest of honor, you may want to consider a princess inspired meal. Either way, all are enjoyable and offer subtle, yet memorable differences.
Second, if you like Winnie the Pooh you have one option, while you have more opportunities to see Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck. So, make a decision on who you want to snap photos with while enjoying your meal.
Last, the choice between breakfast and dinner may affect your list of choices. I will say that after attending more character meals than should be allowed, I find with one exception, the quality of the food offered at breakfast surpasses that offered at dinner by far. That said, I highly recommend considering breakfast.
Now that you have considered the big three questions, what are your choices? And, what do you recommend? Well...
1900 Park Fare: Location: Grand Floridian Cuisine: American Characters: Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, Anastasia, and Drisella now appear at dinner nightly Recommendation: The characters are very inviting and may be your only chance to meet Prince Charming. That said, the meal is not very good.
Cinderella's Royal Table: Location: Cinderella Castle Cuisine: American Characters: Cinderella, Fairy Godmother Recommendation: Unlike many character meals, this is NOT a buffet. Dining in the castle is an experience all its own. Not only will you eat in a castle, but you will be treated like royalty as you get the opportunity to pose with Cinderella herself, with the photo package.
Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall: Location: Norway Pavilion EPCOT Cuisine: Norwegian Characters: Belle, Aurora, and other Disney Princesses Recommendation: This is my favorite princess meal! You have many opportunities to meet several princesses. Lunch & dinner are also served family style.
The Fab Five:
Chef Mickey's Buffet: Location: Contemporary Cuisine: American Characters: Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Pluto Recommendation: Breakfast is much better than dinner at this location!
Donald's Safari Breakfast at Tusker House: Location: Tusker House (Animal Kingdom) Cuisine: American Characters: Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Pluto Recommendation: By far my favorite character meal! The food seems better and the interaction with the characters is great. This is a breakfast only meal.
Mickey's Backyard Barbecue: Location: The Settlement at Fort Wilderness Resort Cuisine: American Characters: Mickey Mouse Recommendation: This is held outdoors, so weather is a factor!
Cape May Cafe: Location: Beach Club Cuisine: American Characters: Minnie, Goofy, Donald Recommendation: Characters appear ONLY during breakfast.
Garden Grove: Location: Swan & Dolphin Cuisine: American Characters: Mickey & Friends Recommendation: Characters appear at dinner each day and breakfast on the weekends.
The Crystal Palace: Location: Magic Kingdom Cuisine: American Characters: Winnie the Pooh and Friends Recommendation: Breakfast is best here. Early reservations also get you into the Magic Kingdom early. This makes for some unique looks at the park without crowds and will lead to wonderful photo opportunities.
1900 Park Fare: Location: Grand Floridian Cuisine: American Characters: Mary Poppins, Alice, the Mad Hatter and friends Recommendation: The characters are available at breakfast each day. Other than a potential sighting in the World Showcase, this may be the best time to meet these characters.
Ohana's Best Friends' Breakfast featuring Lilo and Stitch: Location: Polynesian Resort Cuisine: Polynesian Characters: Lilo, Stitch, Mickey, and Pluto Recommendation: This is a breakfast only character meal.
Hollywood and Vine: Location: Hollywood Studios Cuisine: American Characters: Agent OSO, Handy Manny, June and Leo (Little Einsteins) Recommendation: Characters appear at breakfast only.
Wonderland Tea Party: Location: Grand Floridian Cuisine: Note Below Characters: Alice, the Mad Hatter Recommendation: Only 25 people are allowed per day to ensure ample interaction between the characters and guests, so make reservations early. Also, this really isn't a meal, but is worth noting simply because it's Alice!
Although you can book reservations while there, it is best to reserve a time 90 days in advance if possible. Simply call (407) WDW-DINE.
Have you tried any of these character meals? Which did you enjoy most? What was your favorite dish?