Where else but Walt Disney World can you dine with your favorite characters! The popularity of character meals has grown so much that you can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with the characters.
The meals are served several ways.
Traditional buffet-style — available at most of the participating restaurants.
Family-style — the server brings large bowls/plates/skillets of food that you serve yourself and pass around the table.
Pre-plated meals — These meals are served to each guest and each plate includes the same meal.
As a rule, you need to make Advance Reservations for character meals. However, during slow seasons it is sometimes possible to attend a Character Meal without an Advance Reservation. Advance Reservations are available for all character meals and can be arranged by calling 407-WDW-DINE (939-3463).
For all of the Character Meals — the characters make their way around the room, stopping at each table. You don't have to run after the character or wait in a special line. In fact, the characters generally will not stop for you if you chase them. If you stay seated and let them visit you, it lends a great deal of order to the fun.
After each listing you will see prices for each meal with an A (for adult) or a C (for child). Walt Disney World offers the children's price to those aged 3-9. Children under 3 will be allowed to dine free while those over 9 will be required to pay the adult price. Prices do NOT include tax or gratuity.
Crystal Palace – Head down Main Street, USA and make a left at Casey's Corner! This restaurant serves three meals per day with Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet. Meals are served buffet-style with a separate buffet for kids called "Pooh Corner." Breakfast items include eggs, pancakes, breakfast meats, breads, fruit and more. Lunch offers a variety of hot and cold entrees and sides along with a dessert bar. At dinner carved meats and peel-and-eat shrimp are added. Advance Reservations strongly recommended!
Cinderella's Royal Table – Located on the second floor of Cinderella Castle this restaurant features characters at all three meals. Characters vary, but almost always include Cinderella and the Fairy Godmother and may include Belle, Jasmine and Snow White The official name for all three meals at the Castle is Fairytale Dining at Cinderella's Royal Table, and all require TWO entitlements when using the Disney Dining Plans. When you arrive for your reservation, a photographer will be on hand to take pictures of your group in the lobby, before you are seated in the dining room. (Characters subject to change without notice.)
Children (ages 3-9) also get a Surprise gift! A princess wand for girls and a prince's sword for boys!
NOTE: Payment in full with a credit card will be required at the time of booking for all meals at Cinderella's Royal Table. If you do not have a credit card, the reservation cannot be made.
Advance Reservation is a must. This is the hardest Character Meal to get a reservation for!
If you want to see Cinderella and can't get in here or want a less expensive meal, try Cinderella's Happily Ever After Dinner at 1900 Park Fare in the Grand Floridian.
The Garden Grill – Chip and Dale's Harvest Feast – Located in the Land Pavilion in the Future World section of Epcot this restaurant features breakfast, lunch and dinner with Mickey, Chip and Dale, and Pluto, all attired "farmer-style". Reservations are recommended.
Akershus Royal Banquet Hall – Princess Storybook Dining – Character meals at breakfast, lunch and dinner in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot and features Disney Princesses and Friends. American breakfast buffet hours are: 8:30 to 10:10 a.m. Most likely characters: Belle, Jasmine, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Mary Poppins. Lunch and Dinner are Norwegian-style dining with Disney Princesses, too (including the occasional visit from Ariel in her gown).
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Hollywood & Vine – "Playhouse Disney's Play 'N Dine at Hollywood & Vine" with Doc McStuffins, Sofia the First, Roadster Racer Goofy and Jake of the Neverland Pirates. Breakfast features the characters singing and dancing to favorite Playhouse Disney songs. The buffet breakfast, 8-11:20 a.m., features Mickey waffles, frittatas and fresh fruits and pastries. Lunch and Dinner are "Seasonal Dining with Minnie," a character experience with Minnie Mouse and friends.
Tusker House – Animal Kingdom features a character breakfast, lunch and dinner called Donald's Dining Safari. Characters include Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Mickey. All you can eat buffet. Breakfast 8 – 10:30 a.m.; Lunch 11:30 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.; Dinner starts at 4 p.m. (Same day reservations may be available.)
Cape May Cafe – Beach Club Buffet breakfast is served here every morning. Goofy, Minnie, and Donald are on hand and the meal is served buffet-style. Offerings include eggs, pancakes, meats, breads, fresh fruit and more.
Chef Mickey's – Contemporary Resort – serves breakfast with Chef Mickey, Chip, Dale and Chef Goofy. The breakfast buffet offers the usual items – eggs, breads, meats, fresh fruit, etc. At dinner there is a salad bar, peel and eat shrimp, soups, hot entrees, breads, carved meats, vegetables, desserts and an ice cream bar with a great variety of toppings. Advance Reservations strongly recommended.
1900 Park Fare – Grand Floridian
Breakfast – Supercalifragilistic Breakfast with a variety of characters. Currently there are Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, and the Mad Hatter. Breakfast items include omelet bar, pancakes, fruit, breads, meats, etc.
Dinner – Cinderella's Happily Ever After Dinner – Regulars include Cinderella and Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, Anastasia, Drizella, and the Fairy Godmother (some characters may only be in the lobby for photos). Price includes dessert and a non-alcoholic beverage.
Polynesian — 'Ohana Character Breakfast – every morning. Characters include Lilo and Stitch, Pluto and Mickey. The meal is served family-style and features eggs, waffles, meats, breads, fruit and more. Advance Reservations are strongly recommended.
Garden Grove Cafe Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday! – in the WDW Swan; features Goofy and Pluto. Usually not crowded and a good choice for a last minute decision to dine with the characters. Both a la carte and buffet are available.
Garden Grove Dinner in the Swan Hotel opens at 5:30 p.m. nightly and has the following character entertainment: Goofy and Pluto every night; Chip and Dale added on Fridays only.
INSIDER TIPS & COMMENTS
Please read the Character Meet and Greet FAQ for further ideas to enhance your experience.
For other helpful Character hints search our Tips Database.
Try to go to a character breakfast in one of the parks for the first 8 a.m. seating before the park opens. You get to enter the park around 7:45 a.m., get your stroller/wheelchairs, eat a great breakfast and be in the back of the park riding the rides at opening time while everybody else is waiting in lines and just starting to come into the park. For a great photo opportunity, eat at the Crystal Palace and on your way there take a picture of your family in front of the castle — since the park isn't open yet, your family will be the only ones in the picture. It's the only time you can ever do that! (Elizabeth Donoho)
Make sure you pick up autograph books for the kids before your meal. They are not available at the restaurants themselves. (Michele)
A small disposable camera for the kids can be a lot of fun. The characters tend to ham it up when they see the kids taking their pictures. (Michele)
We just got back from our vacation. I was disappointed to get an 11:15 seating. I thought it was too late…boy was I wrong…we had the BEST time. My daughter (2) had all the characters to herself! She got to dance with Mickey all by herself!!! So, anyone who is thinking of going…make the seating as late as possible, it is well worth it!! (Jennifer Rosner)
We did several character meals. At first we would only use our cameras to take pictures of our children with the characters after they had signed the autograph books and were posing with them. But after the second meal we started snapping away as soon as the characters approached our table. We are so glad we did this because we captured a very funny sequence of events while at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian. These candid shots tell a funny story, showing the playful interaction between my sons and the characters. After that, we started snapping away at all of the character meals, and now that we're back, we see that the candid shots usually gave us better pictures than the posed ones! So my tip is, start taking pictures as soon as the characters approach your table and start interacting with your children. Of course you want the posed pictures, but the candid ones just might end up being your favorite memories of the meals! Theresa Brown
If you make your arrangements for off-peak times you will get more attention from the characters as the restaurants will be less crowded. (Michele)
Don't shy away from character meals if you don't have kids. They can be a lot of fun for everyone and the characters will interact as much with you as parties with children. (Michele)
If you are depending on the transportation to take you to a Character breakfast at one of the resorts at an early time, make sure you book the breakfast during an early entry day of the nearest theme park. Otherwise you won't get there on time. Buses run 1 hour earlier on early entry days. For our breakfast at the Polynesian Resort, the bus took us to the Magic Kingdom during early entry day and we took the monorail to the resort. (Steve Klodnicki)
'Ohana Restaurant at the Polynesian Resort is well worth the money. We had a character breakfast there. We got there for the 7:30AM seating. The characters even paraded around the restaurant with the kids. (Steve Klodnicki)
First trip with a toddler and the first character meal was at Garden Grill, it was empty. My daughter (then 2) is VERY shy around strangers, would never even smile or say "Hi". Her first Disney character experience is when we give the hostess our name at the Garden Grill. Out comes Mickey and asks her to come over to him as he bends down. She smiles, lets go of my hand and ran over to say, "Mickey, see my new Pooh shoes? Is Pooh your friend?" My husband and I are STILL getting over the shock! As soon as we sat down at our table, Mickey came back over and colored with her for at least FIVE MINUTES and even wrote her name in her (brand new) autograph book. We got MANY pictures of more than 1 character at a time. It got to the point that we were wondering if we'd ever really eat — and I mean the grownups, not just the toddler — we were having too much fun with the still & video cameras. Number one important thing for character meals — do NOT dine at a busy time. (Michael & Alison McGee)
My big tip would be to go to the character lunches and dinners at odd hours. The meals are a little pricey, but very tasty, and it was worth every penny to see her skipping out of the restaurant hand-in-hand with Dale. (Doug Gleditsch)
When my wife and I took our nieces (ages 7 and 9) to Disney World they especially wanted to meet Cinderella. I had already made reservations for the Cinderella breakfast in the castle, but I didn't tell the girls right away. Instead, I said only that if we were very lucky maybe Cinderella would invite us to meet her in her castle. In the meantime, my wife, Kathy, purchased some invitation cards at one of the shops, with Cinderella and the castle on the cover. She filled out the invitation from "Princess Cinderella," and, the day before the breakfast, secretly left them on the girls' pillows as we left the room for the day. When we returned, the girls found the invitations and were thrilled that Cinderella had personally invited them to breakfast! Also, don't give up if you can't get reservations for breakfast in the castle or for other popular character meals. If the meal is all booked up, try calling again for reservations just a day or two before the meal (or even the day of). Often there are cancellations. It worked for me! (Dennis Driggers)
Please do not bring crayons, golf pencils or small tiny pens for the characters to sign with. Remember most characters have very large hands (or paws) and cannot hold these small items very well. Characters LOVE thick Sharpie pens and now they have retractable ones. These are great.
Characters from Chef Mickey's signed postcards for our little friends back home. The characters were more than happy to sign autographs for my nephew and other small friends on postcards. We purchased the postcards with a specific character on them. The postcards were a hit back home because they got mail from Mickey and Minnie! – Diane Parker
We've been to Disney World almost every year since my son was 4 years old and have gone to a character meal that has Tigger each time. Of course, pictures with the characters have been taken. Not only do they help record the great times we've had, but I've put together a collage showing my son going from barely waist-high on his orange-striped friend to being a bit past Tigger's shoulder. We're going this year in December and even though he'll be 15, my son's still game for that "Hey, Mom!" picture! – Liz Myrato