Character meals are, hands down, a must do on your visit to Walt Disney World. I mean HELLO! Eating dinner with Mickey and the gang….sign me UP. One of my favorite reasons to dine with characters is the plain fact it saves you time in the parks. By dining with the characters you are knocking out two birds with O N E stone…getting your meal in for the day + getting your photo op and signature from a Disney pal. You don’t have to waste a FastPass, spend time in a line, OR potentially wait in the hot/cold weather. So what options are there? Let’s dive in and explore them all.
What is a character meal?
This is a table service meal where as you dine – Disney characters come to your table for a meet n’ greet. They will spend a minute to a couple of minutes (depending on the situation) to take pictures and sign autographs. All characters will meet at least once. Depending on the crowds you may see them more than once. These are able to prebook, 180 days in advance, via the dining line or inside your My Disney Experience account.
Our best tips and tricks!
- Character meals are EXTREMELY popular – and some more than others. As we mentioned above, plan to book these no less than 180 days prior if you are able.
- Characters are classified as either face characters (think a princess) or non-face characters (think Mickey Mouse). Those characters that are non-face we recommend supplying them with a Sharpie to sign. Their hands are able to hold these a little better.
- HAVE THAT CAMERA READY! It’s also a good idea to have your book open to the page you want them to sign, too. Both of these help the flow of the restaurant stay on key.
- Know that your child may be terrified of the characters and that is OK! Take a picture with a parent or sibling in it instead and have the child on the outside – away from the character.
- Seat your child on the outside of the table. This way they are in prime location for character interaction + they can hop up quickly when their friends approach the table.
What are the character meals? Where are they and who is there?
Note – characters are subject to change and may not appear at all times
Meal key: B – breakfast // L – lunch // D – dinner
Meal types: Plated – order off a menu // buffet // family style – share off of a large plated course
- Cinderella’s Royal Table (B,L,D) – Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, Princess Aurora, Ariel, Mary Poppins, Jasmine (any combo of these…not all are guaranteed). PLATED
- Crystal Palace (B,L,D) – Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, and Eeyore BUFFET
- Be Our Guest Dinner – Beast only (Beauty and the Beast) Belle DOES NOT appear PLATED
- Tusker House (B,L,D) – Donald and his classic Disney friends BUFFET
- Hollywood & Vine Disney Jr. Play n’ Dine – Fancy Nancy, Jake, Doc, Vampirina, and Roadster Racer Goofy BUFFET
- Hollywood & Vine Minnie’s Seasonal Dine – Minnie and her classic Disney friends BUFFET
- Akershus (B,L,D) – Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, Princess Aurora, Ariel, Mary Poppins, Jasmine (any combo of these…not all are guaranteed) PLATED
- Garden Grill (L,D) – Chip n’ Dale with their classic Disney friends FAMILY STYLE
Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Chef Mickey’s (B,L,D) – Mickey and his classic Disney friends BUFFET
Disney’s Polynesian Resort
- Ohana Best Friends Breakfast – Mickey, Pluto, Lilo and Stitch FAMILY STYLE
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
- 1900 Park Fare Supercalifragilistic Breakfast – Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, Mad Hatter, Tigger and Pooh BUFFET
- 1900 Park Fare Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner – Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, Drizella and Anastasia BUFFET
Disney’s Beach Club Resort
- Cape May Café Minnie’s Beach Bash Breakfast – Minnie and classic Disney friends BUFFET
Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
- Bon Voyage Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno – Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, Ariel and Prince Eric PLATED
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Storybook Dining Dinner at Artist Point – Snow White, Evil Queen, Dopey, Grumpy PLATED
How do the character meals work with the dining plan?
All character meals accept table service credits from the Disney Dining Plan or the Deluxe Dining Plan. All meals count as (1) table service meal EXCEPT for Be Our Guest dinner and all meals at Cinderella’s Royal Table. These experiences are signature meals and count as (2) table service credits on the dining plan.
Do I have to pay for these meals in advance?
Yes and no. All dining reservations at Walt Disney World require a credit card guarantee. The card you place on file is NOT charged unless you do not show up to your reservation. In the event this happens; you will incur a $10 charge for each guest on the reservation. The exception is all meals at Cinderella’s Royal Table. They DO require prepayment in full at the time your reservation is made. If you are on the Disney Dining Plan or the Deluxe Dining Plan; you can make this prepayment for your meal using your dining plan. If you are not on a dining plan you will be required to enter a card and payment will be processed at that time.
Anything else I need to know?
Your meal + any applicable tax is payable with a dining plan credit, but gratuity is NOT included EXCEPT for at your Cinderella’s Royal Table reservation.
If you have 6+ guests with you an automatic 18% gratuity will be added.
When traveling from park to park // from park-to-resort // or resort-to-park for a dining reservation we suggest allowing yourself up to 1 -1.5 hours of travel time.
All restaurants are able to assist with dietary needs. The sooner these are added to the reservations the better.
Our top (5) character meals at Walt Disney World
5. Tusker House – you can’t beat the atmosphere and food here. The food is on the better side of other buffet offerings.
4. Ohana breakfast – Stitch juice (if you know…you KNOW), great atmosphere, unique characters, and yummy food.
3. 1900 Park Fare – I couldn’t decide on choosing breakfast or dinner so let’s go for both! They both have unique (and hilariously entertaining) characters, pretty good buffet offerings, and hello – it’s the Grand Floridian. The mecca of all Disney resorts.
2. Bon Voyage breakfast – the ONLY character meal where you can meet some of the guys! It also has some of the best breakfast offerings around.
1. Storybook Dining – the food is AMAZING, and this one feels like it should be more than (1) table credit…but it isn’t. Definitely one of the more “upscale” character meals. Plus, it’s the only chance you’ve got to meet a villain outside of a party.
MAN! That’s a lot of options to choose from, right?! Don’t worry, though – we can help you find the perfect character dining experience for your family when you work with one of our Second Star Wishes Travel Specialists.
Are you looking for a stress free Walt Disney World vacation? It’s what we do best and we’d be honored to help!