Magical Manners during Character Dining

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Magical Manners during Character Dining

You might have noticed a mini theme here on Chip & Co. on the subject of manners.  Taking time to remember that you aren’t the only guest really does make for the most magical of vacations!  Manners, etiquette, courtesy…whatever you call it…it all matters!  Toady we are taking a lighthearted look at what you need to know in order to dine with characters (that is with manners)!   Hopefully you have never had to sit through character dining  with ill-mannered park guests!I love character dining!  There is nothing more magical than eating and hanging out with your favorite characters at Disney!  It is the ultimate way to create  a magic moment of memories while at the parks!  That is unless you have the misfortune of  eating alongside characters like Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee!

Park guests with good manners…

Wait their turn…

If you have never  experienced character dining at Disney, it works like this: guests are seated to eat and enjoy (buffet meals are you serve yourself where menu meals let you sit back and let your waiter to take care of serving you) as characters make their rounds.  Each character will stop and chat, take photos, and sign autographs.  It is HARD to see those characters and not want to abandon your Mickey shaped waffles for a hug…believe me, I know!  Mind your manners and keep the experience magical for everyone else around you!  Take a deep breath when you see the characters making their way around the restaurant!  There’s nothing worse than having your time with Tigger or Pooh cut short by another guest butting in on your time.  Each table will be visited, so wait patiently!

Don’t photobomb…

Okay, how many of us have returned from a fabulous trip to Disney only to discover that our beloved photos have been photobombed?  If you don’t know what photobomb means, well, it’s when someone jumps in/happens to be in your photo unbeknownst to you.  We’re not talking “just walking through and happened to be caught on film/memory card”.  We’re talking, “all up in there on purpose”.  We took my nephew to Chef Mickey’s recently and during our breakfast, the GINORMOUS family that was next to us (on top of us basically) was all up in our photos.  I mean pictures of adults, kids, and everyone in between standing there, you know with Mickey and us.  That made for a great family photo…okay, not so much!  If you see another group of guests engaged with a character, especially if they have a camera out, give them a chance!  Let each group enjoy their time!  Keep it fair and keep out of their photos!

Let them eat… their food!

Okay, I am a kindergarten teacher by trade so, to say that I can eat through just about anything really isn’t an overstatement!  However, this past trip, even my ability to eat under pressure was tried.  That same family that photobombed our character pictures, well they also infringed on our eating space.  I think we ate breakfast?  That meal is still a blur…we were already packed into our tight-fitting table; elbows clanked as we awkwardly cut our pancakes, asking someone to pass you the pepper became a chore, and our table wasn’t faring well and decided to shake with every  touch.  So, you can imagine that the eight of us was enough to do us all in…but then we include the Gale force guests who had set up camp in our dining area and…well…you’ve got yourself a bona fide bad environment for eating.  They were constantly up and down, they were SO loud, and for some reason, they kept singing (oh yeah, did I mention they were part of some sort of family trip…there were about  20 people in their party?) !  I say be proper and give everyone some peace.  I know it is everyone’s experience (even yours) but, what goes on at your table shouldn’t interfere with another table.  If you aren’t in the restaurant alone, unnecessary loudness, movement, and singing really should be kept to a minimum.  Just think of the money we can save on indigestion meds by reducing the chaos!

Use your time fairly

I know I have written a lot in this post about getting your turn.  On this point, I would like to focus on what you do with your turn; you know the time you do have with the characters.  I think creating a plan of action for your time with the characters will serve everyone best.  Talk before the characters come around about who will snap photos, have your autograph books ready, and be prepared to interact.  All too often, I have seen families conduct full photo sessions with the characters.  I think everyone in you party deserves the right to have a Photo with the characters, but at some point, taking EVERY pose possible starts to infringe on other guests character time.  Be fair and give everyone equal time!

Buddy up!

I love the idea of making friends with the group you are sitting next to.  Being friends means that you have a photographer.  This is good all around!  First of all, at Disney, everyone really should be friends.  Second, it helps to make the photo process fast and effective.  Third, everyone in your group gets to be in the picture (as resident family photographer, I am rarely seen in my albums…maybe you know the feeling).  After making friends with our table neighbors at 1900 Park Fare, we decided to try out the photo buddy system.  It was amazing!  We had each other’s back!  This is a great way to be courteous and show our manners at Disney World!

What are some of your suggestions for making your manners magic while character dining?  Do you have any character dining disasters?  Share your suggestions or stories below in the comment section.  Always remember,going on vacation works out the best when you pack your manners!

As always, thanks for reading!

For more tips, tricks, and ideas to make your Disney trip magical, check out my blog:

See ya real soon!


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Magical Manners during Character Dining

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10 thoughts on “Magical Manners during Character Dining

  1. Thanks Maria! Good point with the “goodbye’s”. It’s all about realizing you aren’t the only person there! Everyone has the right to enjoy their time…right? Thanks for reading! 😀

  2. Such good points you make. I wish all those offenders out there were actually going to read it!
    I strongly second your idea about making friends with the family next to you for picture purposes. At our first meal at Crystal Palace my husband and I took turns taking pictures. They turned out really cute, but only one of us is in each of them. At Tusker House we made friends with a super fun family next to us and we took turns taking each other’s pictures. It was great and I am actually in all the photos!

  3. great article! Manners apply at Disney too. I’ve been in a restaurant when a large group decided to start singing. Several children were upset (possibly in the Autism spectrum??) and even if they weren’t the group was singing an unfamiliar national anthem in a foreign language-quite forcefully. Maybe if it had been a song they recognized the kids wouldn’t have freaked out…. maybe. But once again the theme of your article is considering how your actions impact others. I bet if everyone abided by these The World would be even more magical 🙂

  4. Part of the fun of a character meal is seeing the joy on kids faces as they meet their favorite character. If your behavior is hindering that, then it is probably considered bad manners. What is the deal with photobombing? I don’t want another family going home with photos of me.

  5. I have vague memories of my first character meal 15 years ago, but I took my daughter to the Akershush Character breakfast in March, and she loved every minute of it. I think the atmosphere of the restaurant can affect behavior. Where Chef Mickey’s is open at the top to the rest of the Contemporary, and the monorail is not even close to quiet, places like Akershush and 1900 Park Fare are quiet and much more dignified in atmosphere. Who really wants to be rowdy an pushy in a replica of a Norse castle? Or even in front of princesses? I’m not saying those people weren’t downright rude (because they were) but sometimes it’s all about where you are.

  6. We were photobombed in France. We were visiting with Remy and the man sitting behind Remy was nice enough to pose in each picture. We loving call him “the creepy guy”

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