One of the best parts about visiting Walt Disney World is all the amazing characters that you can meet and greet! They are all over the place – around the Parks, at Character Spots, and then there’s my personal favorite way to mingle with them – character meals! Combining amazing Disney Food with character interaction is probably the most genius idea ever – and it’s become so popular that Disney has tons of character dining options to choose from! My family and I always plan a few different character meals for each trip, and having tried almost all of them, these are the ones I have deemed to be the BEST of the bunch:
Chef Mickey’s – Head over to Disney’s Contemporary Resort (Just a quick monorail ride away from the ) for breakfast or dinner at Chef Mickey’s –featuring Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto all dressed in chef outfits! I personally LOVE this spot, but I know that not everyone loves the food they offer here – but I think it’s great! It’s served up buffet style – breakfast offers omelets, eggs, breakfast potatoes, biscuits and gravy, sausage and bacon, and assorted Danish and pastries. Dinner has options like oven roasted chicken and fish, a carving station with meats (beef, ham, turkey etc), Mickey shaped ravioli, vegetable sides, mashed potatoes, and an awesome dessert selection that includes a make you own ice cream sundae bar! The food may not be gourmet or fancy, but it tastes good and is kid-friendly, and even if you don’t love the food – you can’t say no to the awesome characters here – the fab five all in one place!
Tusker House – Animal Kingdom’s Africa is home to this unique buffet – where all three meals are served daily (although you’ll want to note that there are NO character appearances at dinner!), with appearances by Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Mickey, and Minnie! There are a few different dining areas here, each decorated in the African theme that is carried out throughout the building – with high ceilings, dark wood, and bright colors – it’s a fun, welcoming place to eat! Breakfast features the traditional eggs/meats/potatoes/Danish and pancake/waffle options, but there are some different items here too – you’ll find bread pudding, bobotie (a quiche-like egg dish that is amazing!), mealie pap (a cream of wheat type dish), plaintains, and much more! Lunch offers various salads, basmati rice, carved meats and fish, assorted cold cuts and vegetarian dishes, and a dessert section (yum!). The great thing about this place is it is perfect for the adventurous and the not-so-adventurous alike – there are enough classic dishes to satisfy the picky eaters, and enough different items to make it worth a try for those who want to branch out and try something new!
Cinderella’s Royal Table – A princess lover’s dream – this character meal is actually served in Cinderella’s Castle! Cinderella greets you and poses for pictures downstairs, and once your name is called you are whisked upstairs to the royal dining room – where you get to mingle with the princesses while you eat! All three meals are served here, with items like steak and eggs and stuffed French toast in the morning, and gnocchi and pork sandwich for lunch, and items like prime rib and swordfish appear on the dinner menu. Everything is served with a “royal” flair, and kids (and adults too!) will really love it. This meal is a Signature Dining experience – which means its quite a bit more expensive than some other meals (and will cost you 2 disney dining plan credits instead of 1), but for some its definitely worth the chance to get to visit Cinderella’s Castle and dine with royalty! (Note – if you’re looking to dine with princesses but can’t swing the cost or can’t get an ADR at the Castle – then I recommend you check out Akershus in Norway)
Crystal Palace – This has to be one of my all-time favorite character meals – I have been coming here since I was a kid, and it is just as amazing as an adult too! Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served buffet-style here, and the options are seriously mouth-watering. Pooh’s breakfast lasagna (layers of cake, fruit, custard and more!), Mickey waffles, an omelet station, and so much more are available at breakfast, while lunch and dinner offer assorted salads, a carving station, pasta, vegetable and potato sides, and a large array of desserts too. Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore are all in attendance here, and they circulate the dining room for pictures, hugs, and an hourly “friendship parade” where the kids can march around with the characters. And what better way to start your day at the Magic Kingdom than with a hug from Pooh?
1900 Park Fare – A short monorail ride away from the Magic Kingdom is Disney’s beautiful Grand Floridian Resort which is home to this buffet that serves up breakfast and dinner – with a different cast of characters at each meal! Breakfast features Mary Poppins, the Mad Hatter, and Alice and offers menu items like strawberry soup, cheese blintzes, fresh fruit, and carved ham. You’ll dine with Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, Anastasia and Drizella and dinner – while you enjoy carved beef and a large salad bar, and even sushi! The location in the Grand Floridian is great – the Resort is so beautiful and if you have time before or after your meal you should take a stroll around the grounds and check out the shops
These are all popular meals – so I suggest you make your Advance Dining Reservations as close to the 180 mark as possible! These are some places where I personally have had the best character interaction and the best food (which is pretty much how I judge everything!) – but I would love to know what YOUR favorite character meals at WDW are!
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