One of the best parts of a trip to Disney World is the Disney character dining experiences. I mean, why just have Disney dining when you could have Disney dining with characters? Who doesn’t love to see their favorite Disney characters pop out of the screen and come to life? And pairing that with a delicious meal is a fantastic added bonus!
Each Disney character dining option has something a little bit different to offer. Want to see the classic clan of Mickey and his friends? Head to Chef Mickey’s! Want to see the Evil Queen from Snow White instead? You can see her royal highness at Storybook Dining at Artist Point. Which Disney character dining option will you and your family opt for?
12 Best [and Worst!] Disney World Character Dining Locations
What Is Character Dining at Disney?
In case you’re not familiar with character dining at Disney, let me give you a quick introduction. Essentially, at these Disney character dining restaurants, you’ll be able to enjoy a meal as a handful of Disney characters make their way around the restaurant. These characters will stop at your table and interact with you. They’ll take pictures, sign autographs, and usually spend a good amount of time with your group. If you happen to be on the Disney dining plan (LINK!), each Disney character dining experience usually takes two credits (but there are some rare exceptions).
Character dining at Disney is a great way to skip some of the long lines to see the characters in the parks. Plus, because some of the Disney character dining options are located in the Disney resorts rather than the Disney parks, you can visit your favorite characters without having to pay for a park ticket.
There are a few cons to Disney character dining as well. First, it is quite expensive, with many Disney World character dining options reaching or exceeding $40 per person. Second, if you choose to dine at the park, it’ll end up taking a large chunk of time out of your day. Lastly, while the quality of food is good, it isn’t spectacular, as it is at many of the best Disney restaurants.
Best Disney World Character Dining In The Parks
Cinderella’s Royal Table at Magic Kingdom
Cinderella’ Royal Table is definitely the best character dining at Magic Kingdom. As a matter of fact, it is probably the best character dining at Disney World. When you dine at Cinderella’s Royal Table, you’re there for the experience. You’ll get to explore Cinderella’s Castle, be greeted as “my lord” and “my lady,” and spend quality time with your favorite princesses, including Cinderella. (After all, you’ll be dining in her home!)
Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this Disney character dining option sprinkles a little bit of royal magic into each of their dishes. Try royal avocado toast for breakfast, the castle salad for lunch, the fancy chickpea panisse for dinner, or the chocolate-filled “the clock strikes twelve” for dessert.
Because so many people want to dine at the best character dining at Disney World, it is vital to make a reservation FAR in advance if you would like to dine here.
Akershus Royal Banquet Hall at Epcot
If you or your little ones are fans of all of the Disney princesses, Akershus Royal Banquet Hall should definitely be the Disney character dining option that you choose to visit. As one of the best restaurants in Epcot, there is truly so much to enjoy. Meet all of your favorite original princesses, including Cinderella, Snow White, Belle, Princess Aurora, and Ariel. On occasion, a few of the other Disney princesses, like Jasmine, Mulan, and Rapunzel, will make appearances as well!
Because Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is located in the Norway Pavilion of Epcot, it serves up some unique Norwegian food. Peppered mackerel, Norwegian meatballs, and Scandinavian potato dumplings can all be found in the buffet selection – so be prepared for a bit of culinary exploration! At the Disney character dinner, there are also quite a few Norwegian alcoholic beverages, such as The Oslo, Prince of Norway, and Viking Coffee.
As an added bonus, if you’re on the Disney dining plan, it only takes one dining credit, instead of the two that most character meals at Disney World take.
Donald’s Dining Safari at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom
Donald’s Dining Safari at Tusker House is one of the best Animal Kingdom restaurants and the only Disney character dining experience at Animal Kingdom. As a matter of fact, it is also viewed by many as one of the best Disney World character dining options! Mickey and his safari-ready gang visit the Tusker House for all three meals of the day. Each meal offers a combination of traditional American foods as well as more exotic African foods. So while you can find options for picky eaters, like roasted pork or strawberry cake, you’ll also be able to find something for the adventurous eaters, such as basmati rice and curry chicken or tabouli.
The Tusker House Restaurant also offers the Rivers of Light Dining Package. This package includes one appetizer, one entrée, and one dessert, as well as premium seating for the Rivers of Light show.
Chip ‘n Dale’s Harvest Feast at Garden Grill at Epcot
If you’re looking for character dining at Epcot, Chip ‘n Dale’s Harvest Feast at Garden Grill is the place to go. If you’ve had any experience with character dining at Disney in the past, you’ll know that the vast majority of Disney character dining locations are absolutely PACKED. Chip ‘n Dale’s Harvest Feast at Garden Grill is one of the only exceptions.
Serving up food for all three meals of the day, enjoy everything from Chip’s sticky bun bake to grilled beef with chimichurri to berry shortcake. And as you’re eating, the restaurant slowly spins, allowing you to get views of every corner of the restaurant, including of the “Living with the Land” ride. Oh, and we can’t forget the wonderful visits from Chip, Dale, Mickey, and Pluto!
Chip ‘n Dale’s Harvest Feast at Garden Grill also happens to be the best Disney World character dining for those with restrictions. Because all of the food is served family-style, you don’t have to get up and walk around, as you would have to do at many of the buffet-style Disney character dining locations.
Worst Disney World Character Dining In The Parks
The Crystal Palace at Magic Kingdom
The Crystal Palace at Magic Kingdom is FAR from downright horrible. But there are two simple reasons that The Crystal Palace didn’t make it into the “best” section of the list: the characters and the crowds.
Winnie the Pooh and his friends are the characters at The Crystal Palace, and, while they are some of my personal favorite Disney characters, they are not everyone’s favorite. The over-the-top crowds and the loud noise are a couple of other downsides of The Crystal Palace.
Hollywood & Vine in Hollywood Studios
Hollywood & Vine isn’t a bad experience Disney character dining experience. As a matter of fact, it made it onto our list of the best Hollywood Studios restaurants! It is simply very niche. All of the characters at Hollywood & Vine are from Disney Jr., so you won’t see Mickey and his crew walking around. But if you or your little ones are interested in dining with Disney characters like Doc McStuffins, Vampirina, and Sofia the First for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, these character meals at Disney World may be the perfect ones for your family to try out.
Best Disney World Character Dining In The Resorts
Chef Mickey’s in The Contemporary
Chef Mickey’s is a classic character dining option at Disney. There is no way that Chef Mickey’s wouldn’t have made it onto this list of the best Disney World character dining options. While the food at both breakfast and dinner isn’t anything special, the characters and the atmosphere are the real highlight. With the classic squad of Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto, and Goofy, everyone will be able to see at least one of their favorite characters. And whenever those five characters are hanging out together, you know it’s going to be a party!
If you’re convinced that Chef Mickey’s is the Disney character dining option for you and your family, be sure to make reservations far in advance! As a bonus tip, in order to get the maximum amount of fun, ask to be seated in the main dining room. If you end up in one of the other dining rooms, you’ll end up missing out on a lot of the action and character interaction.
Storybook Dining at Artist Point with Snow White at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort
One of the most difficult things to do at Disney is meet your favorite Disney villains. While occasionally you may run into Captain Hook from Peter Pan or Jafar from Aladdin, you won’t really run into any other Disney villains – and even those two are a rare sight! The Storybook Dining gives you the opportunity to see another famous Disney villain.
While Snow White, Grumpy, and Dopey all commonly make appearances at this Disney World character dining experience, the Evil Queen is the true star of the show. Practically all of the reviews of the restaurant RAVE about the Evil Queen’s personality and performance! Will you dare to take a picture with her? Or will you avoid her and her poisoned apples?
Unlike many of the other character meals at Disney World, Storybook Dining also has absolutely fantastic food. As the newest Disney character dining experience, it’s clear that Disney really pulled out all of the stops for the opening of this restaurant. Dine on the royal prime rib roast, the magic mirror slow braised pork shank, or the sorceress spell of land and sea. And for dessert, the magic theme doesn’t stop. Test your luck with the “poison” apple, take a bite into the trio of miner’s treasures, and delight in the fairy tale gooseberry pie.
1900 Park Fare at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Depending on when you visit 1900 Park Fare, you’ll be able to interact with different characters. In the mornings for the Supercalifragilistic Breakfast, meet Mary Poppins, the Mad Hatter, Alice, Winnie the Pooh, and Tigger. And we can’t forget to discuss the food! Savor made-to-order omelets, enjoy a few cheese blintz, or go for some smoked salmon lox. If you’re looking for something a bit more kid-friendly, Disney’s got that covered too. Potato puffs, cheesy scrambled eggs, and the ever-classic Mickey waffles are all available for the little ones.
Later in the day, pop by for the Wonderland Tea Party for an hour-long “unbirthday party.” At this unique Disney character dining experience, kids can sip on apple juice (the “tea” in this tea party experience) and decorate (and later devour) cupcakes while hanging out with Alice and the Mad Hatter. Do note that the Wonderland Tea Party experience is quite pricey, as it costs $49 per child.
At the end of the day, meet Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine (the evil stepmother), Anastasia, and Drizella (the evil stepsisters) for Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner. This may be one of the best buffet-style character dinners at Disney World. There are so many different dishes that are worth a try from honey sriracha salmon to butternut squash ravioli to herb-crusted prime rib. Luckily for you, this Disney character dinner is a buffet, so you can take a bite of all of them!
Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s Boardwalk
By this point in this list of the best character dining options at Disney World, you’re probably thinking, “Okay, I know that I can see Mickey and his gang and the characters from the Hundred Acre Woods, but where can I see some of my favorite, underrated characters?” Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno may be your answer (depending on the characters you’re searching for, of course. At Trattoria al Forno, alongside Ariel and Rapunzel, you’ll also be able to meet their other halves: Prince Eric and Flynn Rider.
Trattoria al Forno may have one of the best character breakfasts at Disney, especially if you’re looking for unique characters. And the food is fantastic! King Triton’s Shipwreck al Forno, the Tangled Eggs, and the Tower of Pancakes have all proven to be crowd favorites. If you’re over 21 years old, you can pair these delicious breakfast dishes with a mimosa, peach bellini, or caprese bloody Mary.
If you happen to be staying at a Disney Skyliner Resort (such as Disney’s Riviera Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort), you’ll have easy access to this amazing Disney character breakfast.
Worst Disney World Character Dining In The Resorts
Cape May Café at Disney’s Beach Club Resort
I’ll be honest. Cape May Café isn’t bad per se. It simply shouldn’t make it onto the best character dining at Disney World list. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t make it to the top of anyone’s Disney character dining list. If you happen to be staying at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Cape May Café may be good for convenience purposes, but that’s about it.
Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Resort
The problem with Ohana is that it splits its best qualities throughout different meals of the day. So while Lilo and Stitch are there for a character breakfast at Disney World, the best food from Ohana is actually served at dinner! In my opinion, it’d be better to head to Kona Café (which is within the same hotel) and enjoy the macadamia nut pancakes for breakfast, and then head to one of the other amazing character meals at Disney World at another point during your trip.
I hope you enjoyed reading about some of the best Disney character dining locations (and finding out about the ones you should avoid too). What do you think of these opinions? Do you agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments what you think the best character dining at Disney World are! As always, if you have any questions, I am more than happy to answer them for you! Thank you for reading!
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