If you have a kid like mine, character dining is a necessity at Disney World. My daughter's goal each trip is to fill every, single page in her autograph book with autographs of characters. We spend hours chasing characters around and waiting in lines to get an autograph. Character dinners are wonderful because we get to sit down and have a nice meal, and the characters come to us!
Character dinners can be expensive, but are included if you get the regular dining plan. If you aren't on the dining plan, character dinners usually run around $100 for a family of four, but it completely depends on the meal. On our last vacation we spent about $150 (tip included) for a princess breakfast at Akershus. But I used my Disney Rewards Visa rewards to pay for it, so it didn't seem so bad. And it was totally worth it because I can't imagine the lines we'd have had to wait in to meet all those princesses!
Our favorite character meal is Chef Mickey's. We usually visit Chef Mickey's on a day we plan to visit Magic Kingdom because it is at the Contemporary and we can just ride the monorail right back to Magic Kingdom when we're done. Chef Mickey's is great because you get to meet all the Disney "classic" characters: Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, and Donald. They come around to your table while you're eating and take all the time you want signing autographs, taking pictures, and just having a good time. Chef Mickey's is a buffet, with delicious choices for breakfast or dinner. We love the food here because there's something for everyone.
If you have someone in your family who is into the princesses, a princess dining experience is a must. Cinderella's Royal Table at the Cinderella castle is a favorite, but counts as 2 table service credits on your dining plan, and if you're not on the dining plan can be quite expensive. It is definitely a unique experience that your little princess will love, but we chose Akershus Storybook Dining instead. This is at Epcot, and includes several princesses. We met Ariel, Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, and Mary Poppins. I'm not sure why Mary Poppins was at the princess breakfast, but it was good to meet her anyway. :)
If you have a Wonderland fan in your family, you can meet Alice and her Wonderland friends at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian. This is another monorail resort where you can ride straight back to the Magic Kingdom. Winnie the Pooh fans can meet their favorites at The Crystal Palace at Magic Kingdom. You can also meet Chip and Dale and friends at the Garden Grill at Epcot, and Goofy and pals at Cape May at the Beach Club resort. 'Ohana is a unique experience that takes place at the Polynesian resort (another monorail resort!), and breakfast features Lilo and Stitch! Disney Junior fans can meet their favorite characters at Hollywood and Vine at Hollywood Studios. And for another truly unique dining experience, dine on African-style favorites at Tusker House at Animal Kingdom, and enjoy breakfast with Donald and his friends!
There are tons of choices when it comes to character dining at Disney World, and each one is special! Don't miss out on this experience! The food is delicious, and the interaction with characters is priceless. You will make memories here that your family will treasure for years to come!
Do you have a favorite character dining experience? I'd love to hear about it!
Until next time...