Every Character Dining Disney World 2018 Experience Reviewed

Character Dining Disney World is a sure way to make special memories on your Disney World vacation and provides the best way to meet a lot of Disney characters while avoiding the incredibly terrible…

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LINES that often form to meet characters in the Disney World theme parks.

Disney World Character meals provide guests an opportunity to have one-on-one time with several Disney World characters, making it easy to get autographs and snap photos. Plus, you’ll eat a delicious meal while you do it! Truly, if you want to meet lots of Disney World characters, this is the best option for a low-stress experience rather than waiting in line in the park.

Each of the Character Dining restaurants in Disney World offer different themes and different characters. The Disney World character dining meals are more expensive than your typical dining fare so you should be sure to research the best experience for your family beforehand so you can get the most bang for your buck.

Below, find our definitive guide to every Walt Disney World character dining experience as well as tips to make the experience extra magical.

Walt Disney World Character Dining 2018 In The Theme Parks

There are Disney World character dining options located inside the Walt Disney World theme parks and inside the hotels. Below is our list of the character dining options located inside the theme parks. Walt Disney World tickets are required for entry (you can get discount Disney World tickets here).

Cinderella’s Royal Table Character Dining

Where? Inside Cinderella Castle in Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom Park

What meals do they serve? Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

What do they serve? Breakfast offers you many tasty options from Baked Quiche to Caramel Apple-stuffed French Toast to Shrimp and Grits. If you prefer a lunch or dinner meal, you’ll be treated to a grand, three-course meal including choices between Braised Pork Shank, Fish, Chicken, and more. Of course, kids meals are available too.

What Disney World characters are here? Classic Disney Princesses including Cinderella, Snow White, Aurora, and Rapunzel

Who should go to this Disney World character dining meal? Anyone who is desiring a truly immersive experience, those seeking fine dining, and especially families with young princess-lovers will love this experience.

What costs are involved? Guests must have paid park admission to have access to Cinderella’s Royal Table. On it’s own, $35-$59.99 per person.

Any drawbacks? This is one of the most expensive character dining options.

Pro Tip: Make a reservation during the fireworks show, so you can view them from INSIDE the castle! Also, make sure to take advantage of the complimentary photo with Cinderella.

Tiana’s Riverboat Party – Ice Cream Social & Viewing Party Character Dining

Where? Liberty Square Riverboat in Magic Kingdom Park

What meals do they serve? Dessert

What do they serve? Ice-cream sundaes, drinks, and other treats

What characters are here? Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen

Who should go to this Disney World character dining meal?  This experience is best for those who want a more private experience on the Riverboat or families with children who love Tiana and Naveen. After the ice-cream social, guests will all board the Riverboat and watch the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade.

What costs are involved? Guests must have paid park admission to have access to Tiana’s Riverboat Party. The experience itself is $49 per adult and $29 per child.

Any drawbacks? This experience is currently not offered while refurbishments are being made to the Riverboat. Additionally, the view of the parade leaves something to be desired.

Pro tip: Make sure to view the parade from the top level for the best views.

The Crystal Palace Character Dining

Where? Main Street, U.S.A. in Magic Kingdom Park

What meals do they serve? Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

What do they serve? Breakfast buffet stations include an omelette station, breakfast meats and potatoes, pastries, and more. For lunch and dinner, you’ll find buffet stations offering salads, breads, soup, carved meats, desserts and more.

What characters are here? Winnie-the-Pooh characters

Who should go to this Disney World character dining meal?  This experience is perfect for those looking for an all-you-can-eat buffet at a decent price compared to some other character dining experiences, or for those families who love the Winnie-the-Pooh characters.

What costs are involved? Guests must have paid park admission to have access to The Crystal Palace. Breakfast is slightly less expensive than the other meals, but expect upwards of $20 for children and up to $50 for adults.

Any drawbacks? Families with older children may be less interested in the available characters.

Pro tip: Make your reservation towards the end of the breakfast period (just before 11:00 AM) so that you can sample both the breakfast and the lunch menus.

The Garden Grill Character Dining

Where? Future World inside Epcot

What meals do they serve? Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

What do they serve?  Choices for breakfast include eggs, fruit, Mickey-shaped waffles, breakfast meats, and more. For lunch and dinner, you’ll find everything from home-style Pot Roast to salads to macaroni & cheese. There are also a variety of allergy-friendly choices here, and many of the veggies are grown right on site.

What characters are here? Chip ’n’ Dale and other classic Disney favorites, like Pluto and Mickey Mouse himself.

Who should go to this character dining Disney World meal? Those with food allergies will appreciate the options here. This is also a good pick for those looking for fun ambiance, as the restaurant is set in a rotating room with views into the Living with the Land exhibit.

What costs are involved? Guests must have paid park admission to have access to The Garden Grill. On its own, expect to pay up to $60 for adults and around $20 for children.

Any drawbacks? The Garden Grill offers less variety than other buffets.

Pro tip: Check out the meal ahead of time to make sure that they’ll have something you love!

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall Character Dining

Where? The World Showcase inside Epcot

What meals do they serve? Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

What do they serve? Both American and Norwegian fare is served here in buffet-style. For breakfast, find both eggs and sausage as well as Gjetost Cheese with Salami and more. For lunch and dinner find Chicken or Salmon as well as Tradisjonell Kjottkate and more.

What characters are here? Storybook Princesses including Snow White, Belle, Ariel, Cinderella, and Ariel

Who should go to this character dining Disney World meal?Families who love Disney Princesses will love this dining experience. Additionally, those looking for a more uncommon menu will enjoy the Norwegian options.

What costs are involved? Guests must have paid park admission to have access to Akershus Royal Banquet Hall. By itself, expect to pay up to $60 for adults.

Any drawbacks? This is one of the more expensive character dining options.

Pro tip: You’ll receive a complimentary picture package, so make sure to take advantage! Additionally, this is a great opportunity for children to dress up, as they’ll be invited to take part in a parade around the dining room.

Hollywood & Vine Character Dining

Where? Echo Lake in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

What meals do they serve? Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

What do they serve? Buffet stations for breakfast include omelets, breakfast meats and potatoes, and pastries. Buffet stations for lunch and dinner include salads, soups, roasted meats, fish, sweets, and more.

What characters are here? Disney Junior stars from Doc McStuffins, Sofia the First, Jake and the Never Land Pirates, and Handy Manny

Who should go to this character dining Disney World meal? Families with young children will enjoy this experience, as it’s catered to viewers of Disney Junior and features special buffet stations just for kids.  You can also eat here as part of a Fantastic! Dining Package, ensuring you get a VIP spot to watch the show.

What costs are involved? Guests must have paid park admission to have access to Hollywood & Vine. For the meal itself, expect to pay around $50 for adults and $30 for children.

Any drawbacks? The characters traditionally at this restaurant may not be as desirable for families with older children.

Pro tip: Check the website as you’re planning your vacation, as there are several “Minnie’s Seasonal Dining” events throughout the year here with fun themes hosted by Minnie and her friends. These events include unique music, menu items, and decor, and even activities and party gifts. Plus, these events aren’t significantly more expensive than a traditional Hollywood & Vine experience, so it’s definitely worth it to check.

Tusker House Restaurant Character Dining

Where? Africa inside Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park

What meals do they serve? Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

What do they serve? This Harambe marketplace restaurant features both American and African fare in a buffet setting. For breakfast, enjoy choices such as frittata, Mickey Waffles, pastries, fruit chutneys, and beef bobotie. For lunch and dinner, pick from choices like spit-roasted chicken, peri peri salmon, curry chicken with basmati rice, and more.

What characters are here? Safari Donald Duck and his friends

Who should go to this character dining Disney World meal? This is a great choice for those seeking a character dining experience but what a more unconventional menu. Additionally, Tusker House features a Rivers of Light dining package, so you can receive a VIP viewing spot after you eat.

What costs are involved? Guests must have paid park admission to have access to Tusker House Restaurant. Expect to pay up to $60 for adults and around $30 for children.

Any drawbacks? It’s been said that the desserts aren’t as desirable here. Additionally, the large space makes for less frequent interactions with the characters.

Pro tip: If you’re taking advantage of the Rivers of Light Dining package, you’ll be assigned a special reserved section rather than specific seats. The seats within this VIP section is first-come, first-served, so make sure to schedule your dining reservation nice and early so that you’ll have time to get the best viewing spot for Rivers of Light.

Disney World Hotel Character Dining 2018

The below Disney World character dining options are located throughout the resort at many of the best Disney World hotels. You can see all of our pros and cons for every Disney World hotel here.

1900 Park Fare Character Dining

Where? Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Magic Kingdom Resort Area

What meals do they serve? Breakfast, brunch, and dinner

What do they serve? Enjoy a breakfast buffet with options such as fresh fruit and breads, a carving station, made to order omelets, and more. During the dinner buffet, enjoy fresh salads, a carving station, and other dishes from Fried Sustainable Mississippi Catfish to Floridian Strawberry Soup. During afternoon tea, enjoy various brunch dishes, salads, omelets, fruit, breads, and sweets like bread pudding and chocolate mousse.

What characters are here?  Classic Disney characters like Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, The Mad Hatter, Tigger, and Winnie-the-Pooh

Who should go to this character dining Disney World meal? The variety of classic Disney characters will appeal to families with children of different ages, even adults! Those families who can’t decide between breakfast and lunch will enjoy the brunch option, too.

Any drawbacks? The restaurant itself isn’t that excitingly decorated. It’s not as themed as some of the other character dining choices.

What costs are involved? Expect to pay around $25 for children and around $50 for adults for the meal.

Pro tip: This is one of the most popular character dining experiences, so make your reservations early! If you love the movie Cinderella, be sure to make your reservation for dinner so that you can experience “Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner” and meet all the characters from the beloved film. Also, children 4-12 can join in the Wonderland Tea Party every afternoon for games, stories, and cupcakes.

Disney’s Perfectly Princess Tea Character Dining

Where? Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

What meals do they serve? Tea Party

What do they serve? Children will enjoy apple juice “tea”, fruit, sandwiches, and cake. Adults will enjoy tea, cheeses, fruit, sandwiches, and various salads.

What characters are here? Each tea party will feature a visit from one classic Disney Princess

Who should go to this character dining Disney World meal? Your favorite little princess! Admission includes one child and one adult, but you can add on additional people if you have more children that want to attend for a fee. This is a great pick for those looking for more than just a dining experience, as this includes music, dancing, storytelling, gifts, keepsakes, and more. Children must be accompanied by a parent.

What costs are involved? The Tea Party is $333.64, which includes admission for one adult and one child. Admission for infants is free, but it does not include food or gifts.

Any drawbacks? This is said to be a phenomenal experience, but it is fairly expensive, especially if you have more than one child attending.

Pro tip: Dressing up is encouraged!

Chef Mickey’s Character Dining

Where? Disney’s Contemporary Resort in the Magic Kingdom Resort area

What meals do they serve? Breakfast, brunch, and dinner

What do they serve? Breakfast buffet options include eggs, pancakes, breakfast meats, and more. Brunch includes many of the same breakfast offerings but with a few other options like shrimp and baked salmon. For dinner, you’ll find a variety of salads, a variety of meats and pastas, carving stations, and treats like bread pudding and a key lime tart.

What characters are here? Mickey and friends, such as Pluto, Donald Duck, Minnie, and Goofy

Who should go to this character dining Disney World meal? This is one of the most beloved character dining experiences of Walt Disney World. Families looking for a more classic character dining experience will love the chance to meet all the classic Disney characters. Those who are also looking for a unique setting will enjoy the fact that they’ll be dining surrounding by passing monorails.  Disney historians will also love the 90-foot-high mural done by famed Disney artist Mary Blair.

Any drawbacks? The food advertised as “family-friendly”, so it may seem less-than-gourmet.

What costs are involved? Guests must have paid park admission to have access to Chef Mickey’s. For the meal, expect to pay around $45 for adults and about $25 for children.

Pro tip: You can upgrade your experience to “My Storybook Moment” with either Mickey or Minnie. Your child can choose between Mickey or Minnie and will receive set of ears, a “Best Friends” lanyard, and a personal visit and autograph signing with their chosen character.

‘Ohana Character Dining

Where? Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Magic Kingdom Resort area

What meals do they serve? Breakfast and dinner

What do they serve? For breakfast, enjoy a buffet of both American and Hawaiian fare from fruit to Pua’a (pork) to homemade pinapple-coconut bread. For dinner, enjoy a family-style meal with choices like pork dumplings, a variety of skewers, noodles and vegetables, and of course, dessert.

What characters are here? Lilo, Stitch, and their friends are available at breakfast only.

Who should go?  Families who love the theming and eats of the Polynesian Village will enjoy dining at ‘Ohana. Although characters aren’t available during dinner, families looking for a more interactive experience for their children will still love it, as entertainment includes everything from coconut races to hula dancing to storytelling and more.

What costs are involved? Expect to pay around $50 for adults and around $30 for children.

Any drawbacks? If you’re looking for a more relaxed or sophisticated dining experience, you may want to look somewhere else as the games and activities can make the environment quite noisy. Characters are only available during breakfast and brunch.

Pro tip: If you want to upgrade your experience to include a “My Storybook Moment” at breakfast, children will find a friendship tote waiting for them at the table containing a Stitch plush doll, a ukulele, and a Lilo & Stitch keepsake that the characters themselves can sign.

Cape May Cafe Character Dining

Where? Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Epcot area

What meals do they serve? Breakfast, brunch, and dinner

What do they serve? For the breakfast buffet, enjoy everything from breakfast meats and breads to pastries, cheeses, and more. The brunch menu is the same, but offers a choice of alcoholic beverages for an added fee. Enjoy a seafood buffet at dinner with sides like breads, soups, salads, cheeses, and plenty of favorites for children to enjoy. There are also many options for those who do not enjoy seafood.

What characters are here? Characters are only available for breakfast and brunch, so make sure you make a reservation for early in the day. You’ll find Minnie with some of her friends like Goofy, Donald, and Chip ‘n’ Dale.

Who should go to this Walt Disney World character dining meal? This is a less popular character dining spot, but the food is still excellent, so those who are wanting a less crowded experience with more one-on-one time with the characters will enjoy this. Also, it’s a do-not-miss for those looking for some good seafood.

Any drawbacks? Characters are only available during breakfast and brunch.

What costs are involved?  Expect to pay around $35 for adults for character dining, and about $20 for children.

Pro tip: This is also the only place you can enjoy Oreo bonbons, one of Disney World’s most famous dishes (only available during dinner).

Mickey’s Backyard BBQ Character Dining

Where? The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, Magic Kingdom Resort Area

What meals do they serve? Dinner

What do they serve? This all-you-can eat picnic includes everything from barbecue ribs to hot dogs to corn on the cob to smoked chicken and more. Wine and beer is also complimentary for guests with proper ID.

What characters are here? You’ll meet classic Disney Characters, like Mickey and Minnie, Goofy, Chip ‘n’ Dale, and more.

Who should go?  Those who are looking for dinner and a show or a more interactive experience will love this unique choice.  Enjoy a live country-western band and other entertainment while you eat. It’s also a do-not-miss for barbecue lovers.

Any drawbacks? Prepayment is required, which may or may not be an issue for your family. Additionally, reserved seating isn’t offered for category two guests, so if you don’t arrive early enough you may not be able to find seats together.

What costs are involved? Entrance to the meal and show is broken down into two cost levels. For Category One tickets which feature closer seating, a character getting prior to the show, and early access to all the seating and food, you’ll pay $72 for adults and $47 for children. For Category Two which features general unreserved seating, you’ll pay $62 for adults and $37 for children.

Pro tip: Bring your dancing shoes! Line dancing will be taught for all those who want to participate.

Garden Grove Character Dining

Where?  Walt Disney World Swan Hotel, Epcot Area

What meals do they serve? Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

What do they serve? Breakfast choices include stone ground oatmeal, a variety of cereals, and other breakfast classics like omelettes and biscuits and gravy. For lunch, find a variety of soup and salads, sandwiches, and dessert for you to choose from. For dinner, pick from dishes like Prime Rib, chicken, salmon, and more.

What characters are here? Characters are only available during dinner and at breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays. You’ll find some Disney classics here, like Pluto, Goofy, and Chip ’n’ Dale.

Who should go? This restaurant isn’t a buffet and is quite sophisticated, so this is a good choice for someone looking for a more upscale experience. It can also be a more affordable option, since you’re just paying for individual dishes rather than access to an entire buffet.

What costs are involved? For breakfast, expect to pay between $6-14 per plate. For lunch, choices run between $7 and $21. For dinner, pay up to $36.99 for the most expensive menu item.

Pro tip: If you like seafood, make your reservation during the Seafood Sensation Buffet during dinnertime on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Enjoy everything from fried shrimp to calamari to lobster, with a variety of side dishes and choices for those who may not be as fond of the fish.

Good Morning Breakfast with Goofy and His Pals Character Dining

Where? Ravello at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort

What meals do they serve? Breakfast

What do they serve? You’ll find a variety of traditional breakfast items in a delicious buffet, or take advantage of the made-to-order omelet station.

What characters are here? Goofy is the Master of Ceremonies here, but Mickey and Minnie frequent the area, too.

Who should go? Those staying at Four Seasons Resort Orlando will enjoy the convenience of this dining experience and its complimentary digital photo download. Additionally, because it’s a little removed from the parks, it’s a more relaxed experience.

Any drawbacks? This experience has a pretty specific schedule, only being offered on Thursdays and Saturdays from 7:30-11:00 AM.

What costs are involved? This breakfast is $46 for adults and $24 for children.

Pro tip: If you’re visiting during a school break period, this experience is also available on Tuesdays!

Trattoria al Forno Character Dining

Where? Disney’s Boardwalk Walt Disney World Resort

What meals do they serve? Breakfast and dinner

What do they serve? Breakfast allows you to choose one starter and one entree, with choices such as eggs, pancakes, and more. Dinner offers a variety of delicious Italian fare, from the Pesce con Ravioli to the Lasagna al Forno to the Oak-grilled Strip Steak.

What characters are here? Characters are only available during breakfast. You’ll meet characters like Ariel, Prince Eric, Rapuzel, and Flynn Rider.

Who should go? This restaurant isn’t a buffet and is quite sophisticated, so this is a good choice for someone looking for a more upscale experience. This also one of the only dining experiences where you’ll find princes with their princesses, which is quite rare in the park.

What costs are involved? Breakfast will cost $34 for adults and $20 for children. For dinner, you’ll expect to pay around $11 for appetizers, around $19 for pizza, and up to $38 for main courses.

Pro tip: Take advantage of the Adventure Journal that you’ll find on your table that you can use to get autographs from your favorite characters.

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5 Tips To Make the Most of Your Disney World Character Dining Experience

Want to make the most of the time you have with your favorite character? Keep reading for top memory-making tips!

  1. Communicate with your waiter. Celebrating a birthday or another occasion? Need a drink refill? Have allergy concerns? Take advantage of Disney’s amazing customer service by communicating with your waiter for an extra-special experience.
  2. Bring your autograph book. Besides the few experiences that provide materials for the characters to autograph, it will be up to you to bring your own autograph books. These can be purchased throughout the park, but you can also find many cheaper options online before you leave. A book filled with various signatures and notes may be your most prized souvenir from your trip!
  3. Be flexible. There is no guarantee that you will see any specific character during your dining experience. The one exception to this is when a dining experience is named after a specific character, in which case that character will always be there. Besides these few instances, it’s best to not get your heart set on any one Disney Princess, any one Winnie-the-Pooh character, etc. Go into the experience with a flexible attitude, and make the most of the characters you do see!
  4. Be respectful of the character’s time. Remember that everyone is at the restaurant for the exact same reason that you are: to meet their favorite characters! If you miss your chance, the character will need to move on to spend time with another family. Because of this, it’s important to be aware during your experience. If you see a character heading in your direction, it is best to wait to use the restroom or to take another buffet trip until after you’ve met with them. Have your autograph books and cameras ready. Plan ahead for the most quality time with your favorite character.
  5. Dress up! This is the perfect opportunity for your children to put on their favorite Disney costume, especially if it’s likely that they’ll be meeting that exact character during dinner. This makes for especially fun pictures! Just remember that those over the age of 14 are not allowed to dress up.

More Walt Disney World Planning Tips

There are so many aspects of your Disney World vacation that require planning. Dive into our other planning articles for the best Disney World planning tips.

  1. Every Disney World Hotel Pros and Cons
  2. Discount Disney World Tickets 2018
  3. How to Use Disney World Uber + Lyft
  4. Get the latest Disney World deals with our newsletter!

To learn about other available restaurants or to make a reservation, visit Walt Disney World’s official website.

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