Minnie's Seasonal Dining is a character dining located at Hollywood & Vine in Disney World's Hollywood Studios and it's one of the most popular options inside the parks! The seasonal option will change throughout the year to accommodate the holiday season. We dined in November 2020 so we were able to experience the Christmas themed dining option along with our first character review post-COVID regulations.
Keep reading for our honest review of this modified character dining experience and what you can expect now at character dining at Disney World!
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Minnie's Seasonal Dining at Hollywood & Vine Overview
This was the hardest dining reservation for us to get at Disney World and I felt very fortunate to be able to snag a cancelled reservation time! We ended up with a 2PM time which worked out great since it gave us plenty of time to ride attractions in the morning.
The timing for the meals are:
- Lunch – 11:30 AM to 3:55 PM
- Dinner – 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
I'm not sure how much this matters since it is a pre-fix menu that did not appear to change with lunch or dinner but this at least gives you an idea of the general time you can book a meal. I highly recommend booking right at the 60 days out mark especially for holidays like Christmas and Halloween since this meal is quite popular.
At this character meal you can expect to see Minnie, Mickey, Pluto, and Goofy all in their seasonal outfits. Since ours was during the Christmas season, we got to see them all in their holiday best including Goofy in a Santa outfit!
The menu is a pre-fix menu with a salad option, entrée, and dessert for adults. For kids they also get to pick a salad, entrée, and dessert in smaller portions. You can see the full menu options for adults and kids on the Disney World website.
The cost for an adult meal was $55 per person and for a kids meal was $36 per person. You should also factor in a tip! So for my son and I after a tip it was about $115 total. I always tip well when we visit but even more so now. Our waitress was fantastic and plus she was also outfitted in a mask and face shield which reminded me of the personal risk these cast members take everyday in the Disney World resort to do their jobs. Please tip your cast members!
Hollywood & Vine Character Dining Review
Hollywood & Vine is an American food style diner in the Echo Lake area in Disney's Hollywood Studios. It is incredibly popular due to the character dining options that change seasonally. Our visit was during the Christmas season so you'll see the decorations and character outfits all matched that seasonal theme.
Since the reopening of the Disney World during the COVID-19 pandemic, character dining has been modified to create proper physical distancing between guests. This means that characters can no longer get within six feet of your table so no autographs, hugs, or close character picture poses. You are expected to remain seated during your character meal and the characters will walk around the restaurant to greet you from a distance. Despite this modification, we still felt the experience was great because the creativity of the characters was just fantastic! We saw much more interactions between the characters (such as Mickey and Minnie waltzing in the dining area!) and clever positioning of characters to take photos from a distance.
Keep in mind that you will also have to put your face covering back on anytime you leave your table even if it's just to go the restroom.
Hollywood & Vine Character Dining Review
Overall, I felt the food was a good value and big portions for the price we paid. The bread was unlimited, the salad helpings were gigantic, and the meals themselves were filling. I could barely finish my dessert (probably ate too much of that good bread!) which is always a good sign you got sizable portions. I enjoyed the food here but I am also a fan of simplicity. Mac and cheese, salad, and bread? You can't go wrong with such classic choices. For families looking for more adventurous eating, this probably won't be your top choice but for a family of picky eaters (like mine!) it was perfect.
Character Interaction and Restaurant Experience
I was really curious what a modified character dining would look like and it really didn't feel that much different than a usual character dining. It probably helps that my son is now old enough (boo hoo!) to not want character hugs anymore so the timing of his age worked in our favor. So with that in mind, it worked great for us that the characters waved from a distance. I still wanted hugs but you know, I will never grow up. Despite that, we still had a great time and it still felt magical to see the characters up close, even from six feet away.
Overall, I felt that the modified character dining experience was as good as they could make it. I was impressed with the creativity of how the restaurant was arranged and how the characters knew exactly where to stand to get the best pictures. They spent considerable time with each table waving and blowing kisses at the kids while also making sure parents got plenty of photos with various poses. During our meal we also saw them interacting with each other in the restaurant so I felt that we really got a great character experience even if it was different than what we're used to. I would definitely do this again and as always, I'm impressed at Disney's commitment to keeping the magic alive for guests.
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