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Character Dining at Disney

[fa icon="calendar"] Thu, Apr 10, 2014 @ 11:24 AM / by Becca Bell

Becca Bell

character dining at DisneyCharacter Dining is an extremely popular experience at Walt Disney World!  There are plenty of options available.  You can dine with both costumed characters and face characters.  You can go during breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  You will have a chance to take pictures and have autographs signed while you wait for your food and eat your meal.  The best part of the character dining experience is that you will not need to wait in line!

In Magic Kingdom you can enjoy character dining at The Crystal Palace and Cinderella's Royal Table.  These restaurants are open for breakfast, lunch, and diner.  The first offers A Buffet with Character and the later offers Fairytale Dining.  Reservations are strongly recommended for these experiences because they are very popular.  It is not uncommon for families to have dinner at 4:00 in the afternoon just so they can enjoy these magical meals with their favorite characters. 

Epcot is home to Akershus Royal Banquet Hall and The Garden Grill.  The first offers character meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the later is only available for dinner.  Chip 'N' Dale's Harvest Fest is located at The Garden Grill and is a revolving restaurant.  The food is fantastic and the characters will even sit down with you at your table to snap a few pictures.  When you arrive at Akershus for Princess Storybook Dining you will have your picture taken with a princess before you even sit down for your meal!  My girls absolutely loved parading around the banquet hall with the princess, too!

At Hollywood Studios you can enjoy breakfast or lunch at Hollywood & Vine.  Disney Junior Play 'n Dine is a great character option for your little ones who love Disney Junior.  The kids will love seeing Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates and a few of their other favorites.  In Animal Kingdom head to the Tusker House Restaurant for Donald's Dining Safari.  This character meal is only available for breakfast or lunch and is sure to be a memory that will last a lifetime.  You will also need a valid park admission if you plan to attend a character dining experience in any of the Walt Disney World parks.

Some of the Disney resorts also offer character dining experiences and a valid park ticket is not required.  You can enjoy a Beach Club Breakfast buffet at Cape May Cafe, which is located at Disney's Yacht and Beach Club Resorts.  There are also character breakfasts available at the three main Disney resorts, Polynesian, Contemporary, and Grand Floridian.  These experiences include 'Ohana's Best Friends Breakfast featuring Lilo & Stitch, Chef Mickey's Fun Time Buffet, and Supercalifragilistic Breakfast at 1900 Park Fare.  Character Diners can be found at the Grand Floridian and Contemporary.  Here you can enjoy Cinderella's Happily Ever After Dinner at 1900 Park Fare or Chef Mickey's Fun Time Buffet.  Remember, you don't have to be a kid to attend a character meal, some of my favorite meals have been with my fairytale and animal friends!

If your little ones have their hearts set on dining with their favorite characters, be sure to PLAN AHEAD in order to avoid disappointment.  Disney dining reservations open and become available for guests with reservations at a Walt Disney World Resort 180 days in advance.  This number becomes especially important especially during popular travel weeks like the December holidays and spring break.  Popular character meals can sell out FAST!  Having the ability to make your character meal reservations in advance is just one of the many perks for guests staying in a Walt Disney World Resort.  Another perk, is if you book your vacation with Vacationkids, we will take care of making your character meals and all your dining reservations for you - saving you time, hassle and disappointment.

For guests who are NOT staying at a Walt Disney World resort can make their character dining reservations 190 days in advance. Of course, you can always take your chances and check same day availability once you're in the park. Just be warned parents, not to make any "promises" to your little ones ahead of time as your dining experience will be left up to any last minute cancellations and availability.

Topics: Disney Vacations

Becca Bell

Written by Becca Bell

Mother of two, lover of all things Disney and family travel agent at Vacationkids.com. In her free time Becca can be found either running her kids to activities or running a marathon