Disney character dining is a fantastic way to meet some of your favorite Disney Characters while enjoying a meal with families or friends. Here is our guide to Disney Character Dining at Walt Disney World.
Related: Advantages of Disney Annual Passes
What is Character Dining?
Character dining offers Guests an opportunity to meet the Disney characters without standing in lines at the Disney Parks. Characters will come and greet you at your table while you eat, and give autographs as well as take photos with your party. You could meet four or more Disney characters at any one character dining meal at Walt Disney World.
This is a great way to see the characters at the start of your day, and not wait in line to meet them while you are in the theme park. Leaving you plenty of time to enjoy attractions and shows without missing out on character interactions.
What do you have to do to sign up for Character Dining?
As character dining is extremely popular at Disney Parks you should make a dining reservation in advance. You can do this on the My Disney Experience app, or on the Walt Disney World website. Depending on certain factors such as ticket type and hotel stay, you will have an opportunity to make a reservation sooner rather than later. As soon as your booking window for advanced dining reservations opens you should try and book your character dining experience.
How far in advance can you make dining reservations for Disney World restaurants?
While these booking windows can change, currently you have 60 days to make an advanced dining reservation for restaurants at Walt Disney World. However, you can make a reservation more than 60 days in advance if you are staying at a Walt Disney World hotel for up to 10 additional days.
What are the hardest reservations for character dining to get at Disney World?
All character dining locations at Walt Disney World are popular. Making it difficult to snag a coveted reservation for character dining. However, Walt Disney World offers plenty of different character dining options from breakfast through dinner.
Also, some hotels that are on Disney property but not owned by Disney itself also offer character dining. An example of this is the Four Seasons at Walt Disney World which hosts the Good Morning Breakfast With Goofy & His Pals. This is much easier to get a reservation for as it is not at a Disney World hotel, and is not as talked about. I highly recommended this character breakfast if you are having trouble finding an advanced dining reservation for character dining. Plus, the breakfast and character interactions are fabulous!
How can you save money on Disney character dining?
Many Disney World buffets operate under the “kids under three eat for free” motto. This means that character dining at locations such as the ever-popular Chef Mickey’s as long as your children are under three they are welcome to share off of their parent’s plates for no additional charge.
Additionally, there are some character meals that are not as expensive as others. Enjoying a meal with the princesses for dinner at Cinderella’s Royal Table will be more expensive than having breakfast at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian.
What else should you be aware of when trying Character Dining?
When you enjoy a character dining experience at Walt Disney World you should be aware of a few things. Firstly the characters will be coming to your table, it is not necessary to get up and walk to the characters when they arrive in the restaurant. In some instances you may have a photo with a character before you sit down, so have your autograph books ready.
There is no PhotoPass photographer with the characters as they go table to table, so have your camera out and be prepared to take a photo. If you see a character before you sit down for your meal that may be a PhotoPass opportunity.
Lastly, entertainment is always subject to change at Walt Disney World. Meaning you may see some different characters than you were expecting. You are guaranteed to see plenty of characters during your meal so enjoy the experience!
What Disney characters might you run into while enjoying a character dining event or location?
Each character dining experience offers different characters. Here is a list of each character dining offering and which characters you may see there! It is worth noting that Disney World is currently offering modified experiences due to the ongoing pandemic, and not all character dining has reopened at Walt Disney World yet.
- Cape May Cafe – The Beach Club – breakfast featuring Minnie Mouse and her pals.
- Hollywood & Vine – Disney’s Hollywood Studios – featuring Disney Junior friends, as well as Mickey Mouse and friends.
- Chef Mickey’s– Disney’s Contemporary Resort – breakfast and dinner featuring Mickey Mouse and all of his pals.
- Tusker House – Disney’s Animal Kingdom – breakfast, lunch, and dinner, featuring Mickey Mouse and all of his pals.
- Ohana – Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort – breakfast with Lilo, Stitch, and friends.
- Garden Grill – EPCOT – Chip & Dale and friends.
- Crystal Palace – Magic Kingdom – lunch and dinner featuring Winnie the Pooh and friends from the Hundred-Acre Wood.
- 1900 Park Fare – Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – breakfast features characters from Marry Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, and the Hundred Acre-Wood. Dinner features characters from Cinderella.
- Topolino’s Terrace – Disney’s Riviera Resort – breakfast featuring Mickey Mouse and his pals.
- Disney’s Perfectly Princess Tea – Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – A Disney Princess.
- Artists Point – Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – dinner featuring Snow White and friends.
- Cinderella’s Royal Table – Magic Kingdom – lunch and dinner featuring Disney Princesses
- Akershus Royal Banquet Hall – EPCOT – breakfast, and dinner featuring the Disney Princesses
- Bon Voyage – Disney’s Boardwalk – breakfast with characters from Tangled and The Little Mermaid.
What are the best days and times to see each character?
The characters you want to see should be the guiding factor in which character dining experience you decide to book a reservation for. If you want to see Mickey, you can look at the list above and find the restaurants and meals that are offered with Mickey Mouse.
Some characters are only offered during breakfast, and some only at Dinner. For example, the Story Book Dining at Artists Point only offers dinner with characters from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. If you want to dine with Snow White, dinner at Artists Point would be the best option.
What else should you keep in mind while looking for Disney characters?
Not every Disney character will be featured in a character dining experience. Also, Disney may hold special character dining experiences throughout the year. You can use your My Disney Experience app to find out if a character you want to see is available for a meet & greet inside the theme parks if they are not featured as part of character dining.
When is the best time of year for the Disney character meals?
I personally do not think there is the best time for character dining. However, some restaurants do decorate for the holidays. So if you are visiting Walt Disney World during the Christmas season you may be able to see Christmas trees and other decorations in the restaurants.
So there you have it, a complete guide to character dining at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Let us know what your favorite character dining location at Walt Disney World is in the comments!