Mickey Mouse at Tusker House for Lunch - Animal Kingdom
Mickey Mouse at Tusker House for Lunch - Animal Kingdom

Top 10 Character Dining Experiences at Disney World

Characters are a huge part of a Disney World vacation. One of the easiest ways to meet characters is with a character meal. And the best part is, you don’t even have to wait in line! Disney offers many unique character meals throughout its theme parks and resorts and feature a range of different characters. Here are the top 10 character dining experiences at Disney World.

1. Chef Mickey’s

Chef Mickey’s is the ultimate character meal. Located in the Contemporary Resort, this all-you-care-to-eat buffet is open for both breakfast and dinner. It features some of the most popular Disney characters such as, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Pluto. Plus, the monorail is so close you can even see it from the restaurant! But be aware, reservations fill up fast!

2. Cape May Cafe

If you’re looking for a similar experience to Chef Mickey’s that’s not as crowded, Cape May is a good option. Located in Disney’s Beach Club Resort, this option features Goofy and friends all dressed in beach attire! But just so you know, characters only appear during breakfast, but the buffet-style restaurant is open for dinner also, without characters. If you’re looking for a fun beach themed breakfast with some classic Disney characters, Cape May is perfect for you!

3. Tusker House

If a less pricey choice suits your family better, Tusker House is a great alternative to both Chef Mickey’s and Cape May Café. This buffet style restaurant is located in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and features Donald Duck and friends for breakfast and lunch only. The menu offers traditional American foods with a touch of African flare. But remember, you need park admission to attend this buffet!

4. Cinderella’s Royal Table

What could be more fabulous than having a meal right inside Cinderella’s Castle at Magic Kingdom? Well, if you happen to be lucky enough to score a reservation at Cinderella’s Royal Table, you are in for a royal treat! Meals here are served family style and features Cinderella and many other Disney princesses. This restaurant fills up fast, so definitely book ahead!

5. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall

If you didn’t happen to be one of the lucky ones to score a reservation for Cinderella’s Royal Table, Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in Epcot is another great option. This restaurant also offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner and guests will have a chance to meet princesses such as Cinderella, Snow White, Belle, Ariel, Princess Aurora, or even Mary Poppins. Guests can enjoy a breakfast filled with traditional American favorites and unique Norwegian dishes for lunch and dinner.

6. 1900 Park Fare

If you’re looking for more of a variety of characters, 1900 Park fare would be a perfect choice. Breakfast and dinner meals can include characters such as Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, The Mad Hatter, Tigger, and Winnie the Pooh. This buffet is fun for guests of all ages and is usually a less crowded option. It is located inside the Grand Floridian Resort, so it’s a perfect stop to or from the Magic Kingdom.

7. Ohana

If you like the idea of having reservations for a restaurant right on the monorail loop, Ohana is also worth considering. It’s located inside the Polynesian Resort, which is one monorail ride away from Magic Kingdom. This character meal is served family style with visits from Lilo, Stich and other friends. Although characters will only appear during breakfast, dinner is filled with tons of family entertainment.

8. Crystal Palace

This beautiful Victorian themed restaurant is a winner for any Winnie the Pooh lover in your family. This buffet lets guests meet Winnie the Pooh and friends for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Not only is it located right inside the Magic Kingdom, but you also have a chance at getting into the park before it’s open to the public. Just make an early breakfast reservation! This buffet is also one of the less expensive options, with a fantastic location. It’s definitely worth a try!

9. The Garden Grill

This is probably one of the more unique character dining experiences in Disney World. For starters, it is located in Epcot and gives guests a chance to taste some food that may have been grown right there in the theme park! Also, the restaurant itself rotates while you are eating. While you are enjoying your family style meal, Chip ‘n Dale and other friends will join you as well. The Garden Grill is only open for dinner, which is a perfect ending to a long day in the park.

10. Hollywood and Vine

If you have little ones in tow, Hollywood and Vine in Disney’s Hollywood Studios is perfect! Join Disney Junior characters for both breakfast and lunch. This buffet is unique because it is one of the only restaurants where Disney Junior characters will appear. It’s a perfect way to start your day or take a mid-day break.

As you can see, there are a variety of different character dining experiences throughout Disney World. Whether you are looking for a breakfast, lunch or dinner reservation, there are plenty of options that will fit your family’s needs! Remember, you can book up to 180 days in advance. So if one of these popular character meals sparks your interest, book ahead! Also, if a restaurant is located inside a theme park, you do need valid park admission to enter.

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Chip at Garden Grill

Chip at Garden Grill

Minnie at Cape May Cafe

Minnie at Cape May Cafe

Character Dining at the Grand Floridian Resort's 1900 Park Fare

Character Dining at the Grand Floridian Resort’s 1900 Park Fare

About Meghann McFadden

Writing has always been my passion. I have had an interest in writing ever since I was young. Similarly, I have always loved Disney. There is not a day that goes by that I'm not reading or watching something about Disney. I am currently finishing up my bachelor’s degree and working as well. I live right outside of Chicago, but visit Walt Disney World Resort several times a year.