by Morgan Flaherty
Did you know that Disney World is home to more than 200 restaurants? The resort is home to quick-service dining, table-service dining, and everything in between. A range of dining types is also available, like Disney character dining.
Character dining is a unique experience in Disney World, where you can have a meal with your favorite characters. These unique dining experiences often include photo opportunities, autograph signing, and interactions with characters, creating magical moments for the entire family.
It should be noted that character dining is incredibly popular, and reservations often go fast. You can make an advanced dining reservation on the Disney World website, with reservations available up to 60 days before your arrival. If you have a valid Disney World Resort hotel reservation, you can also make reservations for the entire length of your stay (up to a 10-night visit) up to 60 days in advance of the day of your arrival.1
Here are some of the top character dining options at Disney World.
Location: Disney’s Contemporary Resort2
Characters: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck, and Pluto
Menu highlights: Mickey Waffles, seasonal fruit, prime rib, and sundae bar
Dine with the Fab Five at Chef Mickey’s in Disney’s Contemporary Resort! This buffet includes plenty of family favorites for breakfast, including Mickey Waffles, omelets, and pastries. At dinner, you can enjoy meals like a N.Y. strip loin, mac and cheese, and veggie stir fry noodles.
You’ll get to dine with Mickey and his friends in their chef outfits at both meals. With lots of music and napkin twirling, this is a lively meal with lots of noise, so kids looking for a more peaceful meal may want to consider another option.
Location: Magic Kingdom3
Characters: Cinderella, Ariel, Aurora, Snow White, and Jasmine
All with a prix-fixe menu:
Menu highlights: Shrimp and grits, beef tenderloin, and Clock Strikes Twelve (dark chocolate mousse dessert with a caramel and crunchy praline center)
Cinderella’s Royal Table lets you dine inside Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom. At your meal, you’ll get to eat with several princesses, including Cinderella herself.
Each meal offers a prix-fixe menu, where you’ll choose an appetizer, entrées, two sides, and a dessert (or a pastry plate and entrée for breakfast). The restaurant is a pricier option, but it’s worth a trip if you have a fan of Disney princesses in your party.
Location: Magic Kingdom4
Characters: Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, and Eeyore
Menu highlights: Puffed French toast, peel-and-eat shrimp, and warm bread pudding
Located off Main Street, U.S.A., in Magic Kingdom, Crystal Palace is a buffet-style character dining experience that features Winnie the Pooh and friends in a Victorian greenhouse setting.
For breakfast, you’ll pick traditional fare, such as French toast, while lunch and dinner feature items such as carved meats and salads.
The atmosphere is bright and cheery, and the location in Magic Kingdom can’t be beaten for families with younger children looking to get an early start to the day.
Location: Norway Pavilion in EPCOT5
Characters: Belle, Ariel, Aurora, Snow White, and Cinderella
Menu highlights: Norwegian smorgasbord, grilled filet of salmon, and Royal Norwegian Kjøttkake
Akershus Royal Banquet Hall offers a unique character dining experience in EPCOT’s Norway Pavilion, where guests can enjoy Norwegian-inspired cuisine while meeting Disney princesses.
The menu features a variety of Scandinavian dishes, such as the Norwegian smorgasbord for breakfast and traditional Norwegian meatballs (kjøttkake) for lunch and dinner.
The setting is more relaxed than other character dining meals, and a great chance to meet Disney princesses. But if you have a picky eater with you, look over the menu beforehand to ensure they will enjoy something.
Location: The Land Pavilion in EPCOT6
Characters: Mickey Mouse, Pluto, Chip’ n’ Dale
Menu highlights: Chip’s Sticky Bun Bake, grilled beef with chimichurri, and berry shortcake
Located at EPCOT’s Land Pavilion, Garden Grill offers a family-style dining experience with Mickey Mouse and his pals in a particularly unique setting. Garden Grill is a (very slowly) rotating restaurant that gives you different views of settings with the Living with the Land ride below.
The menu for each meal features ingredients grown within the Land Pavilion, with highlights like Chip’s Sticky Bun Bake for breakfast, grilled beef with chimichurri for lunch and dinner, and berry shortcake for dessert.
The special setting and classic characters you can meet make this an excellent option for all ages in the family.
Location: Disney’s Hollywood Studios7
Characters: Varies by season (Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, and more)
Menu highlights: Omelet station, lobster mac and cheese, and s’mores dessert
Hollywood & Vine offers a seasonal character dining experience, where the theme and characters change throughout the year (including Halloween, spring, etc.). The buffet-style menu includes a range of American favorites, such as an omelet station for breakfast, lobster mac and cheese for lunch and dinner, and a delicious s’mores dessert.
Themed decorations and character costumes make each visit to Hollywood & Vine a unique and entertaining experience and the only character dining experience available in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Location: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park8
Characters: Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Mickey Mouse, and Goofy
Menu highlights: Banana bread French toast, peri-peri marinated salmon, and coconut-curry chicken stew
Tusker House Restaurant is in the Africa section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom and offers a character dining experience featuring Donald Duck and friends dressed up in safari outfits.
The buffet-style menu features a mix of African-inspired dishes and American classics, with options like banana bread, French toast for breakfast, peri-peri marinated salmon for lunch and dinner, and a flavorful coconut-curry chicken stew.
The menu is slightly more adventurous than others on this list, so you will want to review it with your party before booking.
Location: Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort9
Characters: Lilo, Stitch, Mickey, and Pluto
Menu highlights: Mickey waffles, scrambled eggs, ham with pineapple
‘Ohana is a popular restaurant at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, featuring family-style dining with Polynesian flavors. Currently, the restaurant offers breakfast and dinner, but it’s important to note that only breakfast offers a character dining experience.
The family-style breakfast feast includes breakfast potatoes, Mickey and Stitch waffles, and ham with pineapple. You’ll get to meet Lilo, Stitch, and characters like Mickey and Pluto. Even better, you’re just a short Monorail ride away from Magic Kingdom after!
Location: Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort10
Characters: Snow White, Evil Queen, Seven Dwarfs
Menu highlights: Wild mushroom bisque, royal prime rib roast, “Poison” Apple
Story Book Dining is a unique character dining experience at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. Step into an enchanted forest for a prix-fixe dinner where you can meet Snow White, the Evil Queen, and the Seven Dwarfs as you eat.
Themed bites include picks such as the Magic Mirror’s slow-braised pork shank, Brother’s Grimm herbed chicken, and wicked shrimp cocktail. The option is unique and is only available for dinner. It is a pricier option, but it may be worth it if you have members of your party who love Snow White.
Location: Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort11
Characters: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck
Menu highlights: Fresh pastries, sour cream waffle, smoked salmon
Hop over to Disney’s Riviera Resort for a character breakfast at Topolino’s Terrace. Breakfast à la Art with Mickey & Friends features Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy dressed in their creative best. The prix-fixe menu offers an array of options for breakfast. While the restaurant also serves dinner, characters are only available during breakfast, and the dinner menu switches to a la carte.
The restaurant is on top of the Riviera Resort, giving you a beautiful view of parts of EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The menu is fancier at this Disney World character dining option, so keep that in mind if you’ll be dining with picky eaters.
Location: Disney’s Beach Club Resort12
Characters: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy
Menu highlights: Mickey Mouse waffles, sausage, scrambled eggs
Join Minnie Mouse and friends for Minnie’s Beach Bash Breakfast, a beach-inspired character meal where you can dine on breakfast favorites while meeting a handful of beloved characters.
You can partake in the buffet at breakfast, including options like Mickey Mouse waffles, seasoned potatoes, and eggs. While the dinner option is also a buffet, it does not include characters. Instead, dinner is the Seafood-and-More Dinner Buffet.
There’s no lack of character dining experiences to enjoy at Disney World. From princesses to classic Disney characters, there’s a character dining experience for everyone. Just make sure to book your spot in advance because this type of dining is incredibly popular in Disney World!
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