Whether you are a small child or an adult, there is a joy that is present with everyone when they get to experience any of the Character Dining Experiences at Walt Disney World. For an adult, it takes you back to your childhood, or maybe you are enjoying the sight of seeing joy through your children’s eyes. If you are a child, this might be your hero, your best friend, and the characters that you watch repeatedly in your favorite movie. For a child, they are the real deal.
So where can you find the best Character Dining Experiences at Walt Disney World?
Well, here are some of our favorite Character Dining Experiences that we highly recommend that you try.
Meet the Princesses at Cinderella’s Royal Table (Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom)
This dining experience will cost you two table service credits per person, so it is not cheap, but to do this experience at least once in your life, is well worth it. Once you are checked in at the host stand, you will wait with your party on the bottom story of the restaurant. Here, everyone gets to meet Cinderella in a one-on-one setting, with her giving ample time to spend with each guest. Once your table is ready, you will be escorted upstairs to the main dining hall of the restaurant via the elevator. Here you will have a magical dining experience because you get to meet almost every single Disney Princess.
Meeting all of the Princesses!
The last time we were able to go, we met Ariel, Jasmine, Aurora, Rapunzel, Snow White, Belle, and of course Cinderella. The venue does state that character experiences are always subject to change and can be different. We haven’t been back since Frozen came out, so I’m sure that it is quite possible Elsa and Anna make an appearance. The experience was magical as you are truly dining inside the Castle – so beautiful architecture and stained glass windows all around while meeting Disney Princesses is a must. We do notate that while the food is not the best, this is a must-do at least one time while at Disney World – especially if you have a small child who is into Disney Princesses.
The Crystal Palace with Winnie the Pooh and Friends (Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom)
This dining experience is buffet-style, so the meal goes quickly, but you can go at your own pace. You never feel rushed, so feel free to truly enjoy yourself and go back for more. You get to meet all of Winnie the Pooh and all his friends- Eeyore, Tigger, and Piglet. Every single character spent ample time with my daughter, laughing, dancing, and playing around. After they spend time with each child throughout the evening, they do also have a follow the leader type song and dance throughout the restaurant. The entire place is very casual where you can have a great experience in a relaxed environment. This restaurant experience will cost you 1 Table Service Credit if dining on the Disney Dining Plan, but for no wait for the character meet and greet, we highly recommend it.
The Garden Grill Restaurant with Disney Characters (Epcot’s Land Pavilion)
This table service restaurant is one of the coolest experiences. Not only is the food great, and served family-style, the restaurant offers meet and greets with Chip and Dale, and at least two other Disney Characters. We met Donald Duck and Mickey at this restaurant. The restaurant also is a rotating restaurant with different scenes to look at, which are scenes also viewable from the “Living with the Land” boat ride in Epcot’s Land Pavilion. The Garden Grill slowly rotates around scenes of a prairie, sandstorm, rainstorm, rainforest, and farmhouse. We highly recommend this restaurant to families of all ages.
Hollywood and Vine Buffet with Disney Characters (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)
This restaurant is one of our favorites. Not only does it have great food in a casual buffet setting, but it also hosts several Disney Characters. This location hosts a Disney Junior character dining experience for their breakfast buffet, with favorites like Princess Sofia and Vampirina. It also hosts select seasonal dining packages with Minnie Mouse and Friends. This is a very popular restaurant inside Hollywood Studios as it is the only one that has Character Dining inside this park. We recommend you book reservations as early as possible (6 months in advance if staying on property) and try to get there early in the day, so that you can enjoy the rest of the park afterward, like Toy Story Land.
Some of the other popular places to see Characters that are highly ranked for Disney Fans are, that we haven’t been to (but are scheduled soon) are:
Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (Epcot – Norway Pavillion)
Visiting Akershus Royal Banquet Hall gives you the best chance to meet Cinderella, Belle, Ariel, Snow White, and Aurora while not spending as much as many other similar dining experiences (only 1 Disney Dining Plan credit).
1900 Park Fare – at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
Here you can meet Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, The Mad Hatter, Tigger, and Winnie the Pooh all while enjoying an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet. They are also open for dinner options as well.
Chef Mickey’s – at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
You will meet Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto, and Goofy while dining in an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet.
Here you will dine in an all-you-can-eat buffet while meeting Lilo and Stich for breakfast. This restaurant has an amazing dinner menu, but the characters are not scheduled for dinner.
Have you been to any of these Character Experiences? Which ones were your favorites? Let us know which ones you’ll be trying soon!
Oh yeah, we have an amazing community of Disney World Fanatics hanging out on our Facebook Page. If you want to join us and thousands of other Disney World Enthusiasts to get all of your Disney Vacation questions answered, check out our Facebook Group – Disney World Questions and Answers.