With most experiences in Walt Disney World one thing if for sure; you are going to have choices to make. Which park should we visit today, what attractions should we avoid, what characters should we see, what snack should we enjoy next, or one of the most common questions asked; where should we eat? Choosing a restaurant is one of the biggest and most enjoyable decisions you’ll make before you visit Walt Disney World. After all, dining at Walt Disney World is a big part of your family’s vacation itinerary.
If you are a first time visitor or a family that visits Disney World on occasion chances are you’ve decided a character meal is a must. Paying a visit to the head cheese, the main mouse, or his spouse (Minnie Mouse) is an absolute must. Maybe Mickey or Minnie are not on your radar. Your son or daughter may have expressed they wish to see their most favorite Disney character like Stitch, Goofy, Pluto, or even a princess. In most cases it’s not necessarily the location, the food reviews, or the restaurant’s theme that drives your choice of which character meal to choose. Most choices are driven by the characters who attend the meal with you.
Let me go on record right now by saying I feel character meals at Disney World are overpriced for what you get, but I do understand why they are popular. They are a great way to meet and have some personal time with your favorite characters. Character meals can also save you some time by combining your dining and character meet and greets together. You won’t have to wait in a long line inside the theme park if you’ve already seen Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, or Chip & Dale. Since you’ve already dined and seen your characters you can focus more on park attractions and other experiences.
So how can you make the most of your character meals at Walt Disney World while easing the burden of the big check that awaits you after you’ve dined? Here are a few tips to consider.
Here are my top 5 character meal locations at Walt Disney World based on price, food quality, theme, and character interaction. It should be noted that character meal experiences can vary day-to-day depending on Cast Member situations, staffing, food quality, and crowd levels, but I’ve found these five locations to be consistently good.
Number 5 – 1900 Park Fare
Located off the lobby at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort this character meal features Alice in Wonderland characters at breakfast and Cinderella and her royal lineup at dinner. Like the entire resort this restaurant features a Victorian theme.
Number 4 – Chef Mickey’s
Located in the Grand Canyon Concourse (4th Floor) of Disney’s Contemporary Resort some guests refer to this location as the flagship of character meals. It is very popular because of its proximity to the Magic Kingdom and the Mickey Mouse and friends character lineup. Mickey and his pals are dressed in their cooking attire ready to prepare a delicious feast for your family during breakfast and dinner.
Number 3 – Crystal Palace
Located inside the Magic Kingdom this location features Winnie the Pooh and his friends in a turn of the century setting. This is a very large restaurant that can accommodate several guests during breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is a very popular location and reservations can fill-up fast.
Number 2 – Cape May Café
Goofy and his pals are ready to have some fun in the sun with you as your family enjoys a delicious breakfast. Located in the lobby of Disney’s Beach Club Resort the characters are dressed appropriately in their beach attire in a sand, surf, and beach themed setting.
Number 1 – Tusker House
Jambo! Welcome to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Tucked away towards the back of the park in the Africa section the Tusker House is home to Mickey Mouse and his friends in an African themed village setting. Characters only appear during breakfast. This is a large restaurant and usually has good availability. Be sure to request some Monkey Juice or Jungle Juice (aka Dole fruit juice) when you are first greeted by your server.
Do you have any character meal tips to share? Do you feel another character meal is worth your time and money? Please leave a comment in the discussion forum below. There are several ideas and opinions to share. With the amount of choices available to guests at Disney World it can be difficult to make decisions; especially in the last minute. So do your homework, come prepared, and get ready to enjoy two Disney World experiences at the same time; food and characters.
Next Up: Resort hopping continues as I visit a place with an address adjacent to the Magic Kingdom.
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