If she could, my Frying Pan would skip the rides and shows and just meet characters all day long. For her, the perfect Disney trip is morning to night of interactions with her favorite princess and furry friends. She gets so into it, she even starts hugging the cast members who are the handlers of the characters.
The good news for her is that unique character experiences is one of the things Disney does best. Cast members are trained extensively in details about their characters: how they walk, talk, how they would respond in any situation. Interacting with characters at Disney is an immersive experience because the cast members excel at finding magical moments with each guest they interact with.
All four parks host character meet and greet opportunities in a variety of themed locations both indoor and out. Some characters meet in the same place every day, while some characters rotate and can only be found on certain days or even at certain times. A few select character experiences have FastPass, but most are standby.
But even if you’re not heading to the parks, you can still get some good face time with your favorite Disney stars by enjoying a character meal at one of the Disney owned resorts.
There are currently six resorts that offer character meals, all of them Deluxes. You do not have to be a guest of the Disney resort to enjoy a meal there. In fact, you don’t even have to be on a Disney vacation. If you are in Orlando and feel like having a waffle with Stitch, you can bebop over to Ohana’s at the Polynesian Resort for breakfast with everyone’s favorite Elvis loving alien.
Enjoying a character meal gives guests the opportunity to spend more quality time with their favorite Disney characters while also enjoying a delicious meal. Instead of standing in line or using one of your precious FastPasses, you can relax in comfort with the characters coming to your table during their visitation rotation.
A few quick tips:
- These meals are in demand so it is highly recommend that you take advantage of the 180 reservation day window and make your reservations as soon as possible.
- If you are driving to the resort, you will tell the Cast Member at the gate you have a dining reservation. You have a 3 hour window where you can park for free if you are dining at the resort.
- Characters are subject to change. While it’s pretty certain you will get the character whose name is in the meal description (Ie Chef Mickey’s) the rotating secondary characters may alternate.
- Some resort restaurants only have character meals at one time of day (breakfast or dinner). Be sure you are checking that characters are available during your reservation times.
- The prices of meals will vary by time of the year (peak vs regular vs value season) and by day of the week (weekends tend to be a little pricier than weekdays) and also just cuz Disney’s gonna do Disney. The prices listed are an estimate based on recent menus. These prices do not included gratuity, though an automatic gratuity of 18% will be added for a table of 6 or more.
Best Friend’s Breakfast at ‘Ohana at the Polynesian, featuring Lilo and Stitch, and friends
Bon Voyage Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno at the Boardwalk, featuring Ariel and Prince Eric, and Rapunzel and Flynn
Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary, featuring Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, and Donald
Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian, featuring Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, Anastasia, Drizella
Minnie’s Beach Bash at Cape May Cafe at the Beach Club, featuring Minnie, Donald, Daisy, and GoofyPerfectly
Princess Tea at 1900 Park Fare, the Grand Floridian, featuring Aurora, the Sleeping Beauty
Storybook Dining at Artist Point at the Wilderness Lodge, featuring Snow White, Grumpy, Dopey, and the Evil Queen
Supercaligragilistic Breakfast at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian, featuring Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter, Winnie the Pooh, and Tigger
Wonderland Tea Party at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian, featuring Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter
Which of these character meals is your favorite? Which one are you dying to try? What character meal would you like to see that doesn’t exist yet? What resort would it be located inside? Give me all your best Imagineering thoughts in the comments!
Kristen B. is wife to the best Prince around, mama to the spunkiest little princesses, and lover of all things Disney. She started her savings journey five years ago and is now dedicated to making her family’s wishes come true one coupon at a time. She is so excited to take her love of saving to the next level and share her journey with you! Click here to catch up on Kristen’s Savings and join in on your own savings adventure!