Disney World Character Meals are a great way to meet the charters at a more leisurely pace. The surroundings are fun and kid-friendly and the characters come right to your table where you can talk to them and take pictures. Unfortunately, lot of times with character meals, you know going in you’re going to sacrifice food quality for atmosphere and character interaction.
Is it worth it to you? And are there character meals with good food? Here’s my personal top five:
5. Chef Mickey’s. Located in the Contemporary Resort, Chef Mickey’s serves breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet-style. After Cinderella’s Royal Table, it’s the most difficult character dining reservation to get. The food is plentiful, hot, and, for the most part, good. It’s not gourmet, but it’s a step up from what you’ll find at a buffet in your home town, say something like a Ryan’s or a Golden Corral. At Chef Mickey’s you’ll meet the Big Five: Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, and Donald. I find the character interaction here to be some of the best on property. It’s a must-do for families with little kids.
4. Crystal Palace. At Crystal Palace (pictured above), located in the Magic Kingdom, you’ll meet Winnie the Pooh and friends in a cheerful, airy room with plenty of windows and light. The food is similar to what you’ll find at Chef Mickey’s: Roasted meats, veggies, salads, cold cuts, Pasta, and desserts. This meal was something of a surprise to me, as I mainly picked it because I’d always wanted to eat there, so I didn’t have any notions about what to expect from the characters. I ended up loving the character interaction here. Piglet especially was very engaging with our three children. I also have to mention the cast members who were really great and deserved every penny of their tips. If you’re looking for a nice place to cool off in the Magic Kingdom and for an opportunity for you children to meet these characters, who can be somewhat difficult to find in the parks, this is a great choice.
3. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall. Located in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot and costing only one table service credit, this meal gives you the most bang for your buck if you want to see as many princesses as possible, including some rarer ones like Mulan. As an added bonus, the food is really good and the service is probably some of the best you’ll find. Don’t be put off by some of the Norwegian specialties on the menu. There are plenty of choices for everyone, even for picky kids. The last time we were there, we saw Ariel, Aurora, Snow White, Cinderella, and Jasmine. Each princess spent a nice amount of time at our table and posed for pictures. My kids loved it. Like most character meals it can get a little busy, but I thought the way the dining room is broken up helped make it feel more cozy.
2. 1900 Park Fare. Located in the Grand Floridian, this character dinner is sort of an outlier and maybe that’s part of it’s charm. Not only is the food really good, the characters really go all out here. Sure, you’ll see Cinderella and her Prince, but the real treat is her Stepmother, Madame Tremaine, and her Stepsisters, Anastasia and Drizella, who go all out and deliver a fun and campy performance. This dinner, which features grilled meats, pastas, and salads, is usually one of the easier character buffets to get a reservation for as it’s fairly low on guest’s radar. If your little Princess has her heart set on seeing Cinderella, this might be you best bet for character interaction.
1. Cinderella’s Royal Table. The most difficult reservation to get in all Disney World, this meal in Cinderella’s castle is so popular you’ll want to call first thing in the morning at 180 days out. I thought a lot about where to put this one, because I’m not crazy about the food, but in the end it all came down to location. Sure, the food isn’t all that great and let’s be honest: At two table service credits or $57.19 per adult (plus taxes and gratuity), it’s really expensive. But the point is, you’re here to meet Cinderella in her castle and for a lot of people, that makes it worth it and for this reason, I have to include it as the number one character meal in Disney World. The price includes a photo with Cinderella herself. Entrees include grilled salmon and pork chops, sandwiches, and pastas.
For more character meals check out this link.
How about you? Do you have a favorite character meal? We’d love to hear about it in the comments section.
Disney World is the Most Magical Place On Earth. Be sure to learn how to make the most of your trip by reading the Disney World Training series. You can also browse all the articles I have written in an easy to use outline. And if you are ready to book your trip, be sure to read about the perks of using an authorized Disney vacation planner (plus it’s FREE!).