Disney Character Meals allow you to combine the best of two worlds – character interaction, and FOOD! They are great for those of all ages, and are a perfect way to meet multiple characters at one time!
Character meals are a staple of Disney World vacationing, and I highly recommend you try at least one during your trip. There are usually a variety of characters (between 3 and 5) and they move from table to table and give autographs and hugs and pose for pictures with you. It’s great fun, and will definitely make the adults feel like kids again!
There are a lot of character meal options to choose from at Walt Disney World, so trying to figure out which one(s) to make reservations for can be quite the task. But fear not, as I am about to break it down for you.
Questions to ask yourself when picking your character meals:
Where Will I Be? You’ll want to try and pick your character meals based on which Park you will be visiting on that particular day. For example, if you are planning a day at the Magic Kingdom, you would probably want to pick a character meal in the Park (like Crystal Palace or Cinderella’s Royal Table), or a meal at a closeby Resort on the monorail line, like 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian Resort, or Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort, or the Lilo and Stitch Best Friends Breakfast at ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Knowing which meals are available at the Park you’ll be spending the day in, or at the surrounding Resort Hotels can be a huge timesaver! Otherwise, you will be spending most of your day traveling to get to your character meal, which can definitely take some of the magic out of the experience
How Much Can I Spend? Cost is always a factor, especially when feeding your whole family while on vacation at Walt Disney World, where the prices tend to be slightly higher than at home. Most character meals will run in the $15-20 range for children and $25-30 for adults for braekfast/lunch, and dinner will cost around $35-40 per child and $40-45 per adult (with Cinderella’s Royal Table being the exception to this rule, starting at $35 per child and $55 per adult). Since lunch is usually cheaper than dinner and often offers similar meal options, I recommend booking a late lunch to avoid crowds and higher prices
When Should I eat? Most families have a standard dinner time, and those with young children will probably want to try and keep that similar schedule while on vacation. Unfortunately for them, they won’t be the only ones trying to do so, and not only do the popular times for character meals fill up first, but they are also much more crowded as a result, which means waiting in line at buffets and potentially slow service. Those who are able to eat at “off” times (think late or early meals) will benefit from smaller crowds and an overall more pleasant experience. I have personally found the first reservation of the day for breakfast works out well, as does a late (think 3 or 4 pm) lunch or early dinner (like 5 pm)
What Meal Should I Pick? This kind of goes along with what time to eat, as well as the cost, but it also has to do with your personal eating preferences as well, if you are a huge breakfast fan than you will love a Disney character meal breakfast buffet, and in my personal opinion Disney does breakfast VERY well and it’s often the best meal of the day in the Parks. There’s also another part to this question, that being what kind of meal service would you and your party prefer? Many of the meals are buffets, others are served family style (meaning they bring platters of food to your table and you can have as much as you want), while others are sit down meals. We prefer buffets as they offer the biggest variety, but those traveling with small children might want to consider a served meal, so they aren’t having to constantly get up and get food for everyone and risk missing character interactions in the process
Who Am I Eating With? Have a huge princess fan in your party, or maybe a Winnie The Pooh Fanatic? Luckily Disney has you covered, with a variety of meals and characters to please everyone in your party!
Once you have narrowed the choices down to your top character meal picks, you better make sure you make those Advance Dining Reservations (or ADR’s) 180 days before your trip, as these meals are extremely popular and book up fast!
What about you – have you tried Disney character meals? Which one is your favorite?
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