For those of you who have planned a trip to Walt Disney World before, you know how important it is to plan where you are going to eat, and to make your Advance Dining Reservations (or ADR’s). The hard part comes in trying to narrow down all the great places to eat to just the select few you will dine at on your WDW vacation (because, sadly, you can’t eat at them all in one trip, although that would be great if you could!).
Character meals are a great choice for adults and kids alike, as they generally offer great food in a fun atmosphere, with the added bonus of built in opportunities to meet some of your favorite Disney characters! Below are my top 3 character meal picks for character meals in the Theme Parks:
Princess Storybook Dining: Located at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in Epcot’s Norway Pavillion, this is the spot to meet all your favorite Disney Princesses, including Belle, Jasmine, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and the occasional visit from Ariel as well. Breakfast is served family style (where platters of food are brought directly to your table and you can have as many refills as you want!) and includes pretty standard breakfast fare – eggs, bacon/sausage, potatoes/biscuits/cinnamon rolls. Lunch and Dinner include an appetizer buffet of salads/cold cuts etc, and you then select an entree from a set list of about 6-8 choices (including some traditional Norwegian fare!), and assorted desserts are served family style. The real draw here is getting to meet all the Princesses in one place- many people find this as a great alternative to the more popular (and therefore harder to get an ADR for) Cinderella’s Royal Table.
Tusker House: Located in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, this safari themed breakfast starring Donald is fun for those of all ages. Dressed in safari gear, Donald is joined by Daisy, Goofy, and Minnie for this breakfast buffet. The characters here are really great, but the real star is the food – Biscuits and sausage gravy, frittatas, corned beef hash, cheese blintzes, oatmeal/porridge, warm banana cinnamon bread pudding with vanilla sauce…the list goes on! In addition to all those mouth watering eats, they also serve some more standard breakfast items, like muffins/pastries, eggs, breakfast meats, and more! I can’t imagine a more perfect start to a day full of Animal Kingdom fun that to have a delicious breakfast with Donald and friends at Tusker House! They also serve a character lunch (with some yummy BBQ and African items!), as well as dinner – which includes delicious food but no characters
Crystal Palace: With a great location right inside the Main Street USA area of the Magic Kingdom, the Crystal Palace is a really popular dining spot. Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eyeore and Piglet make the rounds during breakast, lunch, and dinner, which are all served buffet-style. The line for a fresh Mickey Waffle at breakfast time is worth the wait, or try some of their other offerings like delicious pastries, eggs, fresh fruit, and assorted other hot fresh goodies! Lunch and dinner offer a wide variety of salads, vegetable dishes and sides, carved meat stations, and mouth watering desserts. My family and I always eat at the Crystal Palace, and it is my favorite character dining experience – the characters are great, and the food has always been amazing and fresh at every meal I’ve eaten there
Honorable mention: Cinderella’s Royal Table – There are two reasons this Princess-studded character meal only gets an honorable mention – 1. It is a Signature Dining Experience, which means it is more expensive than the other character meals mentioned above, and if you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, it will cost you 2 Table Service Credits per person to dine here (whereas all of the above are 1 Table Service meals), and 2. It is one of the hardest meals to get a reservation for in all of Walt Disney World – with good reason, I mean really, what little Prince or Princess wouldn’t want to dine IN Cinderella’s Castle, and be greeted by Cinderella herself? Another perk to the meal is that the price of the meal includes a photo package (1-8×10 and 4-4×6 photos) of your party posed with Cinderella as she greets you upon your arrival at the Castle. Once upstairs, you will get the chance to meet Ariel, Aurora, Belle, Jasmine, Snow White, and the Fairy Godmother (Disney doesn’t guarantee that all of the Princesses will be at any given meal, but you will get to meet 4 or 5 of them for sure). Breakfast is served family style, and is the usual Disney breakfast fare of eggs, pancakes/french toast/waffles, assorted meats and pastries, etc. Lunch and Dinner are a little different, in that you choose an appetizer, entree, and dessert from a set menu. It really is a unique experience, and you really get the Royal Treatment at Cinderella’s Royal Table. I was lucky enough to get to have dinner here on my honeymoon, and loved every minute of it!
Click Here for a rundown of all the character dining options available at WDW, and if you’re thinking you would rather take a break from the busy Parks at mealtime while still enjoying the company of some Disney Characters, then check out my Top 3 Character Meals at the WDW Resorts Article
- Where To Find The Best Character Meals At The Disney World Resorts (chipandco.com)
- What is a Signature Restaurant? (chipandco.com)