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Character Dining Experiences at the Disney World Parks

Introduction: One of the main reasons to visit Disney World? Besides the rides, of course. The characters! One of the best ways to meet some of your favorite Disney characters is through character dining experiences. The character dining experiences are inevitably a more expensive way to meet the characters, but you get to skip the lines, area guaranteed to meet the characters, and get a meal out of it! There are many different character dining experiences scattered throughout the four Disney World parks and you can meet anyone from Cinderella and Mary Poppins to Winnie the Pooh. Find everything you need to know about character dining experiences at the parks below.

Character Dining Experiences at the Magic Kingdom

The Crystal Palace

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Piglet at the Crystal Palace.

The Crystal Palace is where you can find Pooh and his hundred acre woods friends. Sitting just off of Main Street U.S.A. you will find the restaurant with its beautiful, tall glass windows, colorful floral decorations, and character topiaries. The meal is set up as an all you can eat buffet with traditional American Cuisine. 

While you eat each of the four hundred acre woods characters will make their way to your table for photos and autograph signing. Every once in a while (every hour I believe) music will start and the characters will parade around the restaurant, inviting guests to join in with them. Another perk of the Crystal Palace Dining Experience-if you schedule the meal in the morning you will be able to enter the Magic Kingdom before it opens. Plan on spending at least an hour for this experience.

Meals Offered: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Characters: Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet, Tigger

Price Range: $25 – $50 for adults and $15 – $30 for children

Cinderella’s Royal Table

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Dine in elegance at the iconic Cinderella castle centered in the middle of the Magic Kingdom. Guests will meet Cinderella in the Grand Hall before climbing the spiral staircase to the rather quaint but majestic banquet hall. While eating you will be greeted by Disney Princesses, but which ones varies from meal to meal. 

Cinderella’s Royal Table is a menu based meal with 6-8 entree options. Most meal options are meat based, such as chicken or beef, but there is a vegetarian plant based protein bowl available. There are also plenty of kids menu options, so there is something for everyone. Plan on spending at least 60 minutes for this dining experience.

Meals Offered: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Characters: Varies, but may include Ariel, Aurora, Cinderella, Snow White, and/or Jasmine.

Price Range: $57.00 – $70.00 for adults and $35 – $45 for kids

Be Our Guest

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Be Our Guest is one of the most popular and sought after dining experiences in Disney World.  The reason, I feel, can be more contributed to the stunning castle background more so than the food itself. The food is average and not even one of the best in the Disney Parks, but the castle will make you feel like you are in the Beast’s castle. The lunch/dinner meal is much more sophisticated with 3 course menu options. For the dinner meal you will be greeted by the Beast himself. 

The castle is divided into three separate rooms: the Grand Ballroom, The West Wing, and the Castle Gallery. The Grand Ballroom is gorgeous and looks like it is straight out of a fairy tale. The West Wing is where you will find the rose within the glass, and the Castle Gallery is the plainest and least popular of the three. It is a quick service restaurant so we were able to choose our own seats. 

Meals Offered: Dinner (open for breakfast and lunch with no characters)

Characters: The Beast

Price Range: $15 – 20 per entree. For the 3 course dining experience it is $62 for adults and $37 for children.

Plan your trip to the Magic Kingdom!

Character Dining Experiences at Epcot

The Garden Grill

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One of the most unique character dining experiences at Disney World, the Garden Grill is a revolving dining room with views of Living with The Land. Guests will also be greeted by Chip N Dale and on occasion farmer Mickey and Pluto. 

The Garden Grill is a family style all you can eat buffet. Many of the vegetables served at the Garden Grill are grown fresh in the Living with Land greenhouses. The food is served platter style grilled steak, roast turkey, and sustainable fish of the day, plus salad, rolls, veggies, and dessert.

Meals Offered: Dinner

Characters:  Chip, Dale, Farmer Mickey Mouse, and Pluto

Price Range: $37.97 – 44.72 for adults and $19.10 – 21.29 for children

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall

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Located next to one of Epcot’s newest additions, Frozen Ever After, is the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall. The banquet hall is a medieval castle where guests can expect to meet some of their favorite Disney princesses, such as Belle, Jasmine, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Mary Poppins while dining. 

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is a table style meal with an appetizer course, main entree, and dessert platter. All guests will be served Scandinavian seafood, imported cheeses, cured and sliced meats, salads, and fruits. Guests will then be able to choose a main entree and then will be served a platter of 3 different desserts. There are also a number of kid friendly options available. This dining experience takes about an hour.

Meals Offered: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Characters: Varies, but may include Belle, Jasmine, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Mary Poppins

Price Range: $39 – $55 for adults and $24 – $34 for children

Character Dining Experiences at Hollywood Studios

Hollywood and Vine

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Halloween Dining Experience.

Hollywood and Vine is the only character dining experience at Hollywood Studios and is perfectly suited for younger children. The regular characters attending this experience are Disney Junior characters, including Jake, Handy Manny, Doc McStuffins, and Sofia the First. On special occasions, such as the Halloween dinner, more traditional characters will appear, including Micky, Minnie, Goofy, and Pluto. 

Hollywood and Vine is an all you can eat buffet style restaurant with American style food. There is also a Fantasmic! Dining Package available. With the package you will be able to enjoy any meal (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) and then enjoy VIP seats to the end of the night Fantasmic show. With the combination of food, characters, and VIP seating this is truly a great deal! Plan on spending at least an hour for this experience

Meals Offered: Breakfast and lunch

Characters: Jake , Handy Manny, Doc McStuffins, and Sofia the First (special holiday experiences are available)

Price Range: $35-$50 for adults, $21-25 for children, varies with the meal.

Character Dining Experiences at the Animal Kingdom

Tusker House

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Mickey Mouse at the Tusker House (it seems to be impossible to get them both to smile)

The Tusker House is one of the most popular character dining experiences at Disney World and has been rated as one of the best for food quality and value. The Tusker House is located within the African section of the Animal Kingdom It is an all you can eat buffet with a mix of African cuisine and traditional American food, making it the perfect spot for even the picky eaters. 

As you enjoy your meal you will be greeted by Daisy Duck, Donald Duck, Goofy and Mickey Mouse as they make their way from table to table. A special treat, the characters will be dressed in their best safari gear! Plan on spending 45min. to an hour at the meal to allow you to meet all characters.

Meals Offered: Breakfast and Lunch. Dinner is available but without characters.

Characters: Daisy Duck, Donald Duck, Goofy and Mickey Mouse in Safari outfits

Price Range: $30 – $45 for adults and $25 for kids

All Disney World character dining experience reservations can be very difficult to get, especially for experiences such as Cinderella’s Royal Table, Be Our Guest, and the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall. Reservations can be made up to 180 days in advance, the earlier the better. Plan ahead!

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Your Guide to Character Dining at the Four Disney World parks.
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  1. There’s something about Disney that I will love no matter what age I am! My first time visiting was when I was 21 and I loved it!

  2. I have never been to Disneyland but it is something still on my bucket list even at 37! I am not sure if I would want to pay big bucks for average food, tho. Hehe.

    • Disney is magical at all ages! You can certainly visit Disney without paying the extra for character dining and have a great time-it is a nice extra!

  3. Wow this is awesome! I had no idea there were character based dining experiences. I wish I knew about this when I was a kid lol. Still a reason to go back of course though lol.

  4. The kid inside me absolutely loves this!! I’ve been to Disney World in Orlando when I was 6. Definitely need to go back in the future and experience it all again.

  5. What a fantastic experience fro kids! I have fond memories of visiting as a child but I don’t think I ever met any of the characters up close like this. Definitely memorable experiences!

  6. Wow, my girls would love this! I’ll be pinning for later, and hope to get there soon.

  7. What an amazing experience! I’ve never been to Disney World or Disney Land, but when I finally go, I’ll make sure to dine with the characters.

  8. The Disney characters still thrill me — and I’m a grownup. I’ve had my photo taken with Chip and Dale at Disneyland and I was so happy! I love seeing kids smile with the characters, too!

    • I still love it to, I must admit! The best part though was seeing my daughter light up and run to Stich (he was her favorite at the time). Such a magical experience for all.

  9. When my parents first took me to Disney at 9 years old I was terrified of people in costumes! The characters where literally my least favorite part of Disney! I got over my fear though and have been back a couple of times since though so it’s all good now. My mum was so excited to get a photo with Mickey though when we first went…even big kids love getting the character experiences…I definitely think I like them better now I’m older! Thanks for the wonderful guide, I’ll come back to it when I next get to Disney!

    • My daughter was the same way the first time we took her when she was 3 years old. She has warmed up to them, but I can see why they would be a little scary for kids. But yes, I agree even adults love these character experiences. They make great photos!

  10. I had no idea there were character dining experiences, I’d love to go back and enjoy the Beauty and the Beast one, it sounds amazing!

  11. Aaaah, this post made me feel so happy immediately! There really is something magical about Disney and it’s so cute to be able to dine in fairytale style. Thanks for the various recommendations! Which of these parks and dining experiences are your favourite? I live in Europe and been only to Disneyland Paris once. Would love to visit one of the bigger parks in the US though!

    • It is a great experience. That’s a tough decision, but I think I would have to say either Be Our Guest or the Halloween dining experience at Hollywood and Vine. I would love to be able to visit Disneyland Paris. Hope you can make it the US one day!

  12. We LOVE WDW Character Dining and have done most of them, at least once. (We live an hour away and used to live right behind Magic Kingdom). Tusker House is at the top of our list! Great information.

  13. I never been to Disney, yes, I know I’m in the minority! But what a fantastic experience for kids and fans of Disney. You’ve captured the perfect combo of info and magic.

  14. This is super cool. I would choose the one with the view to the castle and having the beast hosting me 🙂

  15. Aww that’s adorable for kids! When I was little, I was obsessed with anime and would have given everything for character dining with my favorite characters!

  16. sounds real fun. The kids must have enjoyed a lot. Character dining experience is something new for me. Will love to go there in person. Thanks for sharing

  17. OMG, your girls look sooooo happy to meet them!

    I always like bumping into them in the parks, but I would feel like a chump for spending so much on mediocre food. It’s such a shame they can’t have characters for the kids and tasty grub for the grown ups!!

    • I agree, some of the food is good, but I honestly can’t say that it was worth the money we paid. The kids getting to meet their favorites was what made the experiences worth it. I wouldn’t mind a bit if they improved the food a little bit though!

    • I agree, it can be quite pricey. I try to do only one or two at each visit to keep the costs down. They are so much though, especially with a kid in tow!

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