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
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
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
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.
Character Dining Experiences at Epcot
The Garden Grill
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
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
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
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!