Trekaroo’s Insider Guide to Character Dining at Walt Disney World

Blog Trekaroo Guide to Walt Disney World Character Dining Flickr edanley

Kids love Disney characters, and kids love tasty treats, what’s better than combining the two into an unforgettable meal? Here are our recommendations for character dining at Walt Disney World.

Chef Mickey’s

Disney World Character Dining

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Meals Served: Breakfast and Dinner

The Scoop: Chef Mickey’s is the meal to attend to meet The Fab Five! Choose between the breakfast or dinner buffet featuring traditional American favorites such as Mango BBQ pork ribs, parmesan mashed potatoes, and Chef Mickey’s mac and cheese. While you dine, you’ll get to meet Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and Pluto in their chef attire. The best seating of the day is 1.5 hours before the time the Wishes fireworks show is scheduled. There is a great viewing platform on the opposite side of the Contemporary from the restaurant. Watch the fireworks and then hop on the monorail to return to the Magic Kingdom to catch a resort bus if to Disney World properties.

When to Book: This is one of the most popular character meals because it is close to the Magic Kingdom and is the only meal where you can meet the Fab Five. Book starting 180 days before your visit.

Read reader reviews about dining at Chef Mickey’s.

1900 Park Fare Happily Ever After Dinner

Walt Disney World Character Dining

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

Meals Served: Dinner

The Scoop: Join Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, Drizella, and Anastasia for a delicious dinner buffet including prime rib, Floridian strawberry soup, and pork pot stickers. Cinderella and the Prince will dance and even invite the kids out to the floor. I have a wonderful memory of my daughter, dressed in her Cinderella blue dress, dancing with the Prince on her birthday. Be sure to get the video camera ready for Anastasia and Drizella’s visit to your table. There’s no way to know what those two will say! The best seating of the day is at 4:30. Arrive early and you might get to open the restaurant!

When to Book: Plan to book this one 180 days before your visit or as soon as you can. There are usually some seatings left about 2 months before you travel.

Read reviews about dining at the 1900 Park Fare.

1900 Park Fare Supercalifragilistic Breakfast

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

Meals Served: Breakfast 

The Scoop: Enjoy a delicious breakfast buffet, including all you can eat Mickey waffles, lobster benedict, and made to order omelettes, along with visits from Alice, The Mad Hatter, Winnie the Pooh, and Mary Poppins. Located on the Monorail loop, this character meal is a great choice before beginning the day at the Magic Kingdom.

When to Book: Anytime. There are still seating times available a week before your travel date.

Read more about dining at 1900 Park Fare Supercalifragilistic Breakfast.


Disney World Character Dining

Norway in Epcot’s World Showcase

Meals Served: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

The Scoop: Dine with the princesses! Here diners meet Belle, Aurora, Cinderella, Ariel, and Snow White and those on the dining plan will be pleased to know this meal is just one credit (verses two credits for the castle). Before sitting down, take a picture with Belle. Visit the buffet for appetizers and salad while the main dishes are served to you by a Norwegian server. While lunch and dinner are traditional Norwegian fare- including braised beef short ribs, mushroom stuffed pasta, and traditional kjøttkake- breakfast features your typical American favorites complete with Mickey waffles, bacon, and eggs. The best seating of the day is before 11am when you can walk through the World Showcase before it opens.

When to Book: Make sure you reserve this meal 180 days before your travel date. It is one of the most popular meals and will fill up fast.

Read reviews about dining at Akershus.

Cinderella’s Royal Table

Disney World Character Dining

Magic Kingdom

Meals Served: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

The Scoop: Who doesn’t want to eat in the castle? After being recently renovated, this dining experience is sure to put a smile on everyone’s faces. Be sure to look for the mice hiding in the rafters while waiting to meet with Cinderella and before ascending the stairs to the restaurant. During the meal, enjoy visits by Belle, Ariel, Snow White, and Aurora. There’s even a chance to join a parade around the restaurant. Choose from delicious entrees such as hearty tomato risotto, grilled swordfish, and roasted beef tenderloin. The best seating of the day is 8am because you can enter the Magic Kingdom before everyone else and get some incredible pictures on Main Street.

When to Book: 180 days before you travel to get the best seating times. There are usually seatings left 2-3 months before your trip.

Read more about dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table.

Crystal Palace

Walt Disney World Character Dining

Magic Kingdom

Meals Served: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

The Scoop: Dine on Main Street with friends from the 100 Acre Woods. The large buffet includes American favorites like meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, salmon, and Disney-themed treats. Guests can join in a parade around the restaurant. Have the autograph books out and ready for Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet. The best seating of the day is 8am when you can enter the Magic Kingdom and walk up Main Street before the park even opens!

When to Book: For 8am seatings, be sure to book 180 days before your trip. For other times, you’ll can likely find seatings up to the day you travel, dependent on time of year. During the high season tables will fill up faster.

Read more about dining at Crystal Palace.

Donald’s Safari Meal

Tusker House in the Animal Kingdom

Meals Served: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

The Scoop: Located in the heart of Africa in the Animal Kingdom, this character meal offers a unique food buffet with many favorites native to Africa. Meet with Donald outside for a family portrait and have your personal camera ready for table visits by Goofy, Daisy, and Mickey in their safari gear. Have the little ones sit on the seats at the end of the table for the best photo opps. The best seating of the day is 8am when you can enter Animal Kingdom before it opens. As soon as you finish your meal, head over to the Kilimanjaro Safari to see the animals. You won’t even need a Fastpass+ since you are dining right at the entrance and should beat the crowds to the attraction.

When to Book: Book on 180 days before you travel to snag the 8am seating times. You can book other times up until a month before you travel.

Read more about dining at Donald’s Safari Meal.

Garden Grille

Walt Disney World Character Dining


Meals Served: Dinner

The Scoop: Enjoy a delicious family-style meal complete with vegetables grown right there in Epcot. Have the autograph books open and ready for visits by Mickey, Pluto, Chip, and Dale. No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you, the restaurant is actually rotating! Diners will complete a full 360 circle during the course of a meal. It does move at a snail’s pace, so no need to worry about motion sickness while eating.

When to Book: At least two weeks to a month before you travel.

Read more about dining at Garden Grille.

Hollywood and Vine

Walt DIsney World Character Dining

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Meals Served: Breakfast and lunch

The Scoop: This is the only meal where guests can meet Disney Junior characters. They change depending on what’s popular, but at the moment you can meet Sofia, Jake, Doc McStuffins, and Handy Manny. Visit the buffet for American favorites like carved meats, mashed potatoes, and pasta, but keep an eye on the seating area to make sure to not miss a character while getting food. The best seating of the day is 8am when you can enter Disney’s Hollywood Studios before it opens.

When to Book: On the 180th day to get the 8am seating, but any other seating times can be grabbed leading up to the day or two before your trip.

Read more about dining at Hollywood and Vine.

Cape May Cafe

Disney’s Beach Club

Meals Served: Breakfast 

The Scoop: Book a breakfast reservation with Minnie, Goofy, and Donald dressed in their beach attire. Visit the buffet for delicious American favorites including the popular Mickey waffles, bacon, and eggs. Book one of the last reservations of the morning and you might get extra character time while still enjoying food fresh from the kitchen.

When to Book: Anytime leading up to when you travel.

Read more about dining at Cape May Cafe.

Garden Grove

Walt Disney World Swan Hotel

Meals Served: Breakfast and dinner on weekends

The Scoop: Making a last minute trip to Walt Disney World? This meal is a great last minute reservation as it rarely fills up completely. Characters and cuisine vary daily, but Pluto, Chip and Dale, and Minnie Mouse have been known to stop by.

When to Book: Anytime.

Read more about dining at Garden Grove.

Want more details on Disney dining? Check out Couponing to Disney!

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An insider's guide to Character Dining at Walt Disney World

About the author

Kristin Cooper started her blog in 2009 to

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