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View Full Version : how many character meals are too many?


mtemm
08-09-2006, 01:04 PM
my kids are 4, 2, and 2 and I can't seem to stop making character meal adr's. lol. How many is too many? I don't even know how they'll do with the characters...although I figure if they freak out we can always sort that out once there.

newholidayx2
08-09-2006, 01:09 PM
Where did you book? and with what characters?

DS14 & I have brkfst ARs at Chef Mickey's (Mickey & gang), Crystal Palace (Pooh and friends) and O'Hanas (Stitch)
When DH joins us after our first week we also have Cape May booked

daisyduck123
08-09-2006, 01:14 PM
As long as your kids enjoy them (love them in my kids' case), you can never have enough. We always go for dinner.

We always do Chef Mickey's twice, 1900 Park Fare, Crystal Palace, & LTT.

Next time, we plan on adding one or two more!!

beattyfamily
08-09-2006, 01:17 PM
We LOVE character meals. We've done quite a few in one trip and even 2 in one day!

I always did one Mickey, one Pooh and one princess one but we've done 2 Princess ones in one trip and two Mickey ones in one trip but I'm not crazy about duplicate characters so we don't really do that anymore.

So basically we do one meal with each 'different' set of characters so at least 3 character meals per trip.

But IMHO you can never book too many!! ;)

mtemm
08-09-2006, 01:24 PM
we have crystal palace booked for the eve we go to mnsshp, we have chef mickey's for dinner the next night, 1900 park faire dinner the following night, and cape may for breakfast the morning after that. It just seems like so many, and I keep playing with the idea of adding the little einsteins breakfast into the mix. I just can't seem to do that one, though, but I think the kids would love it. the only day we could possibly do it is the day we do chef mickeys for dinner....2 character meals in one day seems, well, excessive, don't you think?

or maybe I should just go for it. lol.

missypie
08-09-2006, 01:35 PM
What you'll want to do is limit the number of character meals that you do that are BUFFETS. Your kids are too young to go through the line alone, and too young to stay at the table alone while you go through the line. So all of you will be up and down a whole lot at the buffets, thus leaving less time for character interaction and no time for a much needed rest. Meals like Liberty Tree Tavern are great - cool characters, but no getting up constantly.

CindyAnn
08-09-2006, 01:45 PM
I think Missypie brought up a great point. All 4 character meals you've mentioned are served buffet style. When you have three young children, you'll be going back and forth to the buffet a lot. Sometimes it's hard to time things properly when you see that Mickey is on his way, but somebody needs something at the buffet. With very young children a family style table service character meal will be much more relaxing (breakfast at 'Ohana, princess breakfast at Akershus, dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern + others??) than a buffet.

It's also probably a good idea to introduce your children to the characters in a non-restaurant setting, as early as you can during your trip. That way you'll know in advance if anyone will flip out. Some two-year olds just aren't into giant chipmunks!

danjoan14
08-09-2006, 02:03 PM
pirate: Last year we have ADR's/Character Meal's for everyday during our trip. It got to the point of being to stressful to get around. DW wasn't to happy. This year, we only 4 ADR's/Character Meal's for our week long trip in October. Hopefully this will cut down on rushing around to get to someplace in time for a meal. We want to try to enjoy more of the parks with our DS5 who is on the go from the park opening to the closing. :moped:

liznboys
08-09-2006, 02:11 PM
For us, two per (1 week) trip would be the max right now. I find the character meals to be exhausting (fun, but enough is enough kwim?). lol We stick to mostly CS meals regardless.

mtemm
08-09-2006, 02:14 PM
thanks all! question about the up and down at buffets...why the up and down? my kids are not big eaters at all, I figured we'd get them each a plate of food, and then dessert. I'm the same way, just don't eat a ton at one sitting. which is why we usually don't do buffets, but I really don't want to try to see the characters in the parks (unless they are line free, lol) so figured this was a good way to do it. the only person I think would go back for seconds would be dh.

is this unrealistic?

Ms.Mouse
08-09-2006, 02:16 PM
[QUOTE=daisyduck123]As long as your kids enjoy them (love them in my kids' case), you can never have enough. We always go for dinner.


I agree. If your kids like the characters, there are never enough!!!!
And don't forget Donald's Breakfast where the waitstaff get into little antics (but lots of fun and not being pesty while you're trying to eat). The characters are fun and give you ample time for pictures at your table., 'Ohana Breakfast is also fun with lots of characters and the restaurant isn't huge so they spend lots of time with you. The kids are invited to take moraccas (sp?) and dance around the restaurant with the characters (and invite adults too!!!)

beattyfamily
08-09-2006, 02:18 PM
thanks all! question about the up and down at buffets...why the up and down? my kids are not big eaters at all, I figured we'd get them each a plate of food, and then dessert. I'm the same way, just don't eat a ton at one sitting. which is why we usually don't do buffets, but I really don't want to try to see the characters in the parks (unless they are line free, lol) so figured this was a good way to do it. the only person I think would go back for seconds would be dh.

is this unrealistic?

We're been doing buffet character meals since DDs were 1 and 4 years old and we didn't have any problems. Yes, a sit down meal would be a little more relaxing but buffets aren't that bad. Especially if you have 2 adults to help out with the kid's plates.

I don't think you booked too many but we love character meals!

Cinderumbrella
08-09-2006, 03:11 PM
I agree with the mindset of the "More the Merrier!" I started a thread earlier in the year about this and got flamed horribly for having so many character meals in 8 days!

We are going to:

CP Breakfast and Dinner
Garden Grille Dinner
Chef Mickey Breakfast
Liberty Tree Tavern Dinner
Cape May Cafe Breakfast

Plus Hoop Dee Doo, 50's Prime Time and the Sci Fi (not quite character meals- but entertaining nonetheless)

Last year with DS2.5 we only did character breakfasts- no dinners. He loved the breakfasts and was quite a challenge for dinner.

Do what works best for your family and don't worry what everyone else thinks! :goodvibes

missypie
08-09-2006, 03:12 PM
thanks all! question about the up and down at buffets...why the up and down? my kids are not big eaters at all, I figured we'd get them each a plate of food, and then dessert. I'm the same way, just don't eat a ton at one sitting. which is why we usually don't do buffets, but I really don't want to try to see the characters in the parks (unless they are line free, lol) so figured this was a good way to do it. the only person I think would go back for seconds would be dh.

is this unrealistic?

Let's see...you really want to try the special something or other, but the dish was empty the first time around; child dropped bread on floor and needs more; the dessert that DH got looks so good that you want some, too; your child didn't see the place where the chicken nuggets were the first time, so you have to go look for them.

I think that going though buffets lines AT ALL with little kids is stressful/unrelaxing, compared to table service.

As for great character interaction with few lines, go to the front entrance to the Toon Town Fair 15 minutes before Toon Town opens. They typically have 6-8 characters there, with few lines. When Toon Town opens, go straight to Mickey's house, then go over to Minnie, then get in line at the big place where they have three sets of characters at a time. Also, on busy days, lots of characters hang out at the very back of Toon Town (near the train station.)

golden1
08-09-2006, 03:28 PM
Hmmm...never really thought about the young kid/buffet aspect of character dining before. For my 7 night trip I have scheduled:

CRT (family style) with just me and dd
H+V Breakfast (Buffet) with the whole family
Crystal Palace (Buffet) with the whole family plus my in-laws
Garden Grill (family style) with the whole family plus my in-laws

I figured this mix covers Princesses, Little Einsteins (my kids favorite show), Pooh and Mickey. We also have a good mix of buffet and family style. In my case, there will be at least one child per adult so we should manage the buffets alright. Plus, my kids aren't big eaters so I doubt they will be going up more than once or twice.

mtemm
08-09-2006, 03:33 PM
Let's see...you really want to try the special something or other, but the dish was empty the first time around; child dropped bread on floor and needs more; the dessert that DH got looks so good that you want some, too; your child didn't see the place where the chicken nuggets were the first time, so you have to go look for them.

I think that going though buffets lines AT ALL with little kids is stressful/unrelaxing, compared to table service.

As for great character interaction with few lines, go to the front entrance to the Toon Town Fair 15 minutes before Toon Town opens. They typically have 6-8 characters there, with few lines. When Toon Town opens, go straight to Mickey's house, then go over to Minnie, then get in line at the big place where they have three sets of characters at a time. Also, on busy days, lots of characters hang out at the very back of Toon Town (near the train station.)

yikes. okay, i can see we have lots to learn. well, we'll see how it goes. my motto for this trip is to take it one day at a time, really one moment at a time. we have promised to try to relax and not do everything, and I think I will keep it in mind that if the first buffet is not so great for us, that we'll figure out another way to go and cancel the rest. good to know the characters in toon town aren't heavily lined. really looking forward to seeing what works and what doesn't this trip. I have 2 ideas in my mind...one, what I want it to be, and one what I fear it will be. I'm hoping at worst it will fall somewhere in the middle. but I know it could go either way. :)

missypie
08-09-2006, 05:31 PM
yikes. okay, i can see we have lots to learn. well, we'll see how it goes. my motto for this trip is to take it one day at a time, really one moment at a time. we have promised to try to relax and not do everything, and I think I will keep it in mind that if the first buffet is not so great for us, that we'll figure out another way to go and cancel the rest. good to know the characters in toon town aren't heavily lined. really looking forward to seeing what works and what doesn't this trip. I have 2 ideas in my mind...one, what I want it to be, and one what I fear it will be. I'm hoping at worst it will fall somewhere in the middle. but I know it could go either way. :)

More on seeing characters in Toon Town: We decided to spend our last half day - a Sunday - at MK. The CR had agreed to give us late checkout, but we had to be out of MK by noon. At 11 am, we decided to take one last train ride around the park. When the train pulled up at the Toon Town station, we saw loads of characters, with few people there. We jumped out and got some autographs. We got back on the train and got off at Main Street. The characters there (near the entrance) had VERY (VERY!!!) long lines.

As for buffets - I'm not trying to criticize your plans - I'm just trying to look out a bit for the comfort and relaxation of Mommy and Daddy! :sunny: Assuming that at least the 2 year olds are in strollers, by meal time, the adults will need a rest lots more than the kids!

mtemm
08-09-2006, 05:39 PM
More on seeing characters in Toon Town: We decided to spend our last half day - a Sunday - at MK. The CR had agreed to give us late checkout, but we had to be out of MK by noon. At 11 am, we decided to take one last train ride around the park. When the train pulled up at the Toon Town station, we saw loads of characters, with few people there. We jumped out and got some autographs. We got back on the train and got off at Main Street. The characters there (near the entrance) had VERY (VERY!!!) long lines.

As for buffets - I'm not trying to criticize your plans - I'm just trying to look out a bit for the comfort and relaxation of Mommy and Daddy! :sunny: Assuming that at least the 2 year olds are in strollers, by meal time, the adults will need a rest lots more than the kids!

thanks! I appreciate the input on both fronts. In fact, I'm back to considering dropping 1900 park faire and changing it to le cellier instead. hmmm....

Missus Toad
08-09-2006, 05:40 PM
I would be the wrong person to ask about too many character meals. I've got LTT, Storybook, H+V, 1900, and Breakfastosaurus. And I'm considering adding Crystal Palace!! :crazy: Yeah, my kids love the characters, and if it means we are able to sit for a half hour longer than they do at non-character dining, I'm all for it!

No worries about buffets here, though. Plenty of help on hand. :dance3:

MeLaNie9
08-09-2006, 05:49 PM
We did 3 character meals during our 7 day trip in May (CM breakfast, CP dinner, GG dinner). DS2 seemed to like them all, and was familiar with all the characters, but at each meal he needed some time to warm up to them - by the time the last ones came around he was fine. However, DH and I both ended up feeling like 3 was too many. Maybe just 2 next time. We did have issues with too many buffets (We also ate at Boma) and found that our best meals (tastiest) were TS.
Also, we love GG and CP was ok, but CM breakfast was not a good experience. We had to wait a really long time to be seated despite ADRs, the lines to get food were incredibly long, and kids up there getting food themselves just cut in front of everyone else. It even took the servers a really long time to bring and refill drinks, clear plates, etc.
We also saw characters in Toontown and Camp Minnie-Mickey in AK - we took the MK railroad to Toontown from the entrance just before Toontown opened and were first in line to see Mickey. In AK, we had virtually no wait because it was raining, so DS really had his fill of the characters during the trip.

mtemm
08-09-2006, 08:35 PM
see what I get. decided to cancel 1900 park faire and try to le cellier. unfortunately le cellier only has openings if we split up to 2 tables (not gonna happen...unless we could do dh and I at one table, the kids at the other. lol. yep, not gonna happen).

trying to figure out another epcot restaurant.

twinspluscade
08-09-2006, 09:46 PM
Wow, our kids are almost the exact same ages: except my twins are 4, and my singleton is 2! Cool!
I'm a bit apprehensive about taking the kids through the character buffets too. We're doing 4 table service meals, and out of those 2 are buffets. My biggest concern is that the buffet line will be absolutely packed-- if it's too crowded the kids won't be able to come up with us. We eat at a few buffets here locally quite often, and I get the twins's plates first (with them walking beside me) while dh gets his plate and our 2 year old's plate. Then dh sits with the kids while I get my plate. It works great for the buffets here, but they are never super crowded. One big plus is that none of my kids are picky eaters--they eat anything we pile on their plates. So we don't go back to the buffet for them until it's time for dessert!

Kelly

janet715
08-09-2006, 10:14 PM
We have a character meal planned for just about every day of our 10 day trip starting next week. You can NEVER have too many character meals. They really are the best!

chigirl
08-10-2006, 08:00 PM
We have three planned for our upcoming trip...1900 Park Faire for breakfast, LTT for MNSSHP, and Garden Grill on our last day and my kids are older (13 & 8) but we are all silly & crazy, so we LOVE character meals! My DH said during my friend's wedding shortly after last year's trip that she and her new hubby were like seeing characters at dinner! He was all excited when they made their rounds at the tables....so he is just a big kid at heart! Plus, at character meals the food is out and you don't really have to think, otherwise my indecisive crew would take FOREVER looking at a menu. We also booked Le Cellier (a fave of my kids), Brown Derby & Sci-Fi, so we pretty much run the gamut. I say do the character meals...you're a freaking WDW!!! Where else can you eat with chipmunks???