View Full Version : What's the best character dining experience
12-27-2006, 08:45 PM
We are taking our first family trip to WDW for the 4th of July....any info on celebrations will be greatly appreciated!!! Also, we have a DD7, DS4, and DS1...what are the best character meals? Thanks!!!!
12-27-2006, 09:10 PM
I love Garden Grill - a must do on every trip. Crystal Palace for breakfast is really good too.
12-27-2006, 11:07 PM
I love Garden Grill at Epcot. I thought the food was good and the characters came by 4 times while we were there. It was a great experience and we are actually planning on going back to this restaurant when we are at WDW next month.
12-27-2006, 11:21 PM
I have done these character meals:
Garden Grill : Ice Cream Sundaes : That one was fun
Dining with the Princesses in the Castle:" It was cool to be in the castle and meet the princesses. My brother didnt like being kissed by all the princesses.
Chef Mickeys: food is not great, but they have good entertainment for kids, and lots of characters. We have done that one about 7 times.
Crystal Palace: My favorite one
Donald Ducks Breakfast in AK: that was cool
Luau Dinner at the Polynesian: worst food I have ever had. We had to go somewhere to eat after, but the characters were cool and we learned how to do the hula dance.
12-28-2006, 07:36 AM
Maybe things have changed since my last trip in '99, but I found the buffets (CP and CMs) to be muchly similar.With v small kids it may be easier to do family stly service, rather than a buffet. Garden Grille and LTT (dinner) are character meals that have a set menu, and the food is brought to your table on platters, for you to serve yourselves, family style. It may be easier for you than many trips to the buffet, unless you and yours enjoy buffets (we do)Have a great time whenever you decide, and try to make your ADRs as early as possible (can be made 180 days ahead) This will ensure you the pace you want, on the day you want, at the tiem you want :cutie:
12-28-2006, 09:33 AM
I have been to Cystal Place (lunch and dinner), Ohanas (breakfast), Liberty Tree Tavern (dinner) Donald's Breakfastasaurus (breakfast), Chef Mickey's (breakfast and dinner), 1900 Park Faire (dinner), Arkershus (breakfast), Hollywood and Vine (lunch) -- all last year during free dining. I have 3 kids - DS5, DD4, DD2 and I would have to say that for food quality it would be 1900 Park Faire. The characters were also around several times. For character interaction I would say Donald's breakfast. We were there later and they came around many, many times. We also really liked LTT and we thought the food was good. I think the food as Crystal Palace was not as good as it was in 2005. Because you have boys I would have to say that Donald's would likely suit them best.
12-28-2006, 09:34 AM
I though Liberty Tree Tavern in MK was great. We also love Garden Grill. Both had great character interaction and the food was very good. We went to CP at MK for breakfast and we didn't get to see all the characters. We only saw Tigger & Piglet. No Pooh or Eeyore. They never made it to our side.
12-28-2006, 02:39 PM
For us it was definitely Crystal Palace. We had a late lunch, around 2pm and we had all 4 characters come over to us twice!!! The characters were very affectionate (considering it was just my husband and I) and we have some wonderful photos. The food was very good too!
Liberty Tree Tavern also had great character interaction - I was nearly tickled to death by Goofy!!! But the food is limited in the evening. It wasn't bad but not the greatest either.
12-28-2006, 03:44 PM
We have done CP for breakfast and lunch and find the characters are great and the food is even better
Donalds Breakfast was great for food and characters
Princess Breakfast was great for food and characters...my 2 nieces were in love with this
Chef Mickeys dinner was great for characters but horrible for food, 2 nieces got a big kick out of the characters but did not like the kids food
1900 Park Fare breakfast was horrible for food and characters
12-28-2006, 09:04 PM
I love Liberty Tree tavern. Characters came around lots.
We are trying Hollywood and Vine this trip - Jo jo and little Einsteins. I'm looking forward to it. I didn't enjoy the food here 3 years ago when I went, so I'm hoping for a change.
12-29-2006, 08:47 AM
Crystal Palace was our favourite - the location and the food are both wonderful :thumbsup2 The character interaction is great as well - and the lighting is so nice that our pictures were all wonderful :)
Chef Mickey is also very good - lots of character interaction
12-29-2006, 09:59 AM
Granted, we have nothing to compare it to but we loved dinner at 1900 Park Fare last month. For our kids the princesses are more the thing, more than Mickey or Pooh or others, so after we couldn't get CRT we went for Cinderella at GF. I really enjoyed the buffet -- it was good for the kids and for us (inclusing DH who doesn't eat meat or poultry, just seafood).
Both of them were up for dressing up, so I had to make a Prince Charming costume for D5 (or he'd have been in an old Cinderella dress of his sister's). Thanks to this board and allears I had some good photos of the Prince's costume to go by. He got a lot of attention and it made all the late nights sewing worthwhile!
Our Favorites are Cape May breakfast & Crystal Palace for lunch. But I think timing is everything for Charater Meals. We always go on an off time 10ish for Breakfast & after 1:30 for lunch. Chef Mickeys is fun but is always busy.
12-29-2006, 11:27 AM
We love Liberty Tree Tavern for dinner and Chef Mickey's and Crystal Palace for breakfast.:wizard: princess:
12-29-2006, 11:41 AM
Our favorite this past trip was 1900 Park Faire for breakfast. We went later in the morning (10:20) so it was starting to clear out. The food was excellent and a great variety. The character interaction was the best! They each came twice and spent some time. We had Pooh, Tigger, Alice and the Mad Hatter (and Mary Poppins out in the waiting area). The kids really enjoyed it! Alice sat down and looked at my daughter's pins and just really spent more time than just an autograph and a picture.
We had dinner at Chef Mickey's and that was a lot of fun too. Good food, fun atmosphere.
Donald's was our least favorite. Food was average, nothing special. Character interaction was very rushed (we were there at 8am if that matters). They came by quick pic, sign the book, moved on. The poor family next to us never got a pic of Goofy because he was gone from their table so fast. We booked this one primarily to get to Everest fast and it served its purpose in that respect.
I think what time you go does factor into the experience. Sometimes going later when it is not as crowded makes for more time with the characters.
12-29-2006, 02:55 PM
We always like Garden Grill. The food is really good (although I hear that the menu has recently changed) and the character interaction is great (they each came around twice to visit with us in May). The setting, the revolving restaurant overlooking Living with the Land, is really nice and is relatively quiet for a character meal.
We also did CP dinner and CM's breakfast. CP had good character interaction and the food was ok. DH really liked some of the dishes, but I didn't find anything particularly good. DS2 ate a ton of the mac-n-cheese here!
We did not like CM's. It was really loud and busy. We had to wait for a table for over 45 min. despite ADRs. The lines to get food were really long and lots of kids were cutting in front of others to get food. It took a really long time for the characters to come around, we left before we met all of them.
For our Feb trip, we will be going to the Cape May breakfast and CM's for dinner (at my DH's insistence, he wants to try it again, this time at dinner).
Good luck with your planning!
12-29-2006, 03:12 PM
Here's what I've done:
Chef Mickey's- Characters were very "playful" here. Somewhat loud surroundings.
1900 Park Fare- More of an elegant feel here, being at the Grand Floridian.
Crystal Palace- We like to book an early reservation here so we can walk down Main Street USA before it's open. There are usually a few characters out.
Donald's Breakfastosaurus- Easily the most organized Character Meal we've been to. Each character does each room & then another character comes around. IMO, this was the best food also.
Be sure you check the cast of characters at each meal.
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