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View Full Version : Can you help me figure out the exact character dining experience I need?


LadySiren
03-02-2010, 04:08 PM
Okay, here it my plea: teach me, O Wise Ones!

This is the situation. I've FINALLY got DH to agree to a WDW trip in June so I'm grabbing this opportunity by both mouse ears and making the most of it. I want to do at least one, if not two, character meals, but there are a few considerations:

1. We're the Brady Bunch minus one. If I gain anymore weight, I might be able to pass for two Brady's but so far, we're only a party of 7. We tend to be a large, noisy bunch (it's five kids, six if you count DH, what can I say?) and I want to make sure we're courteous to other diners. We'll probably do best in an environment that's not too high-falutin'.

2. The age range of our tribe stretches from six to 15 and their personalities are as varied as Snow White's dwarves. The two eldest are boys - Dopey (trust me, he'd agree with this name) and Doc, with the three little ones being girls - Bossy, Happy, and Sleepy. DH is definitely Grumpy and dislikes crowds (too bad we're going in June, LOL). So we'll need somewhere that's going to accommodate our rather psychotic family dynamic.

3. Because we're a large group and I'm very fond of my internal organs as well as my extremities, cost is somewhat of a factor. I'd prefer not to have to pay an arm and a leg for character dining. I do understand that breakfast is less expensive than dinner and my current plan is to have a late breakfast (11:30ish) as our midday meal. I also understand that this might even give us a better shot of interacting with some of the characters. Also, will there be an automatic gratuity for a party larger than six? I'm okay with it if there is; I'm just curious.

4. We're not staying onsite (boo!) - we're staying in our timeshare at HGVC. If I'm understanding things correctly, some of the character dining experiences will get you into the park a little early. If we decide to do an early morning breakfast instead of midday, which meal/park is best?

5. I'm the only one who really likes Pooh, being rather Pooh-shaped, so Crystal Palace is likely out. Dopey and Doc (and Grumpy, too) would probably kill me if we went strictly Princess on 'em, so a Princess breakfast and/or tea is also probably out. I'd love to do the Poly (I'm Hawaiian) but alas, my fascination with all things Polynesian doesn't stretch to the rest of the tribe. If I whine and beg loud enough and the food is good, I might be able to convince them to go to the Poly but it'll be a tough sell.

Now that you know more about us than you probably ever wanted to, can you give me some suggested character meals?

wdwbride2005
03-02-2010, 04:21 PM
Okay, I know you said you didn't think your family would go for the Crystal Palace, but getting into the MK early is so great! The food there is good and they have such variety. It is a pretty big place so I don't think that if you were noisy it would bother anyone at all.
If you do CP later (around 11:30) you'd probably be able to have some breakfast foods and some lunch foods.

My next suggestion for a breakfast in the park before opening would be Donald's Breakfast at the Animal Kingdom (Tusker House). This has the "main" characters, as opposed to the princesses so maybe it would be better for everyone in the group.

If you go to Hollywood Studios or EPCOT, you can take the boat from there to the Beach Club and do the Cape May Cafe Breakfast. This also has Minnie, Chip, Dale, etc. and a buffet.

Have a great trip!

SAHDad
03-02-2010, 04:27 PM
I now caution against a late breakfast at CP. On our last trip, our grip (which is admittedly rather large at 13 or 14 people) waited for quite some time before we were seated, and so our late breakfast became a "light breakfast", as they closed down half the CP to begin prepping for lunch. We got the remnants of breakfast, and had to spend much more time in line for much less selection than normal. (In theory, once we were done with the scraps of breakfast, we could have stood in the rather long lunch line, but we just wanted to go at that point.) Next time, we are going back to our usual MO of getting an ADR for CP before the park opens.

Go Saints!
03-02-2010, 04:28 PM
I am not sure if they will offer a breakfast at 11:30. I think that is too close to lunch time. I believe the latest is around 10:30. If you want an early entry to the parks, MK-Crystal Palace with Pooh, AK-Donald's Safari Breakfast, DHS-Hollywood & Vine-JoJo & Einsteins, Epcot-Princess. It sounds to me that your family would love Chef Mickey. It is close enough to MK that you can walk. Mickey, Donald, Minnie, Goofy, and Pluto will be there. I know you said no one would really like Pooh, but I have to say that was the best interaction with characters we had. Piglet was the best! Epcot also has a dinner with Chip and Dale at the Garden Grill. I bet no matter what you choose, the family will enjoy it!

goofy4tink
03-02-2010, 04:36 PM
Most breakfasts end about 10:30...but still a good thing for a late breakfast/early lunch. We do that all the time.
So....breakfast is probably going to work best for your tribe. I would suggest Chef Mickey's in the Contemporary, Donald's Breakfast at Tusker House in AK, or Goofy's Beach Blast Breakfast at the YC/BC.
By wanting to eat a late breakfast, you aren't going to be able to get into the parks early...so that's a non-issue.
I love Goofy's at YC/BC...it's usually less crowded, especially later in the morning. It's easy to access if you are at Epcot or DHS...by boat or by foot.

mickey2minnie1
03-02-2010, 04:57 PM
Chef Mickeys is the perfect for you. You get the fab 5 with a buffet to meet the needs of everyone. It is loud and fun with a swinging good time. It is always our first character meal to set our trip with magic. Good luck!:thumbsup2

lzbee
03-09-2010, 12:29 AM
I think Chef Mickey's is the best. We ate there for dinner and so many characters that showed up... the kids had a blast.

grace&philipsmom
03-09-2010, 10:05 AM
Our favorite character breakfast is 'Ohana at the Poly. We like the food - served family style at your table. The characters are Lilo, Stitch, Pluto and Mickey. We find this is always the best character interaction.

And to answer your question there is an automatic gratuity on parties of 6 or more.

Cinderellabride
03-09-2010, 02:16 PM
All I could think the whole time I was reading your post was Chef Mickey's! It's loud, it's raucous, it's fun, there are lot's of kids, so the dynamics you described will hardly be noticed. It's the Fab 5. It's perfect for boys and for girls. It's our favorite!

Cinderellabride
03-09-2010, 02:17 PM
Oh and yes they will add a gratuity to parties of 6 or more.

honeydiane1953
03-09-2010, 02:24 PM
If you like loud Chef Mickey's will be right up your alley. This is a popular restaurant. :banana:

2minny
03-09-2010, 02:28 PM
I agree with the other posters...chef mickey's sounds perfect for your family!

JoePa4Ever
03-09-2010, 02:34 PM
Another vote for Chef Mickey's - a very fun/energetic atmosphere + good character interaction with the Fab 5.

MonkeyDishwasher
03-09-2010, 03:02 PM
Oh and yes they will add a gratuity to parties of 6 or more.

I believe every character meal adds a gratuity to a party of One or more. :)

Princess Sleepy
03-09-2010, 06:17 PM
Chef Mickey's is great. I would also add another vote for Tusker House in AK. If you are trying to get into the park early, though, make it an early breakfast. We had an 8:05 breakfast this winter and were ready and waiting at Kilimanjaro Safari when it opened. We also shared a room with a rather large tour group and were not remotely put off, so your large bunch would be fine there.

sharonabe
03-09-2010, 06:42 PM
I'm going to vote for 1900 Park Fare at Grand Floridian...the stepsisters would have a blast with your older boys!