View Full Version : Character dining -how many?

01-08-2012, 10:23 AM
We will be there for 4 days, its our first time with our 4 year old daughter. Is this overkill?

First day - arrive 1pm
Dinner at Goofys

2nd day-
Lunch at Ariel's

3rd day-
Breakfast with Minnie
Dinner at Trattoria for World of Color

4th day-
Lunch at Cafe Orleans (no character)

5th day-
Breakfast with Mickey -we fly out at 1pm

Debating on swapping Goofy's Kitchen with Blue Bayou so we can stay in the park. However, I'm not to keen to the menu there. We're more into the experience.

01-08-2012, 11:15 AM
That seems like a lot for me. We found for our family that one character meal was enough. Maybe two at the most due to cost. The other factor, for us, is that it takes away time from the park if you have to leave something for a dining reservation. Everyone's ideas are different though! We plan to arrive the first day and not go to the parks and have dinner at Goofy's to get the kids their character meet and greet (I won't stand in line for that at the park) and then we just grab stuff when we get hungry. After reading your post maybe adding the other character breakfast on the departure day would be a nice end to the trip.

01-08-2012, 11:19 AM
IMHO, yes. I think it would have a bigger impact if there was only one meal. Plus you can go around the park and find characters in the park.

It gets tiring to eat out everyday. Not that you have a choice when your on vacation, but at sit down meals, the food is often heavy.

We usually do one meal per trip. I figure there will always be return trip that we can try other meals.

01-08-2012, 11:19 AM
It depends how your child reacts to the characters. In 2009, DS4 was afraid of the large costumed ones (like Goofy) for the first day or so, after that he was hugging them and wanted pictures with every one he saw. DD6 however did not find them real at all, could tell they were just costumes and really didn't like the larger ones like a 6 ft. Chip and Dale and Ballou. However, they both loved lunch at Ariel's as these were the only characters that were as they expected them to be -lovely women in beautiful gowns. That was truly magical for them.
The only meal we had scheduled for our 4 day trip was Ariel's but we did end up at Goofy's one morning for breakfast because we were going to DCA first which opened later and we were up early so we had time for a big breakfast (and we were staying at DLH) so we just went down there and had breakfast. It is sometimes hard to make sure you are in the right area and hungry at a specific time (especially with young children). We did most of our meals as on the fly when we were getting hungry and were ready for a break.

01-08-2012, 12:57 PM
We love character meals, and hate waiting in line for them in the park. We Always do Ariels and Storytellers (once we saw 11 characters at Storytellers!), and usually 1 more... This last trip we did both Mickey's and Minnie's breakfasts. It was so fun! We filled 1 and a half books just with meals! For us the convenience of eating (which we have to do anyway) and seeing the characters is worth it!

01-08-2012, 01:31 PM
We do one a day. Our kids love the interaction. We also don't like waiting for them in the parks and prefer a little more time with them at the meals. We are up very early with the time difference, so we do the first available time for the 3 hotels. Usually this is 7 am and the parks don't open until 9 or 10, so we have plenty of time to eat and meet.

01-08-2012, 01:44 PM
Ariel's has such a different feel from the rest. If you narrow it down, I wouldn't drop that one. Minnie's is where we have seen the most characters, if that's your main interest in a character meal. If you can afford it, I'd say heck yes, do one every day that you are there!

01-08-2012, 02:03 PM
We are character meal junkies. A big 'pixie dust' moment for us came when a family leaving DLR gave my daughter their many unused meal tickets. We ended up doing three character meals (Minnie's at The Plaza Inn, Surf's Up Mickey in the PPH, and breakfast at Storytellers) and it was wonderful.

We can't wait to go to Ariel's next trip (we had to cancel our reservations because we were just to exhausted to go)!

01-09-2012, 03:00 AM
Thank you for all of the advice. We will keep it as is.

01-09-2012, 04:17 AM
When my daughter was 4, when it came to character meals, she would have considered that a good start ;)

01-09-2012, 12:18 PM
When my daughter was 4, when it came to character meals, she would have considered that a good start ;)

I see she's been talking to my daughters

Sherry E
01-09-2012, 03:28 PM
I think you should definitely keep Goofy's on the agenda!

On my holiday trip to DLR last month I was reunited with some friends who had not been to Disneyland in 10 years, and their little 4-year-old son had never been there at all. This was his very first trip.

My friend wanted to start her son's Disney experience off with a dinner at Goofy's Kitchen on their arrival night, just to see how he responded to characters, and to have a concentration of characters in one place so they wouldn't have to chase a bunch of characters down in the parks and wait in lines for them.

My friends arrived at DTD in the afternoon. I made the reservation for the Goofy's dinner - only because we had 8 people in our party - and we actually got seated ahead of the 6:30 p.m. time they gave us. We showed up before 6 p.m., I think, and we got seated right away.

Now, just to be clear, I am a veteran of Goofy's Kitchen dining (this year will be my 20th anniversary of being a loyal Goofy's customer!:cool1:), but I have mainly done the breakfast 97% of the time. This was only my third dinner at Goofy's since 1992.

And...I had never, ever been to Goofy's or any other character meal with a child in my group. This was my first time seeing first-hand how a child responds to characters at a meal. I am used to being there with adults only, believe it or not!

All I have to say is...it was wonderful! It was a great way to start off the trip for my friends and to introduce their little boy to characters. Everyone's child will respond and react differently, of course, but my friends' 4-year-old son was delighted with the characters. His smile could not have been any bigger. It was just precious to watch. He had no hesitation in running up to Chip or Dale and throwing his arms around them. He told Pluto in mangled 4-year-old speak, "I lub you." He blushed when Belle and Cinderella spoke to him. The character interaction was really wonderful.

Everyone seemed pleased with the food, too. I wasn't sure if I would like the dinner food because I am such a fan of the breakfast at Goofy's and I recalled not liking the dinner there when I had it in the distant past. But I was very satisfied. The portions of chicken, pot roast and roast pork I had were great (especially the chicken). The mashed potatoes were pretty good. The fruit salad was good. I would definitely have the dinner there again.

01-09-2012, 08:49 PM
Thank you Sherry!!
Just what I needed to hear. So excited to see her face!