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Old 03-17-2013, 10:09 AM   #1
Saratoga Goofy
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Best Character Meal?

We are going at the end of May with a group of first timers (ages 3, 6, 12, and 17), what's the best character meal? We want good food, but more importantly great character experiences?
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:49 AM   #2
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Our favorite is the Crystal Palace in MK. It is a buffet so everyone has options and the character interaction is great. It is pooh, piglet, eeyore and tigger.
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:05 AM   #3
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Tusker House or 'Ohana. Great in both categories.
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:59 PM   #4
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WE have 3- Crystal Palace (MK), The Tusker House (AK) and 'Ohana (Poly). I would say that those 3 have the best food and character interaction. What's nice about 'Ohana is that the food is served family style at your table, so you don't have to stand in line at the buffet. However, Crystal Palace and the Tusker House do have a wider selection of food to choose from.

I think it also depends on what characters you want to see

Crystla Palace- Eeyore, Winnie, Tigger and Piglet
'Ohana- Lilo, Stitch, Mickey and Pluto
Tusker House- Donald, Goofy, Daisy and Mickey

Have a great time!
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:08 PM   #5
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We had a great meal at Garden Grill back in January. We sat down at about 7:00 when the restaurant wasn't quite as busy. The characters came to our table 3-4 times over the course of the meal. At least once they sat right down at the table and joined us! Even if you go during a busier time, the dining room is small so you're still bound to get lots of attention. The food was simple but good too. I'd definitely recommend it!
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saratoga Goofy
We are going at the end of May with a group of first timers (ages 3, 6, 12, and 17), what's the best character meal? We want good food, but more importantly great character experiences?
These are some of our favorites:

GG dinner-Epcot-our review with photos-- http://www.disneydiningreviews.com/g...ille-epcot.htm

Cape May breakfast-BC resort-our review with photos-- http://www.disneydiningreviews.com/c...beach-club.htm

1900 Pk Fare breakfast-GF resort-our review with photos-- http://www.disneydiningreviews.com/1...-floridian.htm
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saratoga Goofy View Post
We are going at the end of May with a group of first timers (ages 3, 6, 12, and 17), what's the best character meal? We want good food, but more importantly great character experiences?
One of our favorites is Cape May for breakfast (no characters at dinner). The buffet has a lot of variety, the food is very good, and the characters are cute dressed in beachwear. We also love Ohana breakfast .
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:47 AM   #8
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I think that it also is worth looking at which characters your family would be most interested in seeing.

I love the Mouse, don't get me wrong, but you can see various versions of him throughout the parks. However, it's harder to find Pooh and his friends so we went with Crystal Palace. Had great food and a great time with Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, and Eeyore.
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:51 AM   #9
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OUR WDW CHARACTER MEAL RANKINGS, JANUARY 2013:

Best Food (quality first, then variety):
. . . Tusker House
. . . 1900 Park Fare
. . . Ohana
. . . Garden Grill
. . . Garden Grove
. . . Akerhus Royal Banquet
. . . Cape May Cafe
. . . Hollywood & Vine
. . . Crystal Palace
. . . Cinderella Royal Table (since new menu)
. . . Chef Mickey's

Best Character Interaction (time with guest first, then friendliness):
. . . Tusker House
. . . Akerhus Royal Banquet
. . . 1900 Park Fare
. . . Garden Grill
. . . Ohana
. . . Garden Grove
. . . 1900 Park Fare
. . . Chef Mickey's
. . . Cape May Cafe
. . . Hollywood & Vine
. . . Cinderella Royal Table
. . . Crystal Palace (barely enough time for a photo)

Best Atmosphere (surroundings and ambience):
. . . Cinderella Royal Table
. . . Tusker House
. . . Akerhus Royal Banquet
. . . Ohana
. . . 1900 Park Fare
. . . Garden Grill
. . . Crystal Palace
. . . Hollywood & Vine
. . . Cape May Cafe
. . . Garden Grove
. . . Chef Mickey's


NOTE1: Results are listed from best to worst. Overall, Tusker House
wins due to best food and the length of time the characters stay at
each table. A close second is 1900 Park Fare. By far, Chef Mickey's
is the loser, due to mediocre character interaction and almost terrible
food quality. The very distant second worst is Cinderella Royal Table,
due to the brief time at tables for charcters and the new menu.

NOTE2: Characters
. . . 1900 (Breakfast): Alice, Mad Hatter, Mary Poppins, Pooh & friends
. . . 1900 (Dinner): Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, Step Sisters
. . . Akershus Banquet : Belle, Snow White, Aurora, Jasmine
. . . Cape May Café : Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy
. . . Chef Mickey : Mickey, Minnie, Chip-n-Dale, Goofy
. . . Crystal Palace : Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet
. . . Hollywood and Vine : Disney Junior Characters
. . . Ohana : Lilo, Stitch, Mickey, Pluto
. . . Tusker House : Donald (outside, only), Mickey, Gooffy, Daisy, Pluto
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:34 AM   #10
lhguillory
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Great recap! Thanks for the information. We did Chef Mickey 3 years ago and the interaction was good and the food plentiful but we wanted to try something different. Looks like Tusker for us this time.
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:15 PM   #11
Wendy31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRustyScupper View Post
OUR WDW CHARACTER MEAL RANKINGS, JANUARY 2013:

Best Food (quality first, then variety):
. . . Tusker House
. . . 1900 Park Fare
. . . Ohana
. . . Garden Grill
. . . Garden Grove
. . . Akerhus Royal Banquet
. . . Cape May Cafe
. . . Hollywood & Vine
. . . Crystal Palace
. . . Cinderella Royal Table (since new menu)
. . . Chef Mickey's

Best Character Interaction (time with guest first, then friendliness):
. . . Tusker House
. . . Akerhus Royal Banquet
. . . 1900 Park Fare
. . . Garden Grill
. . . Ohana
. . . Garden Grove
. . . 1900 Park Fare
. . . Chef Mickey's
. . . Cape May Cafe
. . . Hollywood & Vine
. . . Cinderella Royal Table
. . . Crystal Palace (barely enough time for a photo)

Best Atmosphere (surroundings and ambience):
. . . Cinderella Royal Table
. . . Tusker House
. . . Akerhus Royal Banquet
. . . Ohana
. . . 1900 Park Fare
. . . Garden Grill
. . . Crystal Palace
. . . Hollywood & Vine
. . . Cape May Cafe
. . . Garden Grove
. . . Chef Mickey's


NOTE1: Results are listed from best to worst. Overall, Tusker House
wins due to best food and the length of time the characters stay at
each table. A close second is 1900 Park Fare. By far, Chef Mickey's
is the loser, due to mediocre character interaction and almost terrible
food quality. The very distant second worst is Cinderella Royal Table,
due to the brief time at tables for charcters and the new menu.

NOTE2: Characters
. . . 1900 (Breakfast): Alice, Mad Hatter, Mary Poppins, Pooh & friends
. . . 1900 (Dinner): Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, Step Sisters
. . . Akershus Banquet : Belle, Snow White, Aurora, Jasmine
. . . Cape May Café : Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy
. . . Chef Mickey : Mickey, Minnie, Chip-n-Dale, Goofy
. . . Crystal Palace : Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet
. . . Hollywood and Vine : Disney Junior Characters
. . . Ohana : Lilo, Stitch, Mickey, Pluto
. . . Tusker House : Donald (outside, only), Mickey, Gooffy, Daisy, Pluto
I saw that you rated the food at CRT next to last since the menu change. We've been to CRT many times - the most recently in September 2012, but we haven't been since the menu change. When I looked at the new menu, I was actually a little excited about the changes (especially breakfast - but we're doing dinner... LOL!). In your opinion, why is the food worse now after the menu change?

Also, have the characters changed at Chef Mickey's? I thought the characters at Chef Mickey's were Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, & Pluto & the only character meal w/ Chip & Dale was Garden Grill. Is this a recent change? One of the reasons we have breakfast at Chef Mickey's is it's a "one-stop-shop" for all of the Fab 5 characters.

OP - Our current "must-do" character meals are breakfast at Chef Mickey's (love that we can see the Fab 5 characters & the setting is just so "Disney" to me), Cinderella's Royal Table (it's our "first MK night" dinner - you just can't beat eating in the castle!), lunch at Crystal Palace, & dinner at Garden Grill.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:06 PM   #12
doclegler
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My vote is definitely Garden Grill for the food, atmosphere and characters. Other places like Chef Mickey's have great character interaction, but the food is REALLY average.
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misstheworld View Post
I think that it also is worth looking at which characters your family would be most interested in seeing.
I agree with misstheworld.
You will find different characters at different restaurants.
You should go to the character meals with characters you want to see.
I am not a picky eater, I like the food at all of the character meals.
Only one I haven't tried is Mickey's Backyard BBQ.

For example: 1900 Park Fare at Grand Floridian:
Breakfast: Alice, Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Mary Poppins, Mad Hatter
Dinner: Cinderella & her Prince, Ugly Stepsisters and Step Mother.

Also at different restaurants characters dress differently depending on the theme of the restaurant.

Tusker House in Animal kingdom (safari clothes), Cape May Cafe @ Beach club (Summer Beach clothes), Ohana breakfast @ Poly (Hawaiian luau clothing), Chef Mickeys @ Contemporary (Chef uniforms), Garden Grill @ Epcot (Farmer clothes)

Also plan to spend an hour give or take at your character meals, because it takes time for all the characters to get to your table especially at a busy time.

If you are looking for better quality food, I would suggest Cape May Cafe breakfast @ the Beach Club, or Tusker House breakfast in Animal Kingdom, and 1900 Park Fare @ GF for breakfast or dinner, or Garden Grill dinner in Epcot

If you are looking to dine with Princesses, Akershus in Epcot costs only 1 dining plan credit. A nice alternative to dining at Cinderella's Royal table.

I would suggest going to allears.net click on Walt Disney World then on Dining.
You will find a menu on the left side of the page. Look for "Character Dining". Go to "character meal locations" and you will find a list of characters and restaurants. That way you can find the characters you want to see, and check out menus of all disney restaurants on that site.
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:59 AM   #14
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Obama and crystal palace!
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:00 PM   #15
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Haha. Autocorrect said Obama. Clearly I meant Ohana!
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