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Old 05-19-2011, 08:30 AM   #1
Jayana
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Character Dining, Just 2 Older Teens? Good or Bad Idea?

I'm 19 and I've been to Disney World a bunch of times, and in August I will be heading to Disney with my 17 year old best friend. (It will be nice to be the guests after a whole summer of both of us working at the amusement park near our home.) It will be his first time in Disney! So I wanted to do something special for him, and surprise him with a character meal...Only, I've only done character meals either as a child or with my niece.

So, any suggestions? Should we skip the character meal, in which case, what else would be a great treat for him, or would two college kids not be out of place at a character meal, and which one should I try to get into? I'd rather not do one of the more expensive options, but we're going to be super budget conscious the entire trip, so I can splurge on this for the two of us.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:44 AM   #2
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I would go with breakfast at Chef Mickey's

since your friend has never been to WDW. That would give you interactions with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto, and it is a very easy place to get to and from since it is at the CR on the monorail. I absolutely do not think two teens would be out of place. WDW makes everyone feel like a kid.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:44 AM   #3
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My girlfriend (24) and I (27) do a few character meals while we are at WDW. We don't ever feel out of place. Infact, we have gotten some excellent character interaction without kids. Enjoy it!

My advice, if you are looking to find the more inexpensive route, is to go with a character breakfast (breakfasts are less expensive than lunch/dinner). In my opinion, there isn't enough of a difference in breakfast food for my to suggest where NOT to go. It's all basically the same (eggs, bacon, sausage, waffles... you can't really mess those things up too much). Places like 'Ohana and Akershus (which includes a photo-package with your party and Belle) are served family style (a big plate of food is brought to your table for the table to share). Most others are buffets. It really comes down to which characters are more appealing. I would suggest either Chef Mickey's since it is the only restaurant with all of the Fab.5. Donald's Safari Breakfast (at Tusker House in AK) is also pretty good (take a picture with Donald outside, Mickey, Goofy and Daisy come to the tables, all in their safari outfits). Cape May is a little more relaxed than those 2, but if you are relying on Disney transportation or aren't staying in the EPCOT resort area it could be a pain to get to for an early AM ADR. Cape May has Goofy, Donald and Minnie in their beachwear. If you are looking for a different variety of characters, I really like the 1900 Park Fare breakfast at GF. It has some of the more popular characters to come out of England with Mary Poppins, Alice, Mad Hatter, Pooh and Tigger.

Long long long story short, you can't really go wrong with any of the character breakfasts. Dinners are much more hit and miss.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:46 AM   #4
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All I will say is that my 17 y/o dd is planning a trip in a year, when she graduates from high school, with two other friends, to WDW. They are eagerly looking forward to character meals!!! They love them.
So....go ahead and book a few. Maybe not princess ones, but perhaps Crystal Palace or Goofy's at Cape May.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:47 AM   #5
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I would either do a character meal or something fun like Sci-Fi with them. If you are looking for a Cheaper Breakfast - take a look at Ohana. I had that one booked & dropped it because the menu didn't appeal to me but it looks fun. Another option would be to book Tusker House at Animal Kingdom for breakfast before the park opens. I guarantee you that they would love having the jump on everyone at the gate when the park does open!
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Old 05-19-2011, 09:00 AM   #6
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Oh wow! Okay, it sounds like a character breakfast is on the table. Thanks for the info about relying on Disney transportation, I was considering Cape May but now I think I'll leave that out.

I really enjoyed Ohana and Akershus breakfast in March (with a seven year old girl), as well as 1900 Park Fare dinner.

So I guess the plan is to try to book Ohana and Chef Mickey and decide later. What is the breakfast food like at 1900 Park Fare?

Also, should I tell him or keep it a surprise until we get there? ("Just get on the monorail and don't ask questions!")
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:16 AM   #7
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Oh wow! Okay, it sounds like a character breakfast is on the table. Thanks for the info about relying on Disney transportation, I was considering Cape May but now I think I'll leave that out.
I am not saying to completely ignor Cape May because it is pretty good and relaxed (for a character breakfast). It just requires a bit longer of a head start than most other breakfasts. You can take the bus from your resort to DHS and then take the boat or walk to BC. Not a lot of people like to do that first thing in the morning. My girlfriend and I really like to try to get the last breakfast ADR's because it gives us the option of going to a park early and then having a big "brunch" or take our time at the resort before heading out (sleep in, sit by the pool, etc. etc. etc.).

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So I guess the plan is to try to book Ohana and Chef Mickey and decide later. What is the breakfast food like at 1900 Park Fare?
You may have an issue booking both at the same time. Rumors are flying around that Disney is trying to cutdown on "double bookers".

The food at 1900 PF for breakfast is pretty good. They have a couple of unique dishes that the others don't have (lobster eggs benedict and strawberry soup). The Madhatter and Alice can be a lot of fun (especially Mad Hatter). We had some great interaction with them. Mary Poppins was also pretty funny with us. And of course there is Pooh and Tigger.


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Also, should I tell him or keep it a surprise until we get there? ("Just get on the monorail and don't ask questions!")
I'd keep it a secret. Some people think that they are too old for character meals and maybe your friend is one of those people. Then you'll have all this time of him trying to convince you its a "dumb idea" causing you to doubt yourself. And if he is all for it, it will be a great thrill for him, IMO.
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:28 AM   #8
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Also, should I tell him or keep it a surprise until we get there? ("Just get on the monorail and don't ask questions!")
I would leave it as a surprise. Just go like - "oh I want to check out the Contemporary/Poly resort before going to the park"
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Old 05-19-2011, 11:06 AM   #9
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If you do Chef Mickey's,

I would ABSOLUTELY make it a surprise. Just tell him you want him to see what it's like to take the monorail through the resort and then when it stops inside the resort you can either tell him about the meal or just say you have to use the bathroom and then head up to the restauant. It would be a GREAT surprise, especially if you do it very early on in your trip. I think if you do it as close to arrival as possible it will seem the most magical. You know, before he gets used to seeing the characters around all the the parks.
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Old 05-19-2011, 11:35 AM   #10
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It looks like Chef Mickey's is all booked up for when we're there...I made reservations at 1900 Park Fare and Ohana. I know he would enjoy the Mad Hatter, but I know I enjoy Ohana, and I was able to get a time I prefer for Ohana. I like getting the last breakfast spot for "brunch" as well. I made them for different days, so I'll cancel one once I decide.

About Cape May, relaxed isn't really for us, anyway. The Mad Hatter is more our style. We'll probably end up at that one.
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:16 PM   #11
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About Cape May, relaxed isn't really for us, anyway. The Mad Hatter is more our style. We'll probably end up at that one.
By relaxed I meant Cape May is not as loud, crowded and bunched on top of eachother as 1900 PF is.

Mad Hatter is really hit or miss. Some are much more outgoing than others. We have had one that wasn't really into it, didn't really joke around or anything like that. Just said hi, took a picture and moved on. On the other hand, on our last visit, we were one of the last 5 or so tables to leave and Alice and the Hatter hung around until we were all ready to leave. They really put on a show for those of us that were left, it was beyond awesome. You really hardly ever hear about the boring Hatter, it might have just been an off morning.
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:56 PM   #12
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I would go for Ohana. Stitch is soo much fun. I would keep it a secret if I was you
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Old 05-19-2011, 01:08 PM   #13
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I would *absolutely* do a couple of character meals. I'm 40 and I think they're fun. My dd is 15 and she really enjoys them. Actually, we all enjoy them.

But, I'd be selective. I might do something like Tusker House and/or Cape May. I think I'd skip Chef Mickey because my thinking is that it's really loud and chaotic there with all of the little kids who can't wait to meet Mickey in his kitchen.

I think I'd also do a princess meal at Akershus.

Of course, that's strictly my opinion...
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Old 05-19-2011, 06:49 PM   #14
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A 17 year old boy? Take him to 1900 Park Fare for dinner - one of the two step sisters is sure to propose.

Another sure teenage boy-pleaser should be anything with the Disney Princesses. Except most of the Princeses have already found their one true love and are married now, so maybe not so much.

Do you know if he enjoys any Disney movies? If you could find out a character he likes more than others that might be one way to decide.

A lot depends on his personality. Some teenagers think seeing characters is the dumbest thing ever. Me, I love it, and I'm 52 - and I would have loved it when I was a teenager too.
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