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Old 04-08-2013, 03:24 PM   #1
RollTide1017
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Character Dinning questions?

Looking for a good place that has some general character dinning info. Like a list of all the character dinning venues, prices, are reservations required? Things like that. Taking my daughter to WDW next week for the first time and while my wife and I have been to Disney plenty of times, we've never been with kids and never thought about character dinning before. Is it work the price, especially if you child is a picky eater. Also, we are staying with a friend to save money so could we even go to the ones at Disney hotels ro are they for resort guest only?

Thanks for any info. I tried searching but could find one thread with all the info in one place.
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:48 PM   #2
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Recommendations

For Princesses, I'd suggest Norway in EPCOT. For Pooh and friends I'd go with Crystal Palace in MK. For classic Mickey and friends, it's the Contemporary. Grand Floridian adds Mary Poppins to the Cinderella characters. You can do breakfast or lunch at all; dinner at some. Character experiences IMO are not to be judged by cost of the meal, but by memories made. I do not believe you will regret any of them. It is a very magical experience. You can go on the menu button to look over the menu items, but please, experience this now when your DD is young. You will never regret it. Oh, any meals at any resort are open to anyone. you do not have to be staying at the resort to experience the resort meals.
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:46 AM   #3
Disney_Princess83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RollTide1017 View Post
Looking for a good place that has some general character dinning info. Like a list of all the character dinning venues, prices, are reservations required? Things like that. Taking my daughter to WDW next week for the first time and while my wife and I have been to Disney plenty of times, we've never been with kids and never thought about character dinning before. Is it work the price, especially if you child is a picky eater. Also, we are staying with a friend to save money so could we even go to the ones at Disney hotels ro are they for resort guest only?

Thanks for any info. I tried searching but could find one thread with all the info in one place.
Here is a list on the Disney World site that lists all the character meals available at Disney World.
https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/di...racter-dining/

The character meals are expensive but it's great way to meet the characters rather than lining up in the parks. Some are more expensive than others. That being said, we do the meals and see the same characters in the parks too. Also none of the characters are ever guaranteed at any of the meals. They can get sick but they are almost always replaced by another character.

The buffets are great as there are so many options, even picky eaters can find something to eat.

You can dine at any of the resorts, even if you're not a guest. You will need reservations, especially for Chef Mickey and Cinderella's Royal Table. Reservations open up 180 days before your dining date. If your reservation is in a park, you must have a park ticket to enter.

Here are the main ones:

Magic Kingdom

Crystal Palace - Open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Characters include Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet

Cinderella's Royal Table - Open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Characters include Cinderella, Snow White, Aurora/Sleeping Beauty, Ariel and Jasmine

EPCOT

Garden Grill - Open for Dinner Only
Characters include Mickey, Pluto, Chip and Dale

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall - Open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Characters include Belle, Snow White, Ariel, Aurora/Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella. If any of the Princesses are unwell you may get Jasmine, Mulan, Alice or Mary Poppins

Hollywood Studios

Hollywood & Vine - Open for Breakfast and Lunch Only (Dinner isn't a character meal)
Characters Include - Agent Oso, Handy Manny, Jake and June

Animal Kingdom

Tusker House - Open for Breakfast and Lunch (Dinner isn't a character meal)
Characters include Donald, Daisy, Mickey and Goofy in their Safari Outfits

There are also several locations at resorts.

Contemporary Resort
Chef Mickey - Open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Characters include Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto

Polynesian Resort
'Ohana - Open for Breakfast (Dinner isn't a character meal)
Characters include Stitch, Lilo, Mickey and Pluto

Beach Club Resort

Cape May Cafe - Open for Breakfast Only
Characters include Minnie, Goofy and Donald in Beach Outfits
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:50 AM   #4
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Thanks for the info, was just looking at Cinderella's Royal Table but there are no tables available on any of the days we are going to be there. Is there any chance of getting in without a reservation? If not, there are some tables available at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall but I just know my daughter would love to eat inside Cinderella's castle.
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:59 AM   #5
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Cinderella's Royal Table always seems to be booked solid. My only advice would be to check in while you are on vacation to see if something opens up (from a cancellation). You can find out from hotel concierge, online reservation system or at the parks.

If nothing opens up Akershus is wonderful. We really liked it. Included is a picture with Belle (no extra cost) and the princess interaction is wonderful. You also get the opportunity to see more of the princesses (not just Cinderella).

Hope your daughter has a magical first trip!
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RollTide1017 View Post
Thanks for the info, was just looking at Cinderella's Royal Table but there are no tables available on any of the days we are going to be there. Is there any chance of getting in without a reservation? If not, there are some tables available at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall but I just know my daughter would love to eat inside Cinderella's castle.
There is almost no chance of getting in without a reservation. It is possible that people will cancel, you need to pay for this meal when you make your reservation. If you don't show up, you forfeit the entire payment. I would recommend to keep checking several times a day in case you can get a last minute cancellation. Even the day before, it's possible to get a reservation. If people are going to cancel, it must be 24 hours before the reservation. You can also ask at Guest Relations and your hotels concierge (assuming you're staying at a Disney Resort)

I'd book Akershus. It is a similar experience and in my option, it food is better. You're paying for dining in the castle with CRT. You can keep trying for CRT and always cancel Akershus if you manage a reservation at CRT.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RollTide1017 View Post
Thanks for the info, was just looking at Cinderella's Royal Table but there are no tables available on any of the days we are going to be there. Is there any chance of getting in without a reservation? If not, there are some tables available at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall but I just know my daughter would love to eat inside Cinderella's castle.
The week before, it is hard to book any character dining as most of the character meals book up well in advance. If you can get a table at Akershus, I would grab it before it is gone. You can keep trying online to get the castle, and you can always cancel Akerhus if you are lucky enough to pick up a castle reservation. I have seen people lucky enough to walk up to the castle and get in, but it is pretty unlikely. It is always worth checking, but don't let your daughter think there is any chance of it, so she won't be disappointed if you can't get in.

The princesses at Akershus and CRT are usually the same. The only difference is that the photograph you get before going to your table at CRT is always Cinderella and at Akershus it is Belle. There is something special about eating in the castle, and it is our favorite, but if you can't get in there, Akershus is a good substitute. We usually wind up doing both because DD is a princess nut.

Another place not on the list below is 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian. It is a buffet that at Dinner is the Cinderella Characters- usually Cinderella, Prince Charming, the Stepsisters (who can be really funny), and Stepmother. We've never been at breakfast, but I think breakfast is Mary Poppins and Alice.
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dzneelvr View Post
For Princesses, I'd suggest Norway in EPCOT. For Pooh and friends I'd go with Crystal Palace in MK. For classic Mickey and friends, it's the Contemporary. Grand Floridian adds Mary Poppins to the Cinderella characters. You can do breakfast or lunch at all; dinner at some. Character experiences IMO are not to be judged by cost of the meal, but by memories made. I do not believe you will regret any of them. It is a very magical experience. You can go on the menu button to look over the menu items, but please, experience this now when your DD is young. You will never regret it. Oh, any meals at any resort are open to anyone. you do not have to be staying at the resort to experience the resort meals.
I couldn't agree more! The experience is worth every penny, no matter if you eat your money's worth or not. The interaction and pictures you get will be priceless.
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:33 PM   #9
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There are also two character meals at the Grand Floridian, both at 1900 Park Fare. For breakfast, they have Mary Poppins, Alice, the Mad Hatter, Pooh and Tigger. For dinner, they have Cinderella, Prince Charming, and the Step Family.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:50 PM   #10
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This has some great info!
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:00 AM   #11
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If you want to be absolutely certain to get a seat at a character meal, you should have a reservation. Don't count on CRT if you don't have a reservation. Within a week it's going to be difficult to find one, but you should continue to check if it is the one you want for certain. If you can get Akershus, grab it, but remember that you have to put down a credit card for your no-show fee and if you can't cancel it by the day before, you need to go if you don't want to be charged $10 per person. With CRT you have to pay for it when you book it.
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