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Old 12-28-2012, 12:16 PM   #1
dec2009mama
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Too Many CM ADRs?

I think I have booked us too many character meals during our trip....due to excitement and photopass+..so far I have:

~tusker house (breakfast & pp+)
~hollywood and vine (late breakfast/early lunch)
~chef mickey (dinner & pp+)
~ohana (breakfast &pp+)
~crystal palace (lunch)

My plan was to ensure we see the majority of the characters during these meals to eliminate standing in some lines throughout the days in the parks but I am not sure I really want to do all of the meals.

We are DL regulars and have done Crystal Palace Breakfast with Minnie and Surfs Up with Mickey and Stitch and while I loved CP I wasn’t too thrilled with Surfs Up and would like to avoid such disappointment on our WDW trip when the cost of these meals are so high!

I am pretty solid on H&V (2 year old HUGE Disney Junior fan) and TH but the other three I am not so sure of the other three.

Any suggestions or thoughts?
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:26 PM   #2
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the only one we havent done was O hana...and we go to the others regardless who is with us...adults or with the kids and grandkids...we love them all..because of your little ones age...Buffets are good because their food is there in a moment...when you get up and get it for them...that is why we picked mostly buffets when the grandkids were younger...but now we still do it because we enjoy the atmosphere..
Hope you have a good time
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:52 PM   #3
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Ohana is my favorite! Love their pineapple bread and juice.

We do the same thing as your plan - eat with the characters to avoid line times. We actually do a sit down Breakfast/dinner every night so we eat TS a bit more than you've planned for.

It's totally up to you. You could always start out with these plans and cancel future ADRs if it seems to be getting in the way of your park time (within the 24 hour window to avoid the fee).
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:59 PM   #4
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I got the deluxe dining plan my last trip and did a character breakfast every morning. I did Cape May Cafe, Akershus, 'Ohana, Tusker House, Chef Mickey's, and Crystal Palace. I did see some of the same characters,but in different costumes. It is a lot easier to get pictures of them in this setting than at the parks. If that is your rational, I say go for it.

While I enjoyed all of the characters I saw, I didn't enjoy the food at all of the buffets. I often came away hungry, which is unusual with me(scrambled eggs are just not my thing on a buffet--I prefer omelets). The buffets I liked the least because of the food selection were Akershus, 'Ohana, and Tusker House.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:05 PM   #5
dec2009mama
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We are not on a dining plan - I haven't done the research to see if the cost of 3 adults is worth it.

Guess I should call dining to see how much these CM are going to cost during the last week of March 2013.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:11 PM   #6
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We loves tusker house and Hollywood and vine. The lunch there is delish. I haven't done ohana but h e heard good things. We did cp many years ago and the character interaction was great but the food was meh. No idea if that's changed. We did chef mickeys two trips ago and vowed never again. It was chaos and the character interaction wasn't as goo as other chapter meals.
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:06 PM   #7
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We do a ton of character meals especially now that we have DD.

Last trip we did
-CM (dinner)
-CP (breakfast)
-GG (dinner)
-CRT (dinner)

For our May trip we are doing
-CM (dinner)
-CP (breakfast)
-H&V (breakfast)
-CRT (dinner)
-Askerhaus (breakfast)

DD loves them. Plus looking around as the characters go around helps entertain her while she's eating.

If you think your child will enjoy then I wouldn't worry about doing too many.
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:21 PM   #8
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Can someone explain photopass+ and ho it relates to character meals?
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:33 PM   #9
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OP, we've been to all of the character meals on your list, and most of them multiple times. The answer to whether you've booked too many really depends on the experience you want. We've had a great time on trips where we've piled on the character meals, trips with no character meals, and trips with just a couple character meals. I've been going to DL and WDW since childhood and we've been traveling to DL and WDW with our own children for 13 years, so we've had lots of chances to try different plans.

We've loaded up on character meals when our kids were really into certain characters, when the kids were younger so the total cost was less, and when we visited for a specific child-focused occasion, like a birthday. When I took our five-year-old for a couple days on my own, we booked quite a few character meals.

On those occasions, we didn't expect the best food quality or a quiet meal - just a fun time! When we did a character meal heavy trip for our youngest son's 4th birthday, we left with my husband noting that we had a GREAT time, but the food wasn't quite as good as usual. And, of course, that was because we ate tons of character meals and skipped many of our favorite signatures!

Our boys are now ages 5, 12 and 13 and they still enjoy character meals. We book one or two character meals per visit at the most, and like to balance that with signatures and other non-character favorites. We've been AP holders for a couple years and we're looking for a different experience than we were in the past.

Of your list, Tusker and Ohana are our clear favorites. I like Ohana the most, and my husband and boys would rank Tusker #1. I think the food is good at both, but Tusker has a better selection and Ohana has a more relaxed atmosphere, family style service (instead of buffet) and a beautiful view. H&V is fine, and VERY fun with a preschooler who loves Disney Junior. Crystal Palace lunch is OK, but very conveniently located and fun if you have any family members into Pooh characters. As for Chef Mickey's, it's about as loud as you can get and doesn't offer the best food ever, but it's a classic. We've been there several times and even though it's no longer on our rotation, we appreciate how fun it is - especially for first-time guests or guests who don't get to Disney often.
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:46 PM   #10
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DH and I LOVE Ohana for breakfast. It is by far our favorite character meal. If the choice were mine, I would keep Ohana and get rid of CP. neither of us was impressed with the food or character interaction at CP.
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:09 PM   #11
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I personally think you can never have too many character meals since we never get pictures with them otherwise. I think that if you really want to cut one out then cut Chef Mickeys since you will see those characters at H&V too and it is one of the more expensive CMs.

To answer the other question about how the photopass + effects the meals: you get to have the photos from certain restaurants automatically included with photopass + without paying extra for them.
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:38 PM   #12
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I'm a DLR regular and love the Storytellers Cafe character breakfast! So I know where you're coming for. We have almost exactly the same ADRs for our trip next month, sans the Hollywood and Vine. I totally understand what you mean by wanting to see the characters in a meal setting instead of waiting for them in line...it's kind of like killing two birds with one stone: eating and greeting!

I personally enjoyed Tusker House on my first trip, the interaction was definitely unique with the characters all decked out to go on a safari. Hope you enjoy your trip regardless of your ADRs!
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Old 12-28-2012, 07:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gigi1313 View Post
Can someone explain photopass+ and ho it relates to character meals?
PP+ allows you to get photos you would otherwise pay extra for onto your PP account. Ride photos can be added to the PP+ as well as photos at restaurants. For example, at Tusker House when you take your picture with Donald before being seated - you have the option to buy it, but with PP+ it can be added to your PP account for no additional cost outside the purchase of the PP+.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauralooneyfordisney View Post
I personally think you can never have too many character meals since we never get pictures with them otherwise. I think that if you really want to cut one out then cut Chef Mickeys since you will see those characters at H&V too and it is one of the more expensive CMs.

To answer the other question about how the photopass + effects the meals: you get to have the photos from certain restaurants automatically included with photopass + without paying extra for them.
Chef Mickey's and H&V have two totally different sets of characters
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:45 PM   #14
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Hi! I am a WDW regular but went to DLR twice last year and these are my thoughts. Chef Mickeys is a lot like Goofy's Kitchen, I prefer Goofy's Kitchen! While I did not enjoy Surf's Up at PP, I expected it to be very close to Ohana's and I was so disappointed! I absolutely love Ohana's and you should definitely try it! I like Crystal Palace, it's just ok for me but I like tigger and pooh BUT I go to 1900 Park fare to see them at the Grand Floridian! That is one of my favorite character meals, I love the Mad Hatter there and the food is really good and the Grand Floridian is replicated to look just like Hotel del Coronado, which is one of my favorite hotels! All 3 hotels are off the monorail and have character meals (chef Mickey at Contemporary, Ohana @ Polynesian and 1900 PF @ Grand Floridian). Hollywood and vine is a big hit for us because my son LOVES the disney junior characters, the food is very good but it is your basic buffet nothing fancy. Very good character interaction at all locations for us! I've never had a bad experience with characters at WDW, only at surf's up in DL at PP have I been disappointed. I've also been to Tusker House which has a unique buffet and Cape May, both very good experiences! I didn't try Minnie's breakfast at DL because I wanted to try Surfs Up but I wish I would've and I could better help compare it to WDW's Crystal Palace. Crystal Palace was just something I had to do once. Ohana is a staple for us. we have revisited Ohana and 1900 Park Fare and Chef Mickey's. Chef Mickeys is too chaotic for me to return to now that ive been several times but i think you gotta experience it once. My biggest recommendation is don't miss Ohana and maybe give the breakfast at Grand Floridian a try! I don't think you will be disappointed in any of your choices, there are just some that leave better impressions! Hope this helps!
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Old 12-29-2012, 12:11 AM   #15
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OP, I will tell you what I tell all the others that have come on here to ask if they have too many character meals booked.....you can never have too many character meals!! We do exactly the same thing as what you are planning on doing. We love the character meals because we don't have to stand in line waiting to see the characters, instead those characters can come to us while we are enjoying our meals. When we go, we do a ton of them, the only one that we have not done is H&V only because my kids think they are too old to enjoy the Disney Jr. gang (but yet give them a princess meal, or two, and they are all over that) .

How cool that you are DL Vets because we are heading there for the first time ourselves in June . As far as character meals is concerned, I originally had only planned on us going to the Minnie and Friend's Breakfast in DL because of the rave reviews there and Storyteller's Cafe Breakfast in GC only because we are staying at VGC. However, I quickly realized that we probably won't be back to the West Coast Parks for a very long time (if ever) so mind as well do them all....and we can't wait . I hope you have a wonderful trip.
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