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Old 04-23-2013, 12:24 PM   #1
Earning My Ears
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Character dining at WDW

Any tips for a WDW newbie? We love the character breakfasts at DLR, and will be spending our first week in WDW in June. Kids are 4 and 7 and mixed gender, both LOVE LOVE LOVE the character interactions (photos and autographs). What should we be doing and/or avoiding? Many thanks!
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:37 PM   #2
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Make your ADRs now. You could be hard pressed to get seats at the locations you desire with a June trip planned.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:38 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by TheShea's View Post
Make your ADRs now. You could be hard pressed to get seats at the locations you desire with a June trip planned.
Agree with this. We really like Crystal Palace and Tusker House.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:39 PM   #4
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That is really hard to say. I would check out here to see who is where at what time.

I can tell you as a blanket statement, I prefer the ones that keep bringing food to your table, rather than you going up to a buffet. I've seen a lot of really gross stuff at a buffet, and with everyone getting every kind of bug at Disney, it's more clean to me.

So with that being said, I liked Ohana breakfast, I liked Akershus lunch, I liked Garden Grill dinner. Not a fan at all of Chef Mickeys, not a fan at all of 1900 PF. Both times I felt the food was horrible, and the interaction was rushed and not fun, even though I got great photos at 1900 PF.
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:01 PM   #5
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Have you made your reservations for character meals? By your post it doesn't appear so, but I didn't want to assume that to be the case. If you haven't made any reservations that is the first thing you will need to do either by calling (407) WDW-DINE or by going online

I have researched Character dining at Disney Land and it is a bit different at WDW. Meals are reserved as much as 180 days in advance for WDW and although there are more options, some of them fill up really fast.

There are 13 restaurants that do character meals.

Akershus-5 princesses
Garden Grill-Chip, Dale, Mickey Mouse, Pluto-(dinner only)

Magic Kingdom
Crystal Palace Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore
Cinderella's Royal Table-5 princesses

Animal Kingdom
Tusker House-Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy, Goofy in safari gear (breakfast and lunch only)

Disney's Hollywood Studios
Hollywood and Vine Disney Junior characters-Breakfast and lunch only

Polynesian Resort
O'hana-Lilo, Stitch, Mickey Mouse and Pluto-breakfast only

Contemporary Resort
Chef Mickey's-Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Goofy in chef wear-breakfast and dinner

Beach Club Resort
Cape Maye-Donald Duck, Goofy and Minnie Mouse in beach wear-breakfast only

Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
1900 Park Fare-Winnie the Pooh, Alice and the Mad Hatter, Mary Poppins for breakfast, Cinderella, Prince Charming and the Tremaine's at dinner

Swan and Dolphin resort
Garden Grove-Rafiki, Timon sometimes I think at breakfast. the site doesn't say

Fort Wilderness Campground
Mickey's Backyard BBQ-Mickey and Friends, but I don't believe they sign autographs. I think children just get to dance with the children.

Of course there are a lot of ways to meet characters in the parks. I love this site.
Me DD 11 DS, 4

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Old 04-23-2013, 02:24 PM   #6
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I will warn you that while the character meals at WDW are fun and we enjoy them, they are nowhere near as good or as fun as some of the the ones at DLR- specifically Minnie's Breakfast or Goofy's Kitchen. We've never seen less than 7 characters at those and once at Minnie's Breakfast I think we saw 12. We also love the variety at DLR, and never knowing who might show up. At DLR, they also seem to play with the kids a lot more at the meals than they do at WDW. WDW character meals are all like Ariel's Grotto at DLR- there are usually 5 set characters (sometimes 4) that you always get and they make a fairly quick stop for a picture and autograph and move on.

Also you definitely need to get online and try to make ADRs if you want any chance at a character meal. Unlike DLR, WDW ADR's can be made online at the website. WDW is not like DLR where you can just walk up to a table service restaurant and expect to get in, especially when character meals are involved, but other places too. WDW starts taking ADRs 180 days before the trip (unlike DLRs 60), and people actually get up at the crack of dawn (or before) to make them.

My tip for you as a WDW newbie is to go to and look at the recommended park schedule for June. Figure out which days you want to go to what parks. Book an ADR for each of those days in the park you want to go to- you can always change your ADR's later, but it is good to have something booked. has a dining section that has all the restaurants and all their menus, so you can get some ideas of where you would like to go. For 4 and 7 year olds (and the adults), I would recommend Biergarten in Epcot as a fun place. It is a German buffet, and there is a show with a German Band and the kids can get out on the dance floor during the show. My DD (7) has loved that place since she was 3. My DH loves it too!
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:08 PM   #7
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I love Tusker House. Great food and fun characters. Reminds me of Surf's Up at PPH, where we have has the best character interaction and food at DLR.
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Old 04-23-2013, 04:29 PM   #8
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In addition to Tusker House already mentioned, my personal favorite is Garden Grille at Epcot. It's the only place in the world where I actually eat fish and like it. Even my 5 year old cleaned his plate!
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