Best Character Meal?

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by Saratoga Goofy, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. Saratoga Goofy

    Saratoga Goofy Mouseketeer

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    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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  3. FiggieFan

    FiggieFan DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  4. tinkermama117

    tinkermama117 Mouseketeer

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    Tusker House or 'Ohana. Great in both categories.
     
  5. jwfla422

    jwfla422 DIS Veteran/Philly Native

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    These are some of our favorites:

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

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

    1900 Pk Fare breakfast-GF resort-our review with photos-- http://www.disneydiningreviews.com/1900-pk-fare-grand-floridian.htm
     
  6. mickeynut1

    mickeynut1 DIS Veteran

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    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 :goodvibes.
     
  7. misstheworld

    misstheworld My Prince Charming is mecarroll

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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.
     
  8. TheRustyScupper

    TheRustyScupper Good Sailing Master. Average Banjo Picker.

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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
     
  9. chefheidit

    chefheidit Earning My Ears

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    Obama and crystal palace!
     
  10. chefheidit

    chefheidit Earning My Ears

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    Haha. Autocorrect said Obama. Clearly I meant Ohana!
     
  11. MichelleWDWfan

    MichelleWDWfan Mouseketeer

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    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. :thumbsup2
     
  12. PrincessSamanthaC

    PrincessSamanthaC Mouseketeer

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    Can't go wrong with either Cape May or Ohana breakfasts!:)
     
  13. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    We love 'Ohana. Character interaction is excellent, the atmosphere is awesome (love the leis they hand out upon arrival :thumbsup2), the food is sooooo good (and brought family-style, right to your table, which is so much more relaxing than a standard buffet), the Polynesian is gorgeous, and many tables have a view of the castle. Its a family favourite.

    You can check out our Christmas visit here:

    http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415&page=6

    beginning at post 87.

    Stitch is a real little rascal, which adds a nice element of fun to the meal. On our most recent trip, he ran around picking boogers from his nose and wiping them on unsuspecting guests. The kids LOVED it.

    We have also had the most amazing character interaction here with Pluto. On our first trip in 2009, he was quite the silly dog:

    [​IMG]

    I also love that Mickey is at this meal. Because the more time with Mickey, the better in my book! :goodvibes
     
  14. kam1011

    kam1011 Mouseketeer

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    My favorite is Hollywood and Vine, but with the age range you have, I don't think it's best. SO, my next best recommendation is Tusker House. The characters play with the kids doing conga lines and stuff like that. The food is good and it's a buffet, so you can try all different stuff. They have African cuisine and "regular" stuff for the less adventurous :) There's a 'kids buffet' with chicken nuggets and choices like that, but both kids and adults can pick foods from anywhere.
     
  15. ilovevacation

    ilovevacation Mouseketeer

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    Tusker house is great for breakfast. If you are lucky you can time a meal to end around park open then you have an advantage since you are already in the back of the park. The food is rather good and the characters a come by and visit (even when is just two adults).
     
  16. katt789

    katt789 DIS Veteran

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    I think that would have to do with your choice of characters.
    I always find the interaction to be better at meals with face characters, such as the princesses as they can talk.
    I would have to pick 1900 Park Faire for dinner as my favorite! The food is some of the best, the ambiance is amazing, and for characters you get Cindy, Charming, and the Tremaine family, who are the real stars of the show, they're great!!

    I like to get an ADR right around five pm right after it opens for dinner as the wait isn't as long and everything's fresh!
     
  17. juliebug1997

    juliebug1997 DIS Veteran

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    Our favorites are Garden Grill for dinner with Chip and Dale (Mickey and Pluto are there too, but we love the boys best!), 'Ohana, CRT and Crystal Palace. Really, we like all of them a lot. We've had some less than wonderful experiences at Tusker House and Akershus, but there are lots of people on the board who like those two.
     
  18. grace&philipsmom

    grace&philipsmom DIS Veteran

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    'Ohana breakfast is our favourite character meal as well. We like dinner at CRT as well, but it is just because we love eating in the castle, and has less to do with the princesses.

    We also like Mickeys Backyard BBQ, but we are probably in the minority on that one. MBYBBQ character interaction is different from a regular character dining experience. My kids love the BBQ atmosphere, and they love dancing with the characters.
     
  19. lhguillory

    lhguillory Magic Happens

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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.
     
  20. Smiles4DW

    Smiles4DW Wanted: Pixie Dust

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    Definitely pick which characters you really want to meet then pick a restaurant they are at with food you like. Definitely check out the menus. Big help to me.

    We have 3 kids...13, 9, & 6.....

    My family insists on Chef Mickeys every visit. We have always had great food & great character interaction. We had great character interaction during dinner at 1900 Park Fair but mediocre food & wait service. So we haven't wanted to go back. CRT or Akershus has great princess interaction and ok food. But we go to one or the other every time because of the princesses.

    For a non character meal that my family loves, go to Tepoan Edo at Japan in Epcot. Very entertaining & great food.
     
  21. KPaul

    KPaul Mouseketeer

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    You didn't mention whether the kids are girls or boys, but I'll throw in a plug for 1900 Park Fare dinner. When we went with my kids (dd 6, ds 3) they both adored Cinderella, but loved loved loved the Stepmother and Step Sisters. We spent most of our time watching the Stepmother and Stepsisters interact with other guests - keeping true to their characters, the stepsisters were flirting with every male over the age of 12, and the stepmother was "interviewing" every male of appropriate age as a potential son-in-law. They were really hilarious and 1900 Park Fare is the only restaurant my kids have put on their "Must List" for when we return.
     

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