Essential Guide to Walt Disney World Character Dining Experiences

It all started with a mouse. So, there’s no better way to spend some time at Disney World than by meeting the mouse himself. Mickey Mouse, that is! At Disney World, Mickey and all of his pals play hosts to guests for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at restaurants all across the resort – and you’re invited. 

Disney World character dining is a must for any fans of Disney’s animated movies. With tasty food (most of the time) and up-close interactions with some of your favorite characters,  Disney character meals are the perfect way to turn something as ordinary as eating into something that’s both magical and memorable. 

For this guide, we’ll go over all the options available for Disney character dining, as well as a few useful suggestions for making the most out of your meal. (If you’re looking for our take on the best character meals at Disney, click here instead.) So, grab your appetites and autograph books, and let’s get started!

Disney Character Dining 2021

Castle in the evening with glow

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Walt Disney character dining has undergone a number of changes. While some restaurants are still temporarily unavailable, others are serving guests again but without any appearances from Disney characters due to not having enough space to safely accommodate both the characters and diners. For those that are open without characters, prices have been reduced. 

Fortunately, there are some character meals at Disney World that are back open for guests looking to have an extra memorable meal. There have been a few adjustments to these Disney character meals, however, that you should be aware of. Rather than making the rounds from table to table, characters now tend to roam about the dining room waving at guests from afar. So, although you won’t be able to get a hug, autograph, or photo with your arm around Mickey, you may get a chance to snap a socially distanced selfie.

How the meal is served has also seen some changes, with those that were once a buffet having transitioned to a family-style service. Luckily, not only does this help prevent the spread of germs, but the food also tends to be a whole lot fresher by the time it hits your fork.  

Here’s what you can expect for Disney World character dining 2021: 

  • Open with modified character dining:
  • Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort
  • Garden Grill at Epcot (breakfast temporarily unavailable)
  • Hollywood & Vine at Hollywood Studios
  • Breakfast at Ravello at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando
  • Breakfast at Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera at the Riviera Resort
  • Tusker House Restaurant at Animal Kingdom
  • Open with the possibility of a brief, socially distanced character appearance:
  • Dinner at Be Our Guest at Magic Kingdom
  • Cinderella’s Royal Table at Magic Kingdom (breakfast temporarily unavailable)
  • Open without Disney characters:
      • Breakfast at Cape May Café at the Beach Club Resort
      • Breakfast at ‘Ohana at the Polynesian Village Resort
  • Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk
  • The Crystal Palace at Magic Kingdom (breakfast temporarily unavailable)
  • Temporarily unavailable:
    • 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
    • Akershus Royal Banquet Hall at Epcot
    • Disney’s Perfectly Princess Tea at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
    • Storybook Dining at Artist Point with Snow White at the Wilderness Lodge Resort
    • Wonderland Tea Party at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Walt Disney World Character Dining List

Side of castle with lamp post

Think you’d like to eat with characters at Disney World? Whether you’re hoping to have brunch with Mickey Mouse in Animal Kingdom or are looking for some princess dining options at Disney World, here’s a list of all the character dining that’s available in the Disney theme parks. 

Magic Kingdom Character Dining

Travel to the Hundred Acre Wood or dine like royalty during these character meals at Magic Kingdom:

Be Our Guest Restaurant

Located in Beast’s Castle in New Fantasyland, Be Our Guest Restaurant features a 3-course, prix fixe menu starring French-inspired dishes like Center-cut Filet Mignon, Poulet Rouge Chicken, and a White Chocolate “Chip” Cup filled with some of the Grey Stuff.  While this isn’t officially one of the character dinners at Magic Kingdom, the Beast does like to stomp around the Ballroom and West Wing-themed dining rooms and occasionally pose for pictures from time to time. 

Characters at: Dinner

Characters (subject to availability): The Beast

Cinderella’s Royal Table 

Cinderella’s Royal Table is the premiere spot for a Disney World princess breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Ever wished you could live in Cinderella Castle? The Cinderella Castle Suite may be out of reach for most people but getting to eat in Cinderella’s castle is a pretty decent substitute. With its elevated American menu and fairytale setting, little and not-so-little princesses and princes alike will love eating at Cinderella’s Royal Table. Here, guests savor dishes like Duck Two-Ways and Pan-Seared Sea Scallops as some of Disney’s princesses stop by for a visit. 

Restaurant dining signage

Characters at: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Characters (subject to availability): Cinderella, Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Snow White, Jasmine, and Ariel

The Crystal Palace 

Say ‘hello’ to Winnie the Pooh and the gang at The Crystal Palace. This bright and airy restaurant designed after a Victorian conservatory is one of the only places you can eat with Pooh and his pals at Disney World, making it a popular character dining location for families with small children. The menu here is similarly kid-friendly, making this a great place for a pit spot any time of day. 

Characters at: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Characters (subject to availability): Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, and Eeyore

Epcot Character Dining

Make a stop while eating around the World (Showcase) or hang out in Future World during these character meals at Epcot:

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall at Epcot

Located next door to one of the park’s most popular rides, Frozen Ever After, Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is the place to go if you’re looking for a Disney World princess breakfast, lunch, or dinner at Epcot. While Elsa and Anna aren’t there holding court, some of the other Disney princesses are. As the restaurant is part of World Showcase, this is one of the more interesting menus you’ll find at a Disney character meal. Don’t let unfamiliar eats like the Norwegian Smorgasbord dissuade you from making a reservation here. The food – Norwegian Meatballs, Seared Pork Tenderloin, and more – is delicious. 

Characters at: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Characters (subject to availability): Snow White, Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Cinderella, Belle, and Ariel

Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Harvest Feast at Garden Grill at Epcot

Garden Grill tables and signage

Garden Grill Restaurant at The Land pavilion in Future World tops our list for character dinners at Epcot (and breakfast and lunch too!). For this bounteous feast, you’ll dine on a cornucopia of homespun favorites made from ingredients grown right there in the pavilion – all while rotating through the Living with the Land ride. Grilled Beef with Chimichurri, Herb and Leek Stuffing. It’s a comfort-food lover’s dream. Chip and Dale are the headliners here, but Mickey and Pluto make an appearance too in their farmer’s garb. 

Characters at: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Characters (subject to availability): Chip, Dale, Mickey, and Pluto

Hollywood Studios Character Dining

Pal around with Disney Junior characters or some of the Fab Five at this character meal at Hollywood Studios:

Hollywood and Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

A table full of plated desserts

Hollywood Studios only has one character dining experience, but that’s ok because the Hollywood and Vine more than makes up for it. This Hollywood Studios restaurant is home to not one, but two different Disney character meals. In the morning, the Disney Junior Play ‘n Dine serves up kid-friendly breakfast favorites like Hazelnut Spread-stuffed French Toast and Caramel Monkey Bread. While for lunch and dinner, Minnie and her friends dress up for the season and share the flavors of spring, summer, fall, and winter during Minnie’s Seasonal Dining. 

Characters at: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Disney Junior Play n’ Dine Breakfast Characters (subject to availability): Doc McStuffins, Fancy Nancy, Vampirina, and Roadster Goofy

Minnie’s Seasonal Dining Lunch and Dinner Characters (subject to availability): Minnie, Mickey, Daisy, Donald, and Goofy

Animal Kingdom Character Dining

Fuel up for a day of animal-themed adventures with this character meal at Animal Kingdom:

Tusker House Restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park

Donald, Mickey, and Goofy – all decked out for the savanna – are visiting the African village of Harambe to go on a safari, and you’re invited to visit them while they’re there. Located near the Kilimanjaro Safaris ride, Tusker House Restaurant is a fun character dining spot featuring some unique menu options befitting its African inspiration. In the morning, munch on Simba waffles and Durban Chicken & Egg Curry. In the afternoon and into the evening, tuck into other delicious dishes with an African twist like Cape Malay Green Curry Shrimp and Berber-marinated Pork. 

Donald, Mickey and Goofy in safari gear

Characters at: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Characters (subject to availability): Donald, Mickey, and Goofy

Character Meals at Disney Resorts

While dining with Disney characters is fun inside the theme parks, every once in a while, it’s nice to get out and explore all the amazing resorts Disney has to offer. Whether you’re staying in one of the Disney resorts or just a theme park guest, these next restaurants are the best places for character dining at Disney World hotels.

Character Dining in Magic Kingdom Resort Area

Staying along the monorail loop or looking for a break from the Magic Kingdom crowds? Hobnob with the Fab Five, Cinderella, Stitch, and more at these character meals in Magic Kingdom area resorts:

1900 Park Fare at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Located at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, 1900 Park Fare is home to two of the more unique Disney character meals on property. The Supercalifragilistic Breakfast is a British invasion of a meal, with beloved characters from the UK popping by to say ‘cheerio.’ Pooh and Tigger are there. Mary Poppins, Alice, and the Mad Hatter too. In the evening, the Happily Ever After Dinner takes over, starring the family dramatics of Cinderella, her stepsisters, Lady Tremaine, and even Prince Charming. The food may be pretty standard (though the Floridian Strawberry Soup is a hit), but the cast of characters is anything but. 

Characters at: Breakfast and Dinner

Supercalifragilistic Breakfast Characters (subject to availability): Alice (in Wonderland), The Mad Hatter, Mary Poppins, Winnie the Pooh, and Tigger

Happily Ever After Dinner Characters (subject to availability): Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, Anastasia, and Drizella

Best Friends Breakfast at ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Village 

‘Ohana means family, and “family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten”, and that’s certainly the case at the Best Friends Breakfast at the Polynesian Village Resort. There you’ll find two of Disney’s most dynamic duos – Lilo & Stitch and Mickey & Pluto – surfing through the crowd in their finest luau wear. This all-you-care-to-enjoy breakfast feast features AM favorites with an island twist like Hawaiian Ham, Pineapple-Coconut Bread, and Mickey waffles. 

Characters at: Breakfast

Characters (subject to availability): Lilo, Stitch, Mickey, and Pluto

Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Mickey-shaped brunch on plate

Hoping to have breakfast or dinner with Mickey Mouse at Disney World? Then book your reservation for the quintessential Disney World character meal: Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort. All of the Fab Five – Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald, and Goofy – are on-hand here and looking spiffy in their chef jackets. The food aims to be a cut above what you’ll find at some of the other character meals, with items like Prime Rib and Roasted Salmon on the menu. With the monorail zipping through the hotel and the regular napkin dances for anyone celebrating, it really is a fun, family-friendly spot. 

Characters at: Breakfast and dinner

Characters (subject to availability): Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto

Good Morning Breakfast with Goofy and His Pals at Ravello at Four Seasons Resort

While not technically a Disney resort hotel, the Four Seasons Resort Orlando near Magic Kingdom offers one of the best Disney character breakfasts. The Good Morning Breakfast with Goofy and His Pals at Ravello sees Goofy and a couple of his closest friends on holiday. As the characters walk around in their best resort wear, you’ll devour sophisticated spins on breakfast classics off the prix fixe menu including an Old Fashioned Belgian Waffle with berry coulis and an Egg White Frittata stuffed with goat cheese and fresh veggies. As the restaurant is located in the exclusive Golden Oak community, this is one of the more difficult character meals to get to on our list, so be sure to plan accordingly. 

Characters at: Breakfast

Characters (subject to availability): Goofy, Mickey, and Minnie

Storybook Dining at Artist Point with Snow White at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge 

Artist Point Dining Sign

Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s off to the Wilderness Lodge we go for Story Book Dining at Artist Point with Snow White. As far as Disney princess dining goes, this immersive character meal is one of our favorites. The resort’s former signature restaurant has been transformed into the Enchanted Forest, where Snow White and her friends (and the Evil Queen too!) have taken up residence. From the tree branches strewn with twinkle lights to elegant, themed dishes like Brothers Grimm Roasted Chicken and Fairy Tale Gooseberry Pie, the meal is enchanting from beginning to end. 

Characters at: Dinner

Characters (subject to availability): Snow White, Evil Queen, Grumpy, and Dopey

Character Dining in Epcot & Hollywood Studios Resort Area

Planning your stay for one of the Disney World resorts along the Disney Skyliner route? Wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of the Epcot festivals? Book your reservation for these character meals at Disney resorts: 

Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk

Looking for a Disney character breakfast with a little romance? Disney style, of course. Then head on over to Disney’s BoardWalk for the Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast. Held at Trattoria al Forno, this character breakfast stars two Disney couples: Rapunzel & Flynn Rider and Ariel & Prince Eric. And if those pairings aren’t enough to convince you to book a reservation, then the food definitely should. Featuring Italian-inspired breakfast dishes like an AM calzone called King Triton’s Shipwreck al Forno and Tangled Eggs, the menu here is better than what you’ll find at some other character dining. 

Characters at: Breakfast 

Characters (subject to availability): Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, Ariel, Prince Eric

Breakfast à la Art at Topolino’s Terrace at Disney’s Riviera Resort

Wanting a more elevated Disney character meal? Held at the rooftop restaurant at Disney’s Riviera Resort, Breakfast à la Art at Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera satisfies that criteria both literally and metaphorically. While the view is a stunner, you’ll be just as captivated by the charming characters and delicious menu.  Here, Mickey and the gang are studying art in the European Riviera and are all dressed up in outfits representing their specialties, making for some excellent photos. Best of all, with items on the menu like Quiche Gruyere and a Sour Cream Waffle, the dining portion of your meal will be every bit as memorable as the characters. 

Characters at: Breakfast

Characters (subject to availability): Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy

Minnie’s Beach Bash Breakfast at Cape May Café at Disney’s Beach Club 

No one throws a party like Minnie Mouse. So, you know that Minnie’s Beach Bash Breakfast at the Beach Club’s Cape May Café is going to be a good time. All ready for the sun and sand in their beachy best, Minnie and her pals look downright adorable. While you’re waiting for them to visit your table, nosh on items like French Toast with Caramel Banana Sauce, Mickey waffles, and more. 

Characters at: Breakfast 

Characters (subject to availability): Minnie, Daisy, Donald, and Goofy

Kid-Centric Character Dining Experiences at Disney Resorts

Searching for something to make your little one’s Disney World visit extra special? Then sign them up for one of these intimate character dining experiences geared towards children.  

Disney’s Perfectly Princess Tea at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Every little princess and prince deserves to be treated like royalty, and that’s just what happens at Disney’s Perfectly Princess Tea Party. Dressing up is encouraged, as is sticking out your pinky finger when drinking your tea so you look fancy. While there are some refreshments, the real highlight of the event is all the stories, dancing, music, and surprise visit from Princess Aurora. Oh, and did we mention the gifts? At $333.64 for one adult and one child, the price is admittedly steep, but you’re definitely paying for the experience. 

Wonderland Tea Party at 1900 Park Fare at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Looking for a more affordable alternative to the Perfectly Princess Tea? The Wonderland Tea Party, also held at the Grand Floridian, is more reasonably priced at $49 per child and just as enjoyable. Alice and The Mad Hatter play host while the guests of honor make crafts, decorate cupcakes, and sip on apple juice. All in all, it’s a whimsical experience for Disney’s youngest guests. 

Disney Character Dining FAQs

Still not sold on booking a character meal at Disney World? Here are the answers to some popular questions to help you decide:

How much is Disney character dining? 

In general, character breakfasts generally cost around $42 for adults and $27 for children, while a character lunch and dinner will run around $55 per adult and $36 per child. 

However, certain Disney character meals do cost more on average. Cinderella’s Royal Table is the most expensive character meal at Disney World, typically costing an adult $62 for breakfast or $75 for dinner. Storybook Dining at Artist Point with Snow White, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Ravello’s Good Morning Breakfast with Goofy and Pals are also only slightly more spendy. That being said, you are definitely paying for a more elegant atmosphere and menu. 

Keep in mind that like Disney tickets, Disney character meals prices are subject to change over the high and low seasons. 

What is the cheapest character meal at Disney World?

Overall, Disney character breakfasts are cheaper than a character dinner or lunch. As character breakfasts at Disney World tend to be bottomless for at least some dishes, this makes them an especially great value. 

Character breakfast or character dinner: Which is better?

Tables and bar of restaurant

It really depends on how you like to schedule your day and how much you’d like to spend. We like character breakfasts because they’re a great way to kick off your day with a bit of magic and enough food to fuel you through to a late lunch or early dinner. They feel easier to fit into a day than having to spend 90 minutes for a full meal – never mind how long it will take you to get there if it’s at a resort.  And best of all, they aren’t as pricey. 

Having said that, a Disney character dinner or lunch does have its benefits. The food is usually a bit nicer and more unique, although there are some exceptions. Plus, it can be nice to sit down in some air-conditioning and take a break from the day without pausing the pixie dust. 

Which character meal at Disney World is the best? 

It’s really more about what is best for your family. As we mentioned earlier, it really depends on what you and your family are interested in, specifically when it comes to the characters and food. Everyone has a character dining experience at Walt Disney World that fits them best. While younger children will love meeting Mickey or Pooh, adults will get a kick out of the antics of characters like Cinderella and her sisters, Anastasia and Drizella. 

Additionally, while some people are happy with basics like scrambled eggs and Mickey waffles, others would prefer them in a more dressed-up fashion. Click here to learn more about the best places for character dining at Disney World for fans of Mickey, the Disney Princesses, silly old Pooh Bear, and more. 

How long do character meals take?

Mickey at character lunch with two guests

We recommend that you give yourself at least 90 minutes for your meal, not including travel time. This should allow you plenty of time to get checked in, sit down, and enjoy both your meal and the characters without feeling rushed. If you need to travel to a different park or hotel, however, be sure to plan your travel time accordingly. 

Disney Character Dining Tips

Ready to book your Disney character dining reservation? Congrats! Here are some simple suggestions for having the best character dining experience possible:

1.  Don’t forget your advance reservation.

Reservations for Disney character dining aren’t required for most character meals, but they are highly suggested. Meals with Disney characters are some of the most popular dining experiences on Disney World property. So, although some restaurants will have a walk-up list, we recommend you plan ahead instead – or risk being left heartbroken. 

Anyone can make an advance reservation for dining up to 60 days in advance, while guests of a Disney World resort hotel can book a table up to 60 days ahead plus the length of days in the stay. For example, if someone will be staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge for 5 days, they can reserve Disney dining 65 days in advance. Make your dining reservation on the My Disney Experience app or the Disney World website. 

2.  Play into the interaction for the most memorable experience. 

While you could just hand over your autograph book and sit in silence as Minnie signs her signature before dutifully posing for a photo, chat it up instead! Disney characters love interacting with guests. Although Chip and Dale can’t talk with their mouths, that doesn’t mean they can’t, or aren’t trying to, communicate with you.

Dining room with tables and lights

Not sure what to say? Comment on their outfits or let them know if you’re celebrating anything to get the conversation started. If you’re eating at Chef Mickey’s, give your compliments to the chef with the Big Cheese stops by your table. Whatever you’re chatting about, it’s sure to make the interaction unforgettable. 

3.  Remember your autograph book and a Sharpie.

Collecting Disney characters’ signatures is one of the best souvenirs you can get, and it’s completely free. Well, almost. All you’ll need to buy is an autograph book and something for the characters to write with. Disney sells all kinds of autograph books, as does virtually every other gift shop in Orlando. Or, buy a children’s picture book to make those signatures even more special. 

For the smoothest signing experience, have your book open to a fresh page, or at least one with plenty of space. And while you’re at it, don’t just give Mickey any old pen to sign with. It can be tricky for him to use with those hands of his. Instead, hand him a black Sharpie to use. The green ones leave marks that are harder for him to get out of his shiny white gloves, as well as other characters’ outfits. 

4.  Have your camera ready.  

Up-close-and-personal photos are another one of the highlights of booking a character meal at Disney World. So, don’t be caught unawares – or keep Snow White waiting. This is one time when keeping your cellphone (or camera) on the table is actually encouraged. 

5.  Bring your appetite – and be prepared to carry it around with you after.  

Most Disney character meals are all-you-care-to-enjoy. So, as tempting as it can be to stuff yourself silly (gotta get your money’s worth, after all), keep in mind that no one wants to be zipping around on Expedition Everest after downing plate after plate at Tusker House. Contrastingly, character dinners at Disney World do cost a pretty penny. Avoid eating too much at lunchtime and not having enough space to make the price worth it. 

Tables and bar of restaurant

Well, ya’ll, that’s everything you need to know about mingling with Mickey and Minnie or chatting it up with Cinderella and Snow White over a plate of something tasty. Character dining truly is one of those experiences that you can’t get anywhere else and can really add to your Disney World experience. We hope that you’ll make some space for at least one character meal on your next vacation. 

Worried that you won’t have enough time for a character meal? Save yourself some time and hit all your Disney bucket-list items with our 1-day plans for Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. Wish you had enough space in your budget to eat at Cinderella’s Royal Table? Make it happen with our discount Disney World tickets.

Have you tried character dining at Disney World? Which character meal is your favorite? Which has the best food? The most unique character experience? Let us know in the comments!

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