One of the hardest things for me when planning our first family trip was figuring out character dining. I knew we wanted to have a few character meals, and we had the dining plan but it was so hard to figure out what characters were out there and where they met.
We ended up eating several character meals and loved every single one of them. It\’s a great opportunity to sit down, take a break, and eat while also checking some things off your list. We didn\’t have to stand in line to meet as many characters because we saw so many during dining experiences. It was wonderful.
A couple of tips for character meals:
YOU HAVE TO MAKE RESERVATIONS. PERIOD. You may see them called Advance Dining Reservations (or ADR\’s). Even having a reservation, you still may have to wait a bit before being seated. Be patient and know that the only reason you are waiting is because the characters are spending time with another family, just like they will with yours.
If you are staying on property you can make dining reservations 180 days before your check-in date. That means if you want a reservation that is hard to get (Be Our Guest, Cinderella\’s Royal Table, and Chef Mickey\’s among others), you can log in to My Disney Experience at midnight at the 180 day mark and try to get these reservations. (Or you could use a Wishdrawals travel agent who will be happy to lose sleep and make the reservations for you!)
Characters will visit everyone and spend as much time as needed at your table. You don\’t have to get up and find them. But like I said before, be patient! Know that they are coming and enjoy the experience.
If you make breakfast reservations at a park before the park opens, you can get into that park before the general public which can mean excellent photo ops! The only problem here is that transportation can be a little tricky. The buses will run early for breakfast goers- just make sure you leave yourself plenty of time.
Bring something for the characters to sign! When you see them getting close to your table gather your things and be ready!
Take lots of pictures!
I often get asked who meets where, so I put together this helpful infographic for you to use when planning.
Two things to note-Cinderella\’s Royal Table is currently closed for refurbishment [until March 5, 2015]. The lovely princesses have been moved to Citricos in the Grand Floridian. They should be back to their castle by early March.
Tusker House only has character meals for Breakfast and Lunch, but is expanding to Dinner on March 8, 2015.
So, where can you find your favorite character?