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Friday Five: Top Five Character Dining Restaurants at Disney World

When I decided to write about the top five character dining experiences at Disney World, I thought it would be easy… but it turns out that choosing the BEST ones is much harder than I thought. I called in the experts–travel agents who have experienced most (if not all) of the character dining and book them for Disney World guests every day!

5. Crystal Palace

Located in the Magic Kingdom, this lovely restaurant is home to Winnie the Pooh,Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet who visit during breakfast, lunch and dinner! Crystal Palace is a buffet with a nice selection of foods including a good kids\’ buffet with kid favorites like chickenn nuggets and macaroni and cheese for lunch and dinner. For breakfast, you\’ll find Mickey waffles and other traditional breakfast items–bacon, sausage, eggs, and pastries. This is a personal favorite for my family!

We love breakfast here before the park opens, but dinner is also a nice option. Bonus is that it\’s a good option for both boys and girls!

4. Chef Mickey\’s

This is THE iconic character meal for Mickey and the only place to meet the Fab Five (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto and Goofy) all in the same place. Located in the Contemporary Resort, Chef Mickey\’s is a good option for a Magic Kingdom day, a down day, or even arrival or departure day since no park ticket is required to eat here. Chef Mickey\’s is loud and boisterous and known for its napkin dances as the monorail passes overhead!

Chef Mickey\’s is a buffet with lots of choices. They do a great breakfast and dinner as well as a brunch option during the late morning/early afternoon hours. It is a highly sought after reservation though, so advance planning (or luck!) is needed to get this reservation!

Minnie twirling her napkin!

3. Garden Grill

Located in The Land pavilion in Epcot, Garden Grill is a great option for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Garden Grill has Mickey, Pluto, Chip & Dale. Mickey is dressed in his farmer finest with denim overalls and a straw hat! Unlike some of the other character meals, Garden Grill is served family style with food brought out on large platters for each table.

Breakfast includes traditional foods like eggs and Mickey waffles but also features Chip\’s Sticky Bun Bake that you can\’t find anywhere else! Dinner includes grilled steak, roast turkey and fish. Probably the most unique feature of Garden Grill is its rotating floor, so while you eat, you\’ll see various scenes from Living with the Land ride below you!

2. Cinderella\’s Royal Table

Probably no surprise, but Cinderella\’s Royal Table came in as the number two choice for best character meal! This beautiful restaurant in Cinderella\’s castle in Magic Kingdom is THE place for little princesses to meet their favorite princess! Greeted by Cinderella, take the red carpeted stairs to the dining room where you\’ll meet some of Cinderella\’s friends; you might see Ariel, Aurora, Jasmine, Rapunzel, or Snow White.

Additionally, the windows are beautiful with some stained glass and some amazing views of Magic Kingdom–maybe even views of the fireworks if you time it right! The menu is prix fixe, so you can order what suits your fancy. Lunch and dinner have three courses while breakfast starts with pastries and ends with some scrumptious specialties.

Little princesses will get a wand, and the experience cannot be compared to any other dining experience! This meal does come with a high price tag or two dining credits but eating in the castle is a unique and iconic experience!

Lovely views of inside of Cinderella\’s Royal Table Photo Credit: Walt Disney World Travel Company

1. 1900 Park Fare

Experts agree, 1900 Park Fare is the best character dining experience at Disney World although they are equally split between breakfast and dinner! 1900 Park Fare is located at the beautiful Grand Floridian Resort. It is also a good option for a Magic Kingdom day, a down day or arrival or departure day.

Dinner is a buffet with seafood, salads, pasta and beef dishes. Breakfast has custom-made omelettes, pancakes, Mickey waffles and the famous strawberry soup! The kids buffet also has kid favorites like cheese pizza and macaroni and cheese.

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Travel Company

Other than the obvious meal differences, there are major character differences in the characters! The Supercalifragilistic Breakfast includes your favorite British Disney characters–Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter, Tigger and Winnie-the-Pooh may all be found here. This is also a meal that appeals pretty equally to both boys and girls. The Mad Hatter is a particularly entertaining favorite here!

Cinderella\’s Happily Ever After Dinner hosts Cinderella and Prince Charming as the honored guests! The stars here are, however, are Lady Tremaine, Anastasia and Drizella, Cinderella\’s stepmother and stepsisters who are hilariously interactive and entertaining.

While these may be the fan favorites, others such as Hollywood & Vine, Ohana, Akershus and Tusker House are all great opportunities for character dining!

Susan Burks is a Disney travel planner at WishdrawalsTravel, a

military wife, and a homeschooling mom to a 

robot-programming, space-loving 11 year old!  

She and her family love visiting Disney World and taking Disney cruises. With six Disney cruises under her belt, she is now preparing to embark on a seventh Disney Cruise–this time to Norway–and planning her next Disney World visit, too!

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