Character dining at Disney World is basically the epitome of everything magical combined in one place at WDW. When people think of eating in Disney World, they think of Mickey and Minnie eating at the table with them, and everyone laughing out loud in joy. People imagine enjoy a Mickey waffle while watching the characters dance around the dining room, and many of my favourite memories from Disney vacations are just that scenario. This is just the way it is, you want to be engulfed in the Disney lifestyle and the magic at Disney World. That is why we’ve created a bucket list of all the best of character dining in Disney World. From the amazing food, to the characters you very rarely get to meet, this list has the ones that you need to add to your Disney vacation list.
What is Character Dining at Disney World?
Character dining is one of the best parts of Disney World. This is because you go to Disney World to meet characters, create memories and make dreams come true. Whether you are an adult or you are travelling with kids, meeting characters is amazing. Most of the time you are stuck standing in line waiting to take a quick snap with your favourite character, but with character dining in Disney World, you get to enjoy a fabulous (mainly buffet) meal with the characters. This means no standing in line! You just get to wait for them to drop by your table and you get your photo and signature. It is the best of both worlds!
The Airy and Wonderful Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom
The moment you turn the corner off of mainstreet USA, you are transported into a variety of different worlds. From the far reaches of the Wild West to the ends of the Galaxy, you are taken to so many different places. But before that happens, while you are admiring the view of Cinderella’s Castle, there is a magnificent little gem known as the Crystal Palace. Avid Disney World connoisseurs will have visited this restaurant a million times, but it doesn’t make it any less noteworthy.
Crystal Palace feels like home sometimes. I have spent friend’s birthdays there, it is a stop for all the first timers to Disney World and I’ve eaten the food in the airy and sunny buffet what seems like a million times, but still, it never gets old. Whether you are visiting for a breakfast buffet sure to make you roll to Splash Mountain, or you are getting dressed up to enjoy a big feast before the parade, this buffet is worth every minute, it is a great character dining experience.
What Characters will you see at Crystal Palace?
I am a huge fan of Winnie the Pooh, and getting to see all of the Hundred Acre Woods characters in one place is the best. I personally collect Eeyore gear (yes, that means mugs, pillow pets, clothes…) and I always love grabbing a picture with them at Crystal Palace.
The Beautiful 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian
I’ve talked about how much I love 1900 Park Fare before and how much I love their inspiring and delicate breakfast. But in reality it is the characters and the resort that make this restaurant so absolutely amazing and memorable. Even from the second you walk up the path to the doors to the Grand Floridian, you are taken into a world of Luxury that only Disney can inspire. Walking into the hotel you are met with gleaming chandeliers and marble floors that you know are expensive.
The breakfast room is set up like a tea party, where you get to sit at adorned tables complete with full boxes of tea to choose from. It is elegant, sophisticated and just a little bit whimsical, everything you would expect from eating at the Grand Floridian at Disney World. Add in the characters, and it is one of the best for character dining at Disney World.
What Characters will you see at 1900 Park Fare?
With a name like the Supercalifragilistic Breakfast you know exactly what characters are going to be joining you for a spot of tea. The best part, is these characters are elusive in the parks without perfect timing, so joining them for breakfast is a must-do. You get to meet the lovely Mary Poppins, the adorable Alice in Wonderland and the quirky (albeit hilarious) Mad Hatter (just watch your tea, he WILL steal it), just to name a few!
The Princess Packed Akershus Banquet Hall in Epcot
Who needs Cinderella’s Castle when you can get all the princesses in one place without a crazy reservation? Not I! I have actually never made a reservation at Cinderella’s Castle because I either couldn’t get in, or didn’t want to pay the deposit for a reservation. Either way, if you are looking to get up close and personal with the Disney Princesses, then you have to check out Akershus Buffet in Epcot. You will get to enjoy great food, a perfect picture with Belle upon arrival and Disney princesses that come straight to your table.
The little restaurant is tucked right into the Norway pavilion, you are greeted with the cottage feel of the wooden arches that pull you straight into the beautifully decorated dining room. Every time I slip into this restaurant I feel like I am in Snow White’s Dwarfs’ cottage. It is charming, subtle and perfect for the Disney pavilions, which makes it a top-notch experience for character dining at Disney World.
What Characters will you see at Akershus Banquet Hall in Epcot?
This is the easy one. You get to meet all the Disney Princesses at Akershus, well almost all of them. From Belle to Snow White you will get to see your favourites dancing around in their gorgeous dresses and all your childhood envy of wanting to be a princess will come flooding back.
The Wonderfully Fun Tusker House in Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom is the end-all-be-all of experiences in Disney World (at least in my opinion). Finding character dining in Animal Kingdom is tricky business, since there is less dining options in this park compared to the others. But if you are looking to start your day in the wild off right, then look no further than Tusker House in Animal Kingdom. With it’s Donald’s Safari Breakfast you get to meet the entire gang of classic characters decked out in the best safari gear.
This restaurant is just off the plains of the savannah in Animal Kingdom. Just next door you can hop aboard Kilimanjaro Safaris where you will come close to everything from lions to zebras. This unique setting is an amazing place to start your day at Animal Kingdom, especially since it is always entertaining to see your favourite characters dressed up in a cool array of clothing choices.
What Characters will you see at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom?
Tusker House in Animal Kingdom is a place where you can find your classic favourite characters. From Mickey Mouse to Minnie and all the gang, you are going to get to visit with your favourites! Get up and dance to the music as they make their way through the colourful and eye catching dining room.
What is your Favourite Character Dining Restaurant in Disney World?
There are so many character dining experiences to explore in Disney World. Choosing your restaurants while taking photos with characters is a win-win to your Disney World vacation planning. Not only do you save time by not waiting in line to take photos, but you get the convenience of a character coming all the way to you. Character dining at Disney World is everything, really!