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Character Dining at the Disney Parks…At a Glance

by Lily on September 18, 2011 1

Akershus Royal BanquetCharacter dining at the Disney parks combines three of my favorite things in the world…visiting the theme parks, meeting my favorite Disney characters and eating really great food! Here’s a rundown of character dining experiences at Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom to help you make the best choice.

Cinderella’s Royal Table

Location: Magic Kingdom (Cinderella Castle)

Featured Characters: Cinderella, Jasmine, Fairy Godmother, Snow White, Belle

Meal Details: Breakfast – Pre-plated buffet; Lunch & Dinner – Fixed Menu

Menu Samples: Breakfast – bacon & eggs, French toast, granola, yogurt, pastries; Lunch & Dinner – pan-seared salmon, pasta al pomodoro, vegetarian cassoulet

Highlights: Cinderella’s Royal Table is smack dab in the middle of the Magic Kingdom inside Cinderella Castle. For a quintessential Disney experience, this is it. The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is right next door and is very popular among little princesses to prepare for meeting Cinderella and the others. This one is best for little girls, but little boys will still be impressed.

The Crystal Palace

Location: Magic Kingdom (Main Street, U.S.A.)

Featured Characters: Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore

Meal Details: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner - Buffet

Menu Samples: Breakfast – omelets, cereals, pastries, fresh fruit, breakfast pizza, cheddar cheese potatoes; Lunch & Dinner – carved flank steak, rotisserie chicken, Atlantic salmon

Highlights: If you’re a Winnie the Pooh fan, this one’s for you. If not, you may be happier with another character dining experience as this one is very crowded and quite loud. The food is great though!

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall

Location: Epcot (Norway)

Featured Characters: 4-6 characters chosen from Belle, Mulan, Snow White, Aurora, Ariel, Alice, Mary Poppins, Cinderella, Jasmine

Meal Details: Breakfast – Family style; Lunch & Dinner – Buffet and Fixed Menu

Menu Samples: Breakfast – scrambled eggs, bacon sausage, potato casserole, breakfast breads; Lunch & Dinner – baked salmon with spice mustard, braised lamb, braised beef short ribs, fresh poached cod, traditional kjottkake

Highlights: The setting is quieter than some of the other character dining experiences and time spent with the princesses doesn’t feel rushed. Your little princess can participate in a Princess Processional which weaves through the restaurant and is led by Aurora, Cinderella and the rest. It is adorable! Princess Storybook Dining is a great mother/daughter experience.

The Garden Grill Restaurant

Location: Epcot (The Land)

Featured Characters: Mickey, Pluto, Chip ‘n’ Dale

Meal Details: All Day – Family-style Fixed Menu

Menu Samples: Char-grilled beef strip loin, roasted turkey breast, smashed potatoes, turkey dressing

Highlights: The tables revolve above the nearby attraction Living with the Land, so you’ll see desert, rain forest and farm scenes while you dine with Chip ‘n’ Dale. The entrance can be a bit crowded due to the popular neighboring attraction, Soarin’. One of our favorite aspects of this one is that you eat food grown in The Land’s garden downstairs.

Character DiningDisney Junior Play 'n Dine at Hollywood & Vine

Location: Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Echo Lake)

Featured Characters: Doc McStuffins, Sofia the First, Jake and Never Land Pirates and Handy Manny

Meal Details: Breakfast & Lunch – Buffet

Menu Samples: Breakfast – Mickey Mouse waffles, frittatas, fresh fruit; Lunch – salad station, cold appetizers like New Zealand musssels, Endive & goat cheese salad; entrée selections include prime rib, pork loin, herb crusted salmon

Highlights: This one is great for Disney Channel fans since you’ll be singing and dancing with a few of your favorite Disney Channel characters like Handy Manny and Agent Oso. There are endless food choices to suit even the pickiest eater. The noise level can be quite high. Watch the video here.

Donald’s Safari Breakfast at Tusker House Restaurant

Location: Animal Kingdom (Africa)

Featured Characters: Donald, Daisy, Mickey, Goofy

Meal Details: Breakfast – Buffet

Menu Samples: Waffle station, biscuits & gravy, frittatas, cheese blintzes, yam casserole, carved rotisserie ham, muffins and breads

Highlights: This is a great choice to kick off your day at Animal Kingdom. Right after you fill up on breakfast and meet the characters (who are dressed in their best safari gear) you can enjoy the rest of the park’s attractions like Festival of the Lion King and TriceraTop Spin.

Important Notes:

  • Due to the popularity of Character Dining, advanced reservations are strongly recommended. You make reservations up to 180 days in advance online or by calling 407-WDW-DINE.
  • Theme park admission is required for Character Dining in the Disney parks.

If you’re looking for Character Dining experiences in the Walt Disney World theme parks, check out this helpful blog: Character Dining at the Disney Resorts...At a Glance.

Love, Lily

For general character greeting tips, check out these helpful blogs:

Attention Character Groupies! Top 10 Character Greeting Tips...by Tad

So You Want to Mickey, Huh? Tips for Meeting Mickey Mouse...by Lily

Keep hopping, Lily!
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