There are a ton of toadally awesome reasons to stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel. You're right there on property, just a hop, skip and a jump away from the parks. You also get the benefit of an advance FastPass+ and dining reservation window. But perhaps best of all, you are fully immersed in the Disney magic the whole time you are visiting! You know we frogs are all about the pool (it's one of the main hotel selling points for us). But another primary consideration of where to stay — especially if you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel — are the dining options, especially when characters are involved.
We love character dining experiences. It gives you an opportunity to rest those frog legs and fuel up for even more park time! But the best part (aside from the amazing food, of course) is that you get quality time with characters without waiting in line or trying to nab a FastPass+. Most of the time, we find that interactions with characters at dining experiences last a long time! We eat up every second of their attention — even Tad gets in on the conversation! In our humble frogpinion, these character experiences at the Disney World Resort hotels are every bit as special as those in the theme parks.
As time goes on, Walt Disney World Resort continues to add unique, fun experiences perfectly fitting their home resorts that make for amazing memories. The restaurants are themed to the hotels, truly keeping you immersed in the Disney magic and providing you with bountiful options to choose from ... and you don't have to be staying at the host resort to hop over for a meal! Plus, exploring the character dining options at the resort hotels gives you an excuse to get to know some that you may not have visited before. Prepare to be wowed by magical touches, mouth-watering food and memorable interactions with your favorite Disney characters.
There are a couple of important things to note when considering character dining at a Disney World hotel. Some character dining options are only available for certain mealtimes, so you'll want to plan (and reserve) accordingly. You can make Advance Dining Reservations for character dining at a Disney World hotel 180 days in advance; we recommend hopping on it as soon as you're able! When it comes to pricing, the prices listed in this post are subject to change and do not include tax or gratuity. Tadpoles ages 2 and under dine free, and "child" dining prices are for kiddos ages 3 to 9, unless noted otherwise. Much like in the theme parks themselves, certain character dining experiences have a PhotoPass photographer on-site. Others have a photographer designated for one character during your meal, but not for additional characters. And some locations don't have a PhotoPass photographer at all. That in mind, be sure to have your camera and MagicBand at the ready so you're prepared to capture the fun in any case. Let's dig in!
The Dish on Character Dining at Disney World Hotels
Breakfast à la Art with Mickey and Friends — Topolino's Terrace, Disney's Riviera Resort
Walt Disney World's newest resort, Disney's Riviera Resort, is modeled after the European Riviera, with grand architecture and beautiful decor, including its very own art collection. The resort's signature rooftop restaurant, Topolino's Terrace, offers character dining with inspiration from the arts — Breakfast à la Art with Mickey and Friends! The restaurant, named for the Italian name for Mickey Mouse, offers breathtaking views, including a peek at the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. More adorable views come your way when Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Daisy appear as artists dedicated to their craft ... outfit and accessories included!
Join Mickey the painter, Minnie the poet, Donald the sculptor and Daisy the ballerina for a special breakfast, with a prix fixe menu featuring dishes even the tadpoles will approve. Service begins with juice or coffee and assorted pastries, along with honey butter, house-made jam and chocolate-hazelnut spread to share. In a touch sure to delight the tadpoles, the pastries arrive in a small paint bucket on a tray that resembles an art palette, with a butter knife "paintbrush!"
Tadpoles can choose from one entrée (scrambled eggs, fruit and yogurt or Mickey waffles) and two sides (roasted potatoes, bacon, sausage, fruit cup or seed granola). Grown-ups can choose from delectable options such as Quiche Gruyère, sour cream waffles, wood-fired butcher's steak and a fruit and yogurt plate. There's also specialty espresso drinks and alcoholic beverages available for an additional cost. Breakfast à la Art with Mickey and Friends costs $29 per child and $42 per adult. Bon appétit!
Disney's Rivera Resort is accessible by bus service, and reserved parking is available for dining guests. For an extra magical entrance, you can glide into your breakfast reservation in a character-themed gondola on Disney's Skyliner transportation system. Don't froget to stop and admire the gorgeous mosaics in the resort's Skyliner hub!
Storybook Dining at Artist Point with Snow White — Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Enter an enchanted forest, with twinkling lights amid a canopy of trees at one end, and a spectacular view of a babbling brook at another. At Storybook Dining at Artist Point at Disney's Wilderness Lodge, you truly enter Snow White's story. Feast on a prix fixe dinner menu of culinary specialties while Snow White, Dopey and Grumpy come for a visit. The Queen lurks nearby, too, if you're brave enough to ask for a photo!
Disney's Wilderness Lodge is reminiscent of the turn-of-the-century National parks lodges, making it the perfect rustic-yet-enchanting setting to meet Snow White. Even the table settings are straight out of a fairy tale, with menus modeled after worn storybooks themselves. Each napkin is neatly tied with a paper apple signed by each character, which makes for a nice keepsake.
The offerings and presentation are a little more upscale at Artist Point, which we loved. For some courses, your dishes will be served on your table's own twinkling tree. To begin, adults at the table share Mushroom Bisque (which came in a tiny cauldron that I definitely wanted to put in my purse), Wicked Shrimp Cocktail and Hunter's Terrine. Meanwhile, tadpoles share an assortment of fruit, vegetables, cheese, and create-your-own Honey Butter as a starter. Kids can choose from entrées including Royal Prime Rib Roast, Vegetarian Steam Bun or Grilled Chicken, while adults can take their pick of Cottage Beef Stew, Bashful's Butter-Poached Sustainable Fish or the vegetarian A Stroll Through Nature, among others. For the table's happily ever after, you'll share a dessert assortment, including Miner's Treasures (sponge cake, chocolate gems and berry panna cotta), "Poison" Apple (dark chocolate-apple mousse with a sour center), Fairy Tale Gooseberry Pie and The Hunter's Gift to the Queen (crackled maple popcorn, ganache heart).
As you can tell from the menu options, the offerings are a little more adventurous, but toadally delicious too. And of course, there are tadpole-approved options available so that the whole family can find something to keep them hoppy. Older kiddos who enjoy "fancy dinners" like Lily will especially appreciate this one. We loved getting time with rarer characters such as Grumpy and Dopey, but don't froget about The Queen! She is as regal as you'd expect, and had Leap in stitches. For kiddos who may be a little leery of her (and we don't blame them!), The Queen does not make the rounds, so they're safe at the table to converse with Snow White and her friends. The Queen is set up in a separate area with the Magic Mirror on the wall, and you head to visit her when you're ready, much like the Beast at Be Our Guest.
Storybook Dining at Artist Point costs $39 per child and $60 per adult. Alcoholic beverages are available for an additional cost. True to the restaurant's Pacific Northwest feel, you'll find a wide variety of wines and beers from the area. If you're a cocktail connoisseur, don't miss out on the delicious Enchanted Apple, an appletini (don't worry — you won't suffer the same fate as poor Snow!), or marvel at the Smoking Mirror, a take on the traditional Manhattan (and have your camera ready for a different kind of magic!).
Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast — Trattoria al Forno, Disney's BoardWalk
If your kiddo has a dream to dine with Ariel, Prince Eric, Flynn Rider or Rapunzel, you're in luck! While not technically at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, the Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno is right next to Disney's BoardWalk Inn on the BoardWalk. If you're in an EPCOT-area resort, such as Walt Disney World Swan Dolphin or Disney's Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, this is an especially quick (and scenic) walk.
Trattoria al Forno offers a prix fixe menu for the Bon Voyage Breakfast. A variety of pastries, including one shaped like the Corona crest, aka the sun symbol from "Tangled," is delivered first for the table to share. Adults can enjoy entrées such as King Triton's Shipwreck al Forno (a calzone with scrambled eggs, bell peppers, salumi, bacon, sausage, cheese and gravy), Tangled Eggs (a fresh mozzarella, tomato-basil, open-faced omelet with gravy and breakfast potatoes) or a Tower of Pancakes (with apple compote and bacon or sausage), among other yummy dishes. Kids entrées include Flounder's Flapjacks, Character Waffles or Little Royal Grilled Steak. Add on Press Pot Coffee, specialty character drinks and iced coffee for an additional charge. Alcoholic beverages are also available to add-on, including red or white sangria, mimosas, peach Bellinis and our personal fave, the Caprese Bloody Mary.
During your breakfast, you'll mingle with Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, Ariel and Prince Eric. For princess-lovers, this is a great one ... but it's an even better one for any prince fans! This was one of my favorite character dining experiences ever (yes, really!), watching the hilarious banter fly between Flynn Rider and Prince Eric. Rapunzel was bubbly and bright, comparing locks with Lily, and Ariel (in her blue dress, if your little princess is interested in catching the princesses in all available wardrobe options) filled us in on what Max and Flounder have been up to.
Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast is $45 for adults and $29 for children.
Chef Mickey's Fun Time Buffet — Chef Mickey's, Disney's Contemporary Resort
Chef Mickey's Fun Time Buffet at Disney's Contemporary Resort is a fan-favorite, and for good reason. Not only can you meet the Fab Five for a breakfast, lunch or dinner buffet, you can also hop right on the monorail or take the walkway to Magic Kingdom!
When we say Chef Mickey's is in the Contemporary, we really mean it — the restaurant is in a bright, open space where you can watch the monorail whiz by as you dine. Other points of visual interest include picturesque views of Bay Lake and the iconic, 90-foot-high mural from Disney legend Mary Blair that overlooks the restaurant.
Tadpoles will love seeing Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto and Goofy ... and Mickey's chef hat! Breakfast offerings include Mickey waffles (naturally), buttermilk biscuits, fresh fruit and bacon, while brunch/lunch adds in egg scrambles and seasonal vegetables. Later, dinner features buttered chicken, seafood paella, glazed salmon, carving stations and tadpole faves such as mac and cheese and chicken nuggets. Of course, this is just a sampling of the many all-you-care-to-enjoy options — there's something for every froggy! Oh ... and don't froget to visit the sundae bar!
Breakfast and brunch at Chef Mickey's is $50 per adult and $33 per child. Lunch and dinner at Chef Mickey's is $60 per adult and $39 per child.
1900 Park Fare — Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
1900 Park Fare at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa offers a different, eclectic character dining experience for every meal of the day ... with some rare characters, we might add!
At the Supercalifragilistic Breakfast, join Mary Poppins (of course!), Alice in Wonderland, The Mad Hatter, Tigger and Winnie the Pooh for a buffet breakfast. Enjoy Mickey-shaped waffles, carved ham, custom-made omelets and more for breakfast. As it nears brunch time, fresh salads, mac and cheese and chicken bites are added to the lineup. Listen for Big Bertha, a turn-of-the-century organ from France, as she plays in the background! The Supercalifragilistic Breakfast is $45 per adult and $29 per child.
Tadpoles ages 4 to 12 can celebrate a very merry unbirthday at The Wonderland Tea Party on weekday afternoons. Sip tea, decorate cupcakes and make a take-home craft with "Alice in Wonderland" characters. The Wonderland Tea Party is $49 per attendee.
For dinner, you are cordially invited as the honored guest of Cinderella and Prince Charming to Cinderella's Happily Ever After Dinner. You'll have a ball with Cinderella and Prince Charming, of course, but you'll also get to see Lady Tremaine, and Anastasia and Drizella — aka Cinderella's evil stepmother and stepsisters. This enchanting buffet dinner includes seafood, salad, pasta and beef specialties, plus chicken, cheese pizza and macaroni and cheese for the littles. Cinderella's Happily Ever After Dinner costs $60 per adult and $39 per child.
Disney's Perfectly Princess Tea — Garden View Tea Room, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort
Hooray for tea time! Disney's Perfectly Princess Tea at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa gives guests of all ages another opportunity for a tea party ... this time, with a princess! Tadpoles are encouraged to dress as their favorite princess for the special occasion. "Rose petal," a magical rose from Aurora's garden, has come to life and serves as tea party hostess with the mostest. Rose petal leads a princess parade, tells stories and leads a singalong. Meanwhile, princesses can sip apple juice "tea" and snack on fruit, sandwiches and Princess Cake. Adult guests can enjoy signature tea and dine on an assortment of cheeses, grapes and tea sandwiches. Princess Aurora may even drop in to say hello!
Princesses (ages 3 to 9) will receive a special 18-inch Aurora doll, a princess tiara, a princess silver bracelet, a princess necklace, a fresh rose, a princess sticker page and a cinch bag. Each prince (ages 3 to 9) will receive a sword, a shield souvenir pin, a Disney plush and a certificate.
Disney’s Perfectly Princess Tea party is available for $333.64 — which includes admission for one guest (ages 10+) and one child (ages 3 to 9). To add more guests to your party, there is an additional cost of $234.08 per child (ages 3 to 9) and $98.66 per guest (ages 10+). Admission for infants (ages 2 and under) is free, but does not include food or gifts. The optional food and gifts upgrade is an additional cost of $234.08 per infant (ages 2 and under). One gift package is included per child (ages 3 to 9). Gifts are not included with admission for guests (ages 10+) and infants (ages 2 and under). Gifts for guests (ages 10+) are an additional cost of $136.22 per guest and $234.08 per infant (ages 2 and under).
Minnie's Beach Bash Breakfast — Cape May Café, Disney's Beach Club Resort
Fill up on a yummy breakfast hosted by the main mouse herself at Minnie's Beach Bash Breakfast at Cape May Café. Minnie, Goofy and Daisy and Donald Duck are dressed in their cutest beach attire!
Minnie's Beach Bash Breakfast offers a buffet of sliced meats, assorted fresh fruits and yogurt, breakfast breads, Mickey waffles, cheeses, cereals and grains, fresh-baked pastries and other breakfast faves. For an additional cost, you can add on some sunrise sippers, including a mimosa, Bloody Mary or a coffee with Bailey's or Kahlua. Cafe au Lait, assorted juices, cappuccino and espresso are all available to add on, as well.
Disney’s Beach Club Resort offers easy transportation options to both EPCOT and Disney's Hollywood Studios. When you're done with breakfast, head toward the BoardWalk. You can then take a water taxi to either EPCOT or Disney's Hollywood Studios. EPCOT is within easy walking distance, and you can walk to EPCOT and hop on Disney's Skyliner to Disney's Hollywood Studios!
Minnie's Beach Bash Breakfast costs $42 per adult and $27 per child.
Best Friends Breakfast Featuring Lilo and Stitch — ‘Ohana, Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
Say "aloha" to Lilo, Stich, Mickey and Pluto at 'Ohana at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort! Feast family style on American breakfast favorites with a Polynesian flair. Offerings include scrambled eggs (Hua Paka), fried potatoes (Uala Kahiki), pork sausage links and Hawaiian-style pork with pineapple compote (pua'a), Mickey waffles, fresh fruit and the restaurant's signature pineapple-coconut breakfast bread. All of the characters are ready to hang ten with you and are dressed just for the occasion — Mickey's lei is just the cutest! The Polynesian Village Resort is a quick jump via monorail or boat to Magic Kingdom.
Best Friends Breakfast Featuring Lilo and Stitch is $42 per adult and $27 per child.
Good Morning Character Breakfast — Garden Grove, Walt Disney World Swan Hotel
Over at the Walt Disney World Swan Hotel, guests can mix and mingle with a duo of Disney characters, including Chip 'n' Dale, Goofy and Pluto, at the Good Morning Character Breakfast at Garden Grove. Garden Grove was designed with a Central Park-feel in mind, with a majestic 25-foot tall oak tree at the restaurant's center.
This character buffet only takes place on the weekends (Saturday and Sunday) for breakfast hours, and includes fresh pastries and fruit, Mickey Mouse Belgian waffles, a build-your-own omelet station, breakfast potatoes, a variety of eggs, cereals and oatmeal. Starbucks Coffee and Florida orange juice are included in your breakfast, as well. Alcoholic beverages, such as peach Bellinis, Bloody Marys and mimosas, are available for an additional cost.
This location does not accept the Disney Dining Plan. Guests will need to pay for parking if driving to this experience. The hotel is located just next to the BoardWalk (easy walking distance), and does have bus service.
Good Morning Character Breakfast is $33.99 per adult and $20.99 per child.
Good Morning Breakfast with Goofy & His Pals — Ravello, Four Seasons Orlando
Rise and shine with Goofy at the Four Seasons Orlando! On Thursdays and Saturdays year-round (plus Thursdays during school break periods), take your pick from tasty buffet items (including mini fried cinnamon sugar doughnuts filled with hazelnut spread), or hop to the omelet station for your own personalized creation. Gawrsh! Each breakfast includes your choice of juice, soft drink, coffee or tea. Adults can add bottomless mimosas to the experience for an additional cost. Any guesses who Goofy's pals are? Minnie and Mickey, of course! A complimentary download of the digital photos taken with your pals is included in the cost of your visit.
Reservations are required for this experience, and since it's an off-site hotel, there is no bus service available. The resort is, however, a quick drive away! For families who don't have access to a car and are in need of a transportation option with a carseat, Minnie Vans may be a good fit.
Good Morning Breakfast with Goofy & His Pals is $48 per adult and $28 per child (12 and under). This location does not participate in the Disney Dining Plan.
If meeting favorite Disney pals is a priority on your list, character dining is a great way to check that box. With several convenient, delicious options for character dining at Disney World hotels, character dining is an excellent way to get that character interaction, get to know new resorts and rest up while you fill up.
*All Disney World hotel character appearances and entertainment listed here are subject to change.
Have done any character dining at the Disney World hotels? Which character dining experience is your favorite? Which is next on your list to try? Be sure to share with us in the comments below!