Let your heart (and tummy) grow three sizes in a day — just like the Grinch! During the holiday season at Universal Orlando Resort, you can enjoy a buffet meal with the green meanie himself, as well as Whoville citizens and other characters from the Dr. Seuss universe. You can try themed foods such as Who Hash and green eggs and ham, as well as traditional breakfast foods, during the Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast, a specially ticketed dining experience.
Overview of the Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast
For the first time since 2019, the Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast has returned, taking place on select dates from Nov. 12 through Dec. 29, 2022. Due to high demand, the special dining experience has completely sold out in 2022, but this is not a rare occurrence! Even in past years, breakfast reservations tend to disappear quickly, so keep this in mind when planning your future holiday trip (you’ll want to keep an eye out for any announcements about a month or two in advance of the holiday season). This year, reservation times included seatings at 9 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Allow between 60 to 90 minutes for the entire experience. It takes time to get seated, gather your food from the buffet line and meet all of the characters.
To complete your reservation, you must purchase your tickets in advance. Prices start at $41.99 per adult and $26.99 per child (ages 3 to 9), plus tax. It also comes with one digital download photo from one character interaction. You will need to make a reservation at least 24 hours in advance, and walk-ins are not accepted. Separate theme park admission is required for the same date as the breakfast. If you need to add or remove someone in your party, our best advice is to call Guest Services. We attempted to add someone to our party last minute but were unable to because there wasn’t any availability left at that point. Also, be sure to print out your tickets or pick them up at one of the Will Call kiosks outside the main entrance of the park. (There is a team member stationed just inside the restaurant if you hoppen to forget.)
Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast Experience
The breakfast buffet takes place at Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendous in Seuss Landing. When you see the building that looks like a circus tent, you’ll know you’ve found the right place! You should arrive about 15 minutes prior to your reservation time to check in with the host outside. There may be two separate lines — one is for checking in with the host and the other is for those who have already checked in and are waiting for a table.
Once you initially walk in, there are a couple of Whoville citizens waiting to welcome you in. It’s perfect for a quick photo-op right before you go to your table!
We encountered Sam-I-Am almost immediately after sitting down. He cannot talk, but he hoppily posed for photos and interacted with Tad and Lily for a bit.
While we all know the Grinch is the main star of the breakfast, the Whoville citizens are an absolute whoot too. One, in particular, spent a considerable amount of time with us. She asked what our favorite foods were (Who Hash, of course!) and let us in on her secret plan for decorations. She wanted our opinions on which colors she should choose for her Christmas decor this year because she wanted to beat the other Whos in a decorating contest.
Finally, the Grinch in his Santa outfit came over to our table. He spent a good amount of time with us cracking sarcastic jokes and posing for photos together. Be sure to get your photo card from the photographer!
We didn't see them this time around, but in the past, The Cat in the Hat, Thing One and Thing Two have met guests during breakfast. It's toadally possible that they appeared earlier in the morning and we missed them, or they might not be joining at all.
If you have a later seating at 11 a.m., be aware that the breakfast ends promptly at noon. While you’re free to take your time finishing your meal, the buffet and characters go away, and the lunch crowd is welcome to trickle in as the restaurant reverts to its normal operations.
Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast Menu
Here’s a taste of what you can find at this festive feast:
- Chia pudding
- Overnight oats
- Assorted fruit (such as watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew and pineapple)
- Assorted mini croissants
- Mayor Augustus’s Green Eggs & Ham Pizza
- Cindy Lou Who’s Who Hash
- Betty Lou Who’s Shakshuka
- Whobris’s Sausage Links
- Stu Lou’s Scrambled Eggs
- Lou Lou Who’s Green Eggs
- Mount Crumpet Biscuits and Gravy
- The Grinch Green Pancakes
- Calamella’s Chicken and Waffles
- Martha May’s Baked French Toast
- Grinch Cookie and other assorted desserts
Once you’re seated, a team member comes by to get your drink orders, but then you’re free to get in line at the buffet! You can serve yourself as much food as you’d like, and of course, you can always come back for seconds, thirds or more.
Lily went ham on the Who Hash tater tots, while Leap and Tad started a competition to see who could gobble up a bigger pile of chicken and waffles. Meanwhile, I had two toadally different favorites — the baked French toast and shakshuka! While it was fun to try the green eggs and ham, we did not like them, Sam-I-Am. Our favorite dessert had to be the green Grinch cookie. We may or may not have gone back for a third pile.
Our Final Thoughts on the Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast
The Grinch is one of our all-time favorite characters to meet, so we enjoy any time we’re able to be in the presence of the green sourpuss himself. While it is an extra expense, we think it’s worth the consideration because you’re guaranteed to meet the Grinch and get a photo with him. The only other way to interact with him is at his meet-and-greet location at Honk Honkers in Seuss Landing, though you have to join a virtual queue on the day of your visit and those spots can fill up very quickly as well.
The restaurant normally operates as a quick-service location, and we’d say the buffet is no different in terms of the food’s quality. But hey, it’s a buffet! It does the job, and the tadpoles completely filled up on Who Hash and waffles, so we skipped lunch, had a small afternoon snack and ate an early dinner. It’s a great option particularly for picky eaters, as they can expect standard breakfast fare. It does take up a significant portion of time (60 to 90 minutes), so you'll just need to adjust your plans accordingly. (And if you're looking for a less time-consuming option, then we'd suggest joining the virtual queue to meet the Grinch at Honk Honkers).
Overall, it's a memorable way to get some personal time with the Grinch and all of his friends, both Whoville citizens and characters from the Dr. Seuss universe, such as Sam-I-Am and The Cat in the Hat.
Meeting the Grinch is a must-do experience during the holidays at Universal Orlando Resort, and what better way to do so than the Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast? Plus you get the opportunity to try Who Hash and green eggs and ham. Have you had any funny interactions with the Grinch? Share in the comments below!