Which are the best character dining experiences at Walt Disney World? One thing which is one many people’s lists when they visit Disney World is to have a character dining experience. But each experience is very different and it is important to know what is special about each particular character dining restaurant so that you can make a great choice.
Here are the Everything Mouse choices for Top 10 Best Character Dining Experiences in Walt Disney World.
The Crystal Palace at Magic Kingdom
Disney’s Crystal Palace is a great character dining restaurant. It really is a must do if you are visiting Disney’s Magic Kingdom. The location is excellent as The Crystal Palace is located at the end of Main Street close to Cinderella Castle. It can often be difficult to find great places to eat in Magic Kingdom. However The Crystal Palace is somewhere you really need to try if you are looking for a great character dining experience.
The characters at Crystal Palace are Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore.
This makes is particularly great for families with young children. The food is in my opinion one of the better buffet choices in Disney World. The location is very loud and the tables are pretty close together but the atmosphere is a lot of fun.
Crystal Palace serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Lunch is one of the best choices. If you have lunch there you can arrive early to experience as many attractions as possible in Magic Kingdom before the bulk of the crowds arrive at around eleven to noon. Then have a break and a stop to refuel at Crystal Palace before heading back out to the attractions.
Disney Princess Storybook Dining in Epcot
If you want to meet the Princesses then Storybook Dining is one of the very best places in the whole of Walt Disney World. Unfortunately it does not have the best food, but if Princesses are your priority then this is the character meal for you.
Don’t go expecting to see Cinderella there. She does appear but only very occasionally. Her Disney Princess friends Ariel, Jasmine, Aurora, Belle and Snow White are much more likely to be there.
Disney Princess Storybook dining is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is located in the Akershus restaurant in the Norway Pavilion of World Showcase in Epcot.
Breakfast includes all the usual favorites and is served family style and brought to your table. Lunch and dinner include a small buffet selection and made to order items which you choose from a menu. Not the best food of the character dining experiences (it is my least favorite) but there is plenty of interaction with the Princesses who visit each table.
A photo package is also included in the price of the meal which means that each party will have a photo taken by a Disney photographer with a Princess before they start their meal. The photos are then presented to them during the meal.
For more information you can see our complete guide at
Cinderella’s Royal Table
Dine with Cinderella in her Castle at Magic Kingdom. Needless to say this is a very popular place to dine. It is the only way to get inside the Disney World Castle – and you will pay a premium for it! Lunch here for a family of 4 will cost you more than $200.
You can use the Disney Dining Plan at Cinderella’s Royal Table, but it will take 2 credits as it is a Signature Dining Restaurant.
Guests dine with Cinderella and her Disney Princess friends. Every party has their photo taken with Cinderella and the cost of the picture is included in the dining price.
For many guests this is the very best character dining available. For me though it is let down by high pricing and mediocre food quality. However, this is most definitely the most magical place to meet Cinderella. If you have any Disney Princess fans in your party then Cinderella’s Royal Table is the place to go.
That is if you can get a reservation. This is the single most difficult Disney restaurant to get a reservation for. To have a chance of getting in to this popular restaurant you have to plan to book as soon as you are able – that is 180 days before you want to go.
You can read more at
1900 Park Fare
Guests can dine with the characters at 1900 Park Fare restaurant in the Disney Grand Floridian Resort. This is one of my personal favorites as the food quality is one of the best available for any of the character meals.
The food is all buffet style and there is a large selection, including a children’s low buffet table so that they can help themselves. Disney’s 1900 Park Fare serves breakfast and dinner.
The characters at breakfast are usually Alice in Wonderland, The Mad Hatter, Mary Poppins, Winnie the Pooh, and Tigger. At dinner Cinderella and Prince Charming attend with Lady Tremaine, Anastasia and Drizella. This is one of the best selections of characters available to please everyone in the family. It is also one of the best places to meet Cinderella.
For a complete guide see:
Chef Mickey’s is another great character dining experience. It is located inside the Contemporary Resort. Breakfast and lunch is served every day. Characters at breakfast are usually Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Chip and Dale. At dinner most often Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto, and Donald Duck.
Chef Mickeys is a lot of fun and is particularly popular with families with young children. It is a great place to go when visiting the Magic Kingdom because of course it is very close. You can easily hop on the monorail from the Contemporary Resort and be in the Magic Kingdom within minutes.
Here you can see a menu and more information:
Playhouse Disney’s Play and Dine at Hollywood and Vine
This is a great option if you have young children and are visiting Disney Hollywood Studios. This is a breakfast and lunch buffet only, located at the Hollywood and Vine restaurant in the park. The dinner does not have characters in attendance.
June, Leo, Hanny Manny and Special Agent Oso from Little Einsteins are the characters that usually appear, making it more suitable for the younger set. The selection of food is good and the dessert selection is particularly enticing for the kids!
Goofy’s Beach Club Breakfast Buffet
This is another fun character breakfast buffet. It is located in Cape May Cafe in the Disney Beach Club Resort. The buffet selection is the usual breakfast favorites such as scrambled eggs, pastries, breads, cereals, juices etc. The characters are usually Minnie Mouse, Goofy and Donald in their beach wear. This is one of the smaller restaurants where the characters appear so there is plenty of interaction with each table.
For more about the restaurant see:
Lilo and Stitch Best Friends Character Breakfast
This I have to say is not one of my favorites but only because none of my family really seems to be very interested in the Lilo and Stitch characters. But if your kids love these characters then it is a good location at The Polynesian Resort. This is convenient if you are visiting the Magic Kingdom as it is on the monorail system.
The characters you will see are of course Lilo and Stich. The character experience is for breakfast only and is the usual buffet favorites.
Garden Grove Cafe
This Disney character dining experience is often overlooked as it is off the beaten track at Disney’s Swan Resort. If you are staying in one of the Epcot resorts it is easy to get to but otherwise is a little out of the way. This means that it is one of the easiest to actually find a table at! Unusually for a Disney restaurant it does not take advance reservations.
It offers character dining at select times only. It has character dining for dinner every night but offers breakfast only on Saturdays and Sundays. It offers a buffet menu, with each night for dinner having a different theme. As this is not a Disney owned hotel it is not part of the Dining Plan.
Donald’s Safari Breakfast at Tusker House
This location is the only character dining experience in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The characters are there for breakfast and lunch only. The breakfast is a buffet and you will usually see Mickey Mouse , Goofy and Daisy Duck all dressed in safari outfits.
This is one of the most highly rated of the Disney character experiences by guests. The selection of food is good and the energy level is certainly high here, with plenty of time with the characters. There is a shortage of great places to eat in Animal Kingdom but Tusker House is certainly one of the best.
Which is your favorite Disney Dining Experience? Leave me a comment below!
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Alison Meacham is the founder of EverythingMouse Disney Blog. For over 15 years she has shared her love of Disney Parks, Disney Cruises and Universal Orlando. In over 30 years of Disney Travel she has spent countless months in Disney Parks and has sailed on over 45 cruises. A British native and now a United States resident she splits her time between California, Florida and the UK. And spends a serious amount of time sailing the seven seas. She helps over 200,000 people per month follow their Disney travel dreams.