Disney World character dining can be one of the most charming experiences you’ll have on a Disney vacation. Some of these character meals will provide the opportunity to make memories that will last a lifetime. I know because I have a few of my own.

When it comes to dining with characters at Disney, there are quite a few choices. In fact, there’s a lot of information that the average guest doesn’t know in advance of reserving these character meals.

This Disney character dining guide covers all of the character meals at the Walt Disney World Resort. It discusses everything from the best character meals to the cost of meals. I’ve also included a section to help you choose which one might work best for your family.

Dining at Disney can make or break your vacation, depending on your choices. Hopefully, this review will provide you with the necessary information to plan and enjoy a wonderful meal.

*Many of the Disney World character meals have been put on hold or modified at this time. The menu for each dining location links to Disney’s site. It will show whether or not the restaurant is available. 

Here is a list of all the Disney character dining meals at Walt Disney World.

  • Cinderella’s Royal Table (Available, no characters 2021)
  • The Crystal Palace (Available, no characters 2021)
  • Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
  • Garden Grill (Available, modified with character dining 2021)
  • Hollywood and Vine (Available, modified with character dining 2021)
  • Tusker House (Opening June 20th 2021 modified with character dining)
  • 1900 Park Fare
  • Chef Mickey’s (Available, modified with characters 2021)
  • ‘Ohana Breakfast (Opening July 9, 2021, no characters)
  • Storybook Dining at Artist Point
  • Cape May Cafe (Available, no characters 2021)
  • Trattoria al Forno (Available no characters 2021)
  • Topolino’s Terrace Character Breakfast (Available, modified characters 2021)

Disney World Character Dining Meals (Theme Parks)

Below is a summary of every Disney character meal available by location. We’ll start with the theme parks before moving on to the ones at each Disney Resort hotel. You can use the links below to locate specific information.

Cinderella’s Royal Table

Our first stop is Cinderella’s Royal Table at Magic Kingdom. This Disney character meal serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Additionally, the restaurant doubles as Disney signature dining.

Disney World Character Dining

Pricing: This is the most expensive character meal at Walt Disney World; however, it comes with a few perks. Guests have the opportunity to have their picture made with Cinderella before being seated. In addition, a trinket like a magical star or plastic sword is usually delivered to each child at the end of the meal.

Menu: Here

Positives: Obviously, the most significant appeal for most is that you get to dine inside Cinderella’s Castle. From our experience, the food has been excellent once, and subpar on another visit. However, the character interaction is terrific.

Negatives: A character meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table is expensive and can take up a considerable amount of your touring time.

Characters: Cinderella, Ariel, Jasmine, Snow White, and Rapunzel

Overall, Cinderella’s Royal Table is considered the creme de la creme of Walt Disney World character dining.

*Currently, this experience is modified and there are no characters.

The Crystal Palace

Next up, is Magic Kingdom’s The Crystal Palace where guests have the opportunity to dine alongside Winnie the Pooh and Friends. The Crystal Palace serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Usually, this is a buffet-style restaurant. However, at this time, the experience, like many others, has been modified.

Character Dining at Disney World

Pricing and Menu:  View Here

Positives: Crystal Palace is the only place to meet Piglet and Eeyore at Magic Kingdom except for the seasonal holiday extra-ticketed parties.

Negatives: At some point during the day, you have to eat, but reserving a full-service meal at Magic Kingdom can take away valuable time in the park if you only have one day to spend here.

Characters: Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore

*Currently, this experience is modified and there are no characters.

Akershus Princess Storybook Dining


Over at Epcot, the Akershus Princess Storybook Dining serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. These meals offer a Norwegian smorgasbord with an entree option during lunch and dinner. At breakfast, the table gets an all you care to enjoy skillet along with a breakfast buffet.

Character Dining Review at Disney World

Positives: The character interaction here is a huge plus. It’s the only other Disney Princess dining location other than Cinderella’s Royal Table. There are also a few unique items on the Smorgasbord buffet.

Negatives: Like the other theme park character meals, this one will take up a decent amount of touring time. However, there’s not a lot of “princess-related” activities at Epcot. Therefore, it might be just the right thing to add to the mix in your planning.

Characters at Akershus: Belle, Cinderella, Snow White, Aurora, Ariel

Review: Akershus Princess Character Breakfast 

This Disney character dining experience hasn’t returned yet in 2021.

Garden Grill Character Dining


Garden Grill at Epcot serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The restaurant slowly rotates while you dine. At specific points, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at Living with the Land.

Dining with Characters at Disney

Menu and Pricing: Here

Positives: The restaurant is unique in the fact that it moves while you are dining. This is also a fun chance to see Mickey Mouse dressed as a farmer.

Negatives: Meals here are brought out in family-style presentations. The menu is limited. It’s kind of like eating at the lunchroom cafeteria. If you don’t like the Disney food served, you are out of luck.

Characters at Garden Grill: Chip, Dale, Mickey (Farmer), and Pluto

*Currently, this experience is modified and there are characters.

Hollywood & Vine Character Dining

Now that we’ve made it over to Hollywood Studios, we’ll take a look at their one character dining location. Hollywood & Vine serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  The restaurant is usually a buffet-style meal.  Hollywood & Vine is where most will want to take younger kids who want to meet the Disney Junior Characters.

Character Meals at Disney World

Menu and Pricing: Here

Positives: Kids get to see some of their favorite television characters.  The buffet here has a lot of items, and overall the restaurant receives decent reviews.

Negatives: The food will likely be mediocre.  Make sure to reserve the specific meal you are looking for here.  As noted below, different characters meet here for breakfast and dinner.

Characters at Breakfast: Variety of Disney Junior Characters like Vampirina and Fancy Nancy

Characters at Dinner: Minnie Mouse and Friends (Seasonally-themed)

*Currently, this experience is modified and there are characters.

Tusker House Disney Character Meals

Lastly, for the parks, Animal Kingdom has a popular option for Disney character dining. Tusker House serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The restaurant offers a buffet-style meal and is located in the Harambe section of the park.

Character Dining location

Menu and Pricing: Here

Positives: Tusker House is a popular character dining experience to meet a few classic characters in unique outfits.  The food here might be considered a step above similar types of experiences.

Negatives: There is typically a little more time to have a meal like this at Animal Kingdom than the other parks.  But it will still take away from your touring time.

Characters at Tusker House:  Donald Duck and Friends in Safari Suits

Tusker House is scheduled to re-open on June 20, 2021 to a modified dining experience with characters. Below is a basic description of the the menu from Disney’s website. Reference here.

“For breakfast, munch on favorites like Safari Bread, Mickey and Simba Waffles, and Durban Chicken and Egg Curry with Jasmine Rice. Lunch and dinner offerings include Moroccan Spiced Beef, Berber Marinated Pork, Spit Roasted Herb Chicken, and Cape Malay Green Curry Shrimp.”

Disney World Character Dining at the Resort Hotels

That wraps up the character dining meals in the Disney theme parks. Now we’ll take a look at the options in the resorts. We are starting with Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort (review).

1900 Park Fare Character Meals

1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian serves breakfast, brunch, and dinner. There are two character meals here. First is the Supercalifragilistic Breakfast and the dinner service is Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner. Different characters are available at each meal. See below.

Menu and Pricing: View Here

Positives: This is an excellent meal for meeting some harder-to-find characters in the parks. Plus, it’s always lovely to visit the Grand Floridian.

Negatives: Make sure you plan for transportation in advance to any resort dining experience. Sometimes resort dining reservations can be challenging to get to if you aren’t staying nearby.

Breakfast Characters: Mary Poppins, Alice, Mad Hatter, Tigger, Winnie the Pooh

Dinner Characters:  Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, Anastasia, Drizella

Chef Mickey’s Character Dining

Next, we’ll take the monorail over to Disney’s Contemporary Resort (review) to look at their character dining option. Chef Mickey’s serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This is a buffet-style meal.

Tips for dining with Characters at Disney World

Menu and Pricing: View Here

Positives: The monorail goes by overhead while you dine here.  Additionally, you can eat next door at the resort’s counter service location, Contempo Cafe. You’ll get the same overhead monorail experience, less the characters for a fraction of the cost.

Negatives: This meal is over-priced for what most will consider mediocre food.  You are paying for location and characters when you eat here.

Characters at Chef Mickey’s: Mickey Mouse, Pluto, Goofy, Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse

This is one of the modified Disney World character meals. 

‘Ohana Character Dining

As we continue our loop of the Magic Kingdom resort area, we have made it to Disney’s Polynesian Resort (review) for ‘Ohana. This location only offers character dining during breakfast. They do have dinner service here, but that’s not a character meal.

One of the characters at dining in Disney World

Pricing and Menu: View Here

Positives: The location, atmosphere, and character interaction were delightful on our last visit.

Negatives: The food at breakfast is very average.  While we had a good server, our overall experience wasn’t great.  We had to wait a long time to be seated which appears to be a common trend.

Characters at ‘Ohana: Mickey Mouse (Hawaiian), Lilo, Stitch, and Pluto

Review: ‘Ohana Character Breakfast

*This meal is returning on July 9, 2021, however, no characters will be present. Per the Disney Parks Blog update here there will be Stitch and Mickey Mouse waffles available. Reservations begin June 10th.

Storybook Dining at Artist Point

As we make our way across the water, this time, we’ll take the resort boat service to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. The occasion, dinner at Princess Storybook Dining.

Princess Storybook Dining at Artist Point serves dinner only. This meal has a prix fixe menu where you select an entree, appetizer, and dessert. Selections are limited.

Pricing and Menu: View Here

Positives: The character dining here is excellent and provides a rare opportunity to meet the Evil Queen from Snow White. We really enjoyed the characters here.

Negatives: For our last meal, the food wasn’t necessarily up to par considering the cost of the meal. Read the full review below to learn more. 

I’ve read a lot of mixed reviews since our last visit. However, I feel like overall, the good outweighed the bad. We wouldn’t hesitate to return and plan to in the future.

Characters: Snow White, Dopey, Grumpy, and the Evil Queen

Review:  Storybook Dining at Artist Point Review 

This experience has not returned at this time. 

Cape May Cafe Dining with Characters

Moving on to my personal favorite resort, Disney’s Beach Club (review), we’ll take a look at their popular character breakfast, Cape May Cafe. This restaurant serves breakfast only with characters. At dinner a seafood buffet is available. However, there are no characters at dinner.

Dining Characters Disney

Pricing and Menu: Here

Positives: Meet classic characters in unique costumes here.  This is a great location for anyone staying in the Epcot Resorts area.

Negatives: Pricing is high as with all of the other character meals.

Characters: Minnie Mouse and Friends in Beach Attire

Cape May is scheduled to open on May 18, 2021. You can read more here on Disney’s site about the modified experience with no characters.

Trattoria al Forno

A trip across Crescent Lake gets us to Disney’s Boardwalk Inn (review) for another unique dining option. Trattoria al Forno serves a special character breakfast called the Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast. Your table will be treated to a basket of pastries, and each individual selects an entree from the menu.

Pricing and Menu: View Here

Positives: The food selections for this meal consistently receive rave reviews.

Negatives: Disney’s Boardwalk might be a little difficult to get to early in the morning.

Characters: Ariel, Prince Eric, Rapunzel, and Flynn Rider

*This restaurant is not offering characters at this time.

Topolino’s Terrace

From Crescent Lake, we’ll take the Disney Skyliner over to Disney’s Riviera Resort (review) for my favorite Disney character breakfast.

Topolino’s Terrace serves breakfast only with characters. Additionally, it is the newest character dining experience available at the Walt Disney World Resort. 

Pricing and Menu: View Here

Positives: This is the best food I’ve had to date at any character meal available at Disney World. Additionally, the classic characters are endearing. 

Negatives: The new Riviera Resort might be challenging to get to in the morning unless you are staying there or next door at Caribbean Beach Resort (review). If you have a car, you might elect to drive it over. I’ll add a section with tips on how to get to the character meals below.

Characters: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald, and Daisy Duck

Review: Character Breakfast at Topolino’s Terrace 

This wraps up our summary of each character meal at Walt Disney World. Remember, there is no character dining available at Disney Springs. Additionally, there is a Goofy and Pals Character Breakfast at the Four Seasons Resort in Orlando. You can read more about it here on Disney’s site.

Sadly, Mickey’s Backyard BBQ permanently closed a few years back. And the character meal at Disney’s Swan and Dolphin Hotel (review) is no longer being offered on the weekends.

The Best of Disney World Character Dining

When it comes to character dining at Disney World, it can be tough to select the right experience without research. I often have people tell me that they have “heard” this or that place was the best, so that’s why they booked it.

While it’s great to take recommendations from friends and family, it’s also important to know that a meal like this is actually a bit of an investment.

In fact, the average family of four will typically spend close to $200.00 on one character dining experience. In comparison, that’s another day added on to the park for most families holding multi-day tickets. It could be another night at a Disney value resort under most circumstances. There are so many things that these funds could be applied to during your vacation.

Character dining can be a great thing that your family leaves talking about for years to come. It offers a private, more intimate setting with characters.

These meals are a great way for children who might have shy tendencies to warm up to characters by seeing them interact with other guests. In addition, the characters are highly trained and do well when dealing with children who might be upset with their appearance.

When it comes to choosing a character dining meal, I would start with one of two ways.

  1. Go for the food.
  2. Go for the character you want to have more time with and know the food might be average.

As much as I wish we could have the best of both worlds, I think the price tag for character dining might be too much to lament for long after the meal is done.

But for those of you wanting to get the best of both worlds, meaning good food and good characters, these would be my recommendations for best Disney World character dining:

  • Dinner at Cinderella’s Royal Table
  • Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno
  • Breakfast at Topolino’s Terrace
  • Storybook Dining with Snow White at Artist Point

 If you were going to go for option one only and didn’t have much of a preference as long as your kids got to meet some characters, these would be my recommendations:

  1. Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno
  2. Breakfast at Topolino’s Terrace

Lastly, I recommend going through the list above and basing your reservation solely on the characters for those of you wanting to have a unique character experience. Know going into your reservation that you are paying the price typically for the characters to be at these meals.

Overall, I think that anyone with a love for characters gets that and doesn’t mind. However, from someone that prefers better-than-average food, I find the selections at many of these disappointing. I’m not saying that the food is downright bad, but I compare it to what you might receive at a value resort food court.

Disney makes us expect more. And I don’t have these issues with the majority of other Disney restaurants.

How Disney Character Dining Works

As you probably know, some of these Walt Disney World character dining restaurants are very popular. It is common for them to be difficult to reserve, and spots fill up quickly when the 180-day reservation window opens.

Therefore you will need to plan to get an advanced dining reservation. I highly recommend using an authorized Disney travel agent to reserve your vacation and advance dining reservation if you are not experienced. You do not was to miss any sought-after meals or experiences.

Additionally, a travel agent can help you arrange a Disney dining plan if desired. Most character dining requires two table service credits for guests using the dining plan.

You’ll also want to know the best way to get to your reservation from your current location. When leaving your resort, I usually recommend giving one to one and a half hours in advance of your reservation when using Disney transportation.

Like other Disney restaurants, you’ll need to check in once you get to the location. Busy spots often won’t let you check in until about fifteen minutes before your reservation. If you are at a resort for character dining, there should be a lounge nearby to pick up an appetizer or cocktail while waiting.

When you receive the text message that your table is ready, a host will greet you at the restaurant entrance. The host will either take you to a line for a special photo opportunity or start to inform you about the restaurant and any specialties.

Once seated, your server will come over and get you started. You’ll probably see characters visiting around the restaurant with other families at this point. If not, they could be on break and will be back shortly.

The characters are accompanied in the restaurant by a handler. Often this person stays in the background, so you might not notice them. They watch the characters meeting at tables and ensure that they visit an entire section before moving on to the next one.

If a character is at a table next to you and they appear to skip you, don’t worry. They have a specific order to follow. However, with them being in full costume, they can easily get turned around. Ideally, if they skip you, the character handler will send them back your way before the next break. Or they might address you and let you know they’ll be back to you soon.

And even if none of these work out and say maybe you meet three out of four characters. Someone is supposed to come by your table and confirm that you have met all the characters. They could even come by and say something along the lines of you’re just waiting to meet Jasmine, right?

We’ve eaten at numerous character dining locations over the last ten years. I can attest that Disney Cast members do an excellent job with documenting the meets and making sure every table is visited.

Disney Character Dining Photos 

When you visit a character dining experience at Walt Disney World, you’ll want to make sure to have something with you to take photos. Unfortunately, character dining experiences (with a few small exceptions) do not have PhotoPass photographers present to take your family photo.

Those exceptions are meals like Cinderella’s Royal Table and Akershus Princess Dining. These two usually have a princess greeting guests at the entrance of the restaurant before you are seated.

In these instances, there is typically a photographer taking photos with the greeting princess. The PhotoPass photographer will scan them to your band or ticket if applicable, and the images will show up in your My Disney Experience account. A Memory Maker package might be required to access the photos.

There will not be any photographers present at any restaurant to take pictures when the characters visit your table. Therefore, make sure to have something readily available nearby to take pictures.

Autographs at Disney Character Dining

Another essential thing to remember is that many of the characters do sign autographs. So if your children are interested in collecting autographs, make sure to be prepared with an autograph book in advance.

I recommend purchasing a good, quality one on shopDisney before your Disney vacation. If you wait, you’ll end up having to buy one at a Disney park, and this is something simple you can have packed in your park bag before you leave. You can preview a few here on shopDisney if you like.

Character Dining and Autographs

Word to the wise, you might not think that your child will have an interest in collecting autographs. But it only takes one instance of them seeing someone else at another table or meets in the park getting a signature. After that, most children will automatically want the same experience.

Character autograph books are a minimal investment. They also have plenty of pages in them so that you can reuse them again on a future trip. Just remember to store them with your “Disney stuff” when you get back home.

How to get to Character Dining at Disney 

Coming and going around Walt Disney World can be quite a challenge if you aren’t familiar with the area. Here are a few tips to help you get to any of the character dining experiences at the resorts.

Magic Kingdom Resorts Area Character Dining

These resorts include Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Contemporary, and Wilderness Lodge for character dining meals.

  • Anyone who wants to visit a resort on the Magic Kingdom monorail loop from another resort can simply do the following.  Take a bus to Magic Kingdom, and then board the resort monorail to that resort.
  • If you are traveling to Grand Floridian or Polynesian you can also take a boat at the resort boat launch from Magic Kingdom.
  • If you are wanting to go to the Contemporary, simply walk over.  You will have to go through security to access these forms of transportation, but not through the ticket entry area.

I have a full review on using the monorail service at Walt Disney World. It goes into full detail and provides tips on best using it to maximize your vacation time.

 Heading to the Wilderness Lodge for a character meal?

  • You can take a bus to the Magic Kingdom and then boat or bus over to the Wilderness Lodge.  You will have to go through security to access the resort boat launch, but it’s a beautiful ride.

This review of the Magic Kingdom resort’s boat service will help you plan further in detail if needed.

Epcot Resorts Area Character Dining

For those headed to Boardwalk or Beach Club from another resort, you’ll want to try these tips.

  • Take a bus to Hollywood Studios from any resort and then do the following:
  • Use the Friendship Boat Service to get to either resort.
  • Walk the long pathway from Hollywood Studios to both resorts.  It’s probably close to 3/4 of a mile to walk.
  • Take the Skyliner from Hollywood Studios to the International Gateway and then walk to either character dining location.

Lastly, for anyone headed to Topolino’s at Disney’s Riviera Resort, take a bus to Hollywood Studios and then take the Skyliner to Riviera. I have a guide here on using the Disney Skyliner with travel times.

*One significant point to remember when configuring how you will get to a resort for breakfast is that not as many buses return to the hotels from theme parks early in the morning. Often, it will be best to use a car service to visit the character meals at the resorts.

Disney Character Dining Tips 

  • Don’t forget to reserve your Walt Disney World character dining experiences as soon as you become eligible. Typically this is at 180 days in advance of your vacation, but is reduced at this time.
  • If you don’t get the desired reservation, check back often.  The best time to get a new reservation is when someone cancels.  This usually happens within 30-60 days before the start of your vacation.
  • Know where you are going and how you are going to get there before your meal.  Also, make sure to take weather factors into consideration when traveling to your character dining meal.
  • If using free Disney transportation allow a good hour to hour-and-a-half for travel time.  In the event, you arrive late explain to the cast member your personal situation and they should fit you back into the schedule.
  • Don’t forget to bring your own camera and autograph books! You can pick one up here on shopDisney prior to your trip if you like.
  • If you are visiting a resort for a character meal, allow yourself a little time to explore before or after your meal.

Final Thoughts on Disney World Character Dining

A character meal can genuinely provide a bit of unexpected Disney magic on your vacation. I know this guide was a little lengthy, but I think it’s important to consider everything possible when planning your vacation. So often, it’s the things you don’t know that leave you feeling aggravated during and after your trip.

With that being said, Disney World is a massive place, and it’s going to be impossible to know every single thing. In those cases, I recommend rolling with the punches and chalking your experience up to remember for next time.

If you would like to know more about planning a Disney vacation, make sure to check out my Disney Resort Reviews. I have detailed reviews of the resorts and feel that deciding where to stay is the most critical planning factor. It sets the precedence of your trip and leaves a basis for where you will go and how you will get there.

If you want to learn more about individual characters in each Disney park, you’ll enjoy the guide to Disney World characters here.

Additionally, I have a full list of every single Disney restaurant review available here on the site. Or you might also like these other Disney dining guides:

Good luck planning your Disney character dining! I hope it will be a meal truly worthwhile with many fond memories.