My Favorite Walt Disney World Character Meals

Monday, April 06, 2020

Disney characters are practically synonymous with Disney parks. You can't think of Walt Disney World without thinking of Mickey Mouse! There are many ways to meet a variety of different characters, but unfortunately, a lot of those involve waiting in long lines.

Thankfully, Disney makes it easy to meet characters by offering character meals!


Instead of having to wait in line, you go sit down and enjoy a meal, while the characters come to you! It's definitely more expensive than waiting in line, but it can be a definite time saver, especially because you generally get to see several different characters at a character meal.

I believe there are currently 14 restaurants offering character dining (not including special events or dinner at Be Our Guest), but not all of those offer the same characters for all meals. Some only offer character dining at specific meals, and some have different characters at different meals. Of the 14, we have eaten at six of them (a couple are new and were not available until after our last trip, a couple we've just never been able to book, and a few we just haven't had the time or money to work into our plans).

These are my three favorites, based on characters and character interaction, food, and atmosphere.


Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno

Trattoria al Forno is an Italian restaurant located on the boardwalk at, you guessed it, the BoardWalk Inn. Character dining is only available at breakfast, but it's my absolute favorite character meal. The biggest reason is the characters! The characters at this meal are Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, Ariel, and Prince Eric, and it's pretty much the only place you can count on seeing Flynn and Eric. As a Tangled fangirl, I am not ashamed to admit that I booked a meal here with my family on my 29th birthday just because I wanted to meet Flynn Rider.



Breakfast starts with some absolutely adorable pastries served in a frying pan (because Punzie, obvi), but everyone gets to pick their own entree (no trips to the buffet here!). They've changed the menu a bit since we went, but you're bound to find something you like, from eggs, to pancakes, to a breakfast calzone!

The character interaction is a lot of fun. The characters come in dancing throughout the room, and they spend a decent amount of time at each table. When we were there, Prince Eric had the best interaction with the kids, though they loved Ariel because she kissed their cheeks and left lipstick marks.

I highly recommend this meal, especially if you have kids who love Tangled or The Little Mermaid (and as my boys prove, meals with princesses aren't just for girls)!


Donald's Dining Safari at Tusker House

Located in Harambe in the Africa section of Animal Kingdom, Tusker House is my favorite place we've eaten at Animal Kingdom! Tusker House offers character dining at all three meals, though we have only been for dinner. It's a buffet, though the setting is absolutely beautiful; I really felt as if I was going to turn the corner and be in a real African marketplace! The food is African-inspired, though the flavors aren't too out there, and for picky eaters, there's a separate section with favorites like macaroni and cheese and corn dog nuggets. I loved the spicy coconut shrimp curry, and the flourless chocolate cake was fudgy perfection.

The characters are four of the classics: Donald, Daisy, Mickey, and Goofy. However, there's a twist -- they're all outfitted in safari gear! I love when the characters get to dress up in different outfits, and this is definitely a fun one.



Another reason I loved Tusker House was the little bit of pixie dust they sent my way. I was wearing a birthday pin, and our server brought me a cupcake with a candle and a card signed by the characters. It was very sweet, and I still have that card!



Tip: A lot of people like booking for the end of breakfast so they can enjoy both the breakfast items and the lunch items they start putting out on the buffet!

Tusker House is available for the Rivers of Light dining package, if that's something you want to take advantage of. It gets you priority seating for Animal Kingdom's Rivers of Light nighttime spectacular.


Supercalifragilistic Breakfast at 1900 Park Fare

This was a tough one for me, because I love 'Ohana as well (especially that bread!), but I think 1900 Park Fare has a bit of an edge based on both the food as well as the variety of characters.

This is a buffet located at the Grand Floridian, offering character dining for breakfast and dinner, though dinner has a different set of characters. We've only been for breakfast, though I've heard Cinderella's Happily Ever After Dinner is great (particularly because Lady Tremaine, Anastasia, and Drizella are hilarious). At breakfast, the characters are Mary Poppins, Alice, the Mad Hatter, Winnie the Pooh, and Tigger. While you can eat with Pooh and Tigger at Crystal Palace, the other characters are a little more difficult to meet, which makes this breakfast worth it. Mary Poppins is a hoot, though the Mad Hatter's prosthetic nose can be a little scary for some kids.



The buffet offers a TON of options, from interactive carving and made-to order omelet stations to standard favorites like Mickey waffles and biscuits and gravy. My favorites are the cheese blintzes and the absolutely amazing strawberry soup (for real, I think about that strawberry soup more than I should, and I fully intend to try to make it at home this summer).

The restaurant is large, and can be loud, but the turn-of-the-century carousel theme is a lot of fun to look at. The Grand Floridian in general is a beautiful, elegant resort, and even if you walk in and feel like you're too poor to be there (we wouldn't know anything about that...), I still recommend checking out the resort after your meal if you have time. I actually walked out of the bathroom after our meal and right into a proposal (granted, I do think outside of the 1900 Park Fare bathrooms isn't the most romantic place at the Grand Floridian to propose, but it would definitely be cool to have someone propose to you at the Grand Floridian).


***Please note that characters at any character meal are subject to change***


What's your favorite character meal at Walt Disney World? If you haven't been, what characters would you want to see?

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