What Would a Pixie or Pirate Do?
My husband and I, along with my parents, are taking our children, ages 1, 4,and 9 to Disney World this September. We have never been! We are currently trying to book our dining reservations and having a hard time deciding with all the choices. We want at least one character meal, which is the best in your opinion? Also any other recommendations for meals are appreciated! Thanks!
First trips can seem overwhelming when planning, but really they aren't so bad. Disney has amazing dining choices - It's one of my favorite parts of the planning process. Many people go for the obvious choices - Chef Mickey's or The Castle - when booking a character meal. I say go against the grain. Two of my favorites are located in the resorts, not the parks. My first suggestion is 1900 Park Fare in the Grand Floridian Resort. They offer breakfast w/ Alice, The Mad Hatter, Pooh Bear, Tigger, and Belle. The breakfast choices are typical breakfast fare & even some different items like lobster Benedict. 1900 PF also has a great dinner that includes Cinderella, Prince Charming, Madame Tremaine, and the Step Sisters. The Step Sisters are a hoot! This is a great meal for both boys & girls and the parents, too! And don't forget to try the strawberry soup!
My other suggestion would be Ohana's character breakfast in the Polynesian Resort. It includes LILO, Stitch, Mickey, & Pluto. The meal is served family style and offers a great view of Magic Kingdom. A great family atmosphere too.
Whatever you choose, Disney character meals offer your kids an experience with the characters they won't soon forget! Make sure to be camera & autograph book ready!
First let me say, YAY! for a first trip!
As for dining, there are a lot of choices. I think with little ones, you need to consider, first, what time they normally eat at home. Also do they have any favorite characters? Personally we love, Crystal Palace, with Pooh and Gang at Magic Kingdom, Tusker House with Donald and the gang at Disney Animal Kingdom and Cape May Cafe with Goofy and the gang at the Beach Club Resort.
Now for non-character meals, you need to look for some family friendly locations. Some of our favorites are, Whispering Canyon Cafe at the Wilderness Lodge (warning it can be loud), 50's Primetime Cafe at Disney's Hollywood Studios and 'Ohana at the Polynesian.
Have a wonderful first trip!
Our favorite character meals are, hands down, Chef Mickey's at the Contemporary and Akershus Royal Breakfast at Epcot. These have the best food, as well as the best opportunity for pictures and autographs for children. You can get them there while you eat and not have to wait in long lines at the parks! Enjoy your first visit! Just take your time and relax and remember, you can't cram it all in on one trip! You will want to save some things to do on your next, and your next, and your next...haha ;)
That sounds like a wonderful family vacation and a first visit for all of you, how exciting!
One of the best ways to get a one on one meet and greet with the characters is planning a character dining meal. There are many different character meal choices with Winnie the Pooh, Princesses, Mickey & Gang, Lilo & Stitch, Alice & Mad Hatter and even Disney Jr. characters. If you are just doing one, I would suggest one with the main man himself, Mickey. Chef Mickey's, at the Contemporary Resort, is very popular as it has Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto and Goofy. We would often start our vacation off with a dinner at Chef Mickeys and then hit the parks the next morning. Another fun place to meet Mickey, Donald, Daisy and Goofy is Tusker House Restaurant in the Animal Kingdom park. You can start out with a great breakfast buffet with them and then spend the day in the park. No matter which meal you choose I'm sure you and your family will love it. Have fun on your first visit!
September is such a nice month to visit WDW! That is also the time that I go on my family vacations (it's nice as the crowds are lower & the weather is still gorgeous!) I have 2 girls (ages 6 & 9 this year) & we always plan a 'couple' character meals each trip! We love The Crystal Palace (breakfast is our personal favorite, with Pooh Bear & Friends:). We love to schedule an early morning breakfast, so that way we beat the rush into the park & are already there by the time it opens up to the public! This is a nice way to start your 'Magic Kingdom' day!
Another nice character meal that we love is 'Chef Mickey's'..we love dinner there! It's very convenient to hop there from the Magic Kingdom or Epcot (as you can hop right on the monorail from those parks!) You might also consider Ohana (inside the Polynesian Resort) for breakfast with Lilo & Stitch, that is another fun one! There are many options as far as the character meals go, these are some of my families personal (tried & true-tested favorites though!!)
Hi there! You're going to have such a great time in Disney, especially with three generations! It can be difficult trying to pick a restaurant where everyone's needs are satisfied, but Disney does a great job of creating dining experiences anyone from ages 1 to 101 can enjoy and walk out with a full belly.
Character meals are one of my favorite things! There are so many of them but one truly sticks out in my mind: the Crystal Palace for breakfast in the Magic Kingdom. Why breakfast? Because if your reservation is early enough, that is, before the park hours, you have the special treat of entering the parks before the rest of the public can. This means you can get pictures of you and the family down Main Street and in front of the iconic Cinderella Castle with minimal interruptions or crowds behind you. The meal itself is magical, too, as you get to have a breakfast buffet with Winnie the Pooh and all of his friends. The characters come to you, so you don't have to worry about anyone missing out on the characters or the delicious food.
Another great character meal is the Garden Grill, which is located in Epcot and is sometimes overlooked. They're only open for dinner, but it's worth the wait. The Garden Grill has one of the most unique menus, especially as some of their food comes directly from the Living with the Land attraction that the restaurant turns around! Turns around? Yep! Garden Grill very, very slowly rotates around the attraction, so that you can take a peek from above while you dine with Mickey, Pluto, Chip and Dale.
One last recommendation: have you considered the Sci Fi Dine In Theater in Hollywood Studios? It's not a character meal but it is really unique in that you get to have your meal inside of a convertible (okay, not a real one, but they're convincing) while you watch movie clips, trailers and commercials from the 50s and 60s. It's a really fun experience for everyone and the food makes it one of my favorite restaurants in the parks.
I hope you're able to find the best restaurants for your family! Have a great time in Walt Disney World!
I am not sure if your children are boys or girls, but one of my very favorite Character meals is 1900 Park Fare. You get to dine with Cinderella, Prince Charming, the Step Mother and the Step Sisters. Those step sisters are a hoot! I just love their antics. On our last vacation my father walked around with big red lip prints on his forehead after a kiss from Anastasia. :)
Character meals are a good way to get some "one-on-one" time with your children and the various characters within WDW. Having a 4-year old, I've experienced several character meals at the parks. I've done Breakfast and Dinner at Cinderella's Royal Table, as well as, character breakfast at Akershus with "all" of the princesses. I've found that the Akershus seems to be better for those interested in seeing all of the princesses (versus Cinderella, the fairy Godmother). Also, if you're on the Disney Dining Plan, it only takes one credit (CRT takes 2). We also enjoy the Character breakfast at Chef Mickey's (Mickey and pals) and O'hana's (Lilo and Stitch). One that we weren't particularly fond of (both for the characters and the food) was at Hollywood and Vine at Hollywood Studios. These are just a couple of highlights (and a lowlight) of some of the Character Dining that we've done.
How exciting!! My children are 4 (almost 5) and 8. We are traveling with my mother in law this fall, and some of our favorite character meals are:
~Chef Mickey's at the Contemporary resort (breakfast and dinner)
~Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
~1900 Park Fare in the Grand Floridian (breakfast is Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter, Mary Poppins, Tigger and Pooh, although the characters are subject to change. Dinner is Prince Charming, Cinderella, her step mother and step sisters - they really make the meal fun!!)
~Tusker House in the Animal Kingdom (breakfast and lunch).
* All of these meals are buffets, and there really is something to please everyone, even the pickiest of eaters.
We have learned over the years to divide the duties - 1 parent takes the pictures and the other handles the autograph books. My daughter has sort of taken over this duty now that she is a little older. It helps to have everything ready when the character arrives at the table. If you're at the buffet when the character comes to your table, no worries - just let your server know and they will send the character(s) back to your table!
Some of our favorite non-character meals are Mama Melrose in Hollywood Studios, Liberty Tree Tavern in the Magic Kingdom and Le Cellier in Canada in Epcot. I'm getting hungry just thinking about these meals!! Happy Planning and have a magical trip!!!
Back to the WWAPD questions and answers
Have a question you'd like to share with our Pixies and Pirates? It's simple!