Character Dining Restaurants at Disney World for Families

by Shannon

Disney World offers a large variety of dining. From more affordable quick service options to buffets to character dining, there are ample choices for both the budget conscious and the splurgers. Though I personally wouldn’t choose to splurge on every meal at Disney World, I think enjoying at least one character meal during your stay is a necessity if you have little ones!

Tip: If your family is on a super tight budget, choose to enjoy your character meal as a late breakfast that can tide you over until dinner time.

My Top 5 Character Dining Experiences at Disney World

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, EPCOT

Can’t snag a reservation at Cinderella’s Royal Table? No worries at all, your little one can feel like royalty and meet all the Princesses at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in EPCOT. Located near the new Frozen Ever After ride in Norway, this character dining restaurant is priced lower than Cinderella’s Royal Table at $60/adult dinner vs $80/adult dinner. The food here is Scandinavian themed and quite good! There is a buffet setup of appetizers that is all-you-can-eat. The server will then bring you whichever entree you prefer, followed lastly by a plate of desserts. All the while, the Princesses — Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, Princess Aurora, Ariel — will make their way around the restaurant to each table for interactions and photos. Don’t forget your camera and autograph book! A princess dress will make for great photos here too! TIP: If you eat here for breakfast, book the 8 am slot and hop in line for Frozen Ever After immediately after eating! The lines here grow as soon as the park opens.

character dining Akershus princess dinner Disney world

Mickey’s Backyard BBQ, The Campsites as Disney’s Fort Wilderness

This dining experience is a bit of a hike but it certainly is extra special (and well worth the trip in my opinion!). Not only do you get to meet some of your favorite characters (Mickey, Minnie, Goofy & Chip ‘n Dale) but you also get to enjoy a show! The dinner show is hoedown themed and features a live band. The spread here is all-you-can-eat BBQ style — think ribs, chicken, hamburgers, hotdogs, and sides. This meal also includes complimentary beer and wine for the adults! Priced at $72 or $62 for adults (depending on where you sit in proximity to the stage), this character dining experience is a ton of fun for kids and grown ups too! TIP: Dress your little ones in hoedown/country attire. It makes for fantastic photos with the characters who are also dressed for the part!

The Garden Grill, EPCOT

We recently ate at the Garden Grill for the very first time and it is a fantastic option for a budget friendly character dining experience. I really liked that this restaurant is all-you-can-eat served family style meaning you don’t have to go to a buffet line. The food is brought right to your table — coordinating trips to the buffet for yourself and the kids all while making sure everyone stays seated and you don’t miss any characters can be tough. Here you see Mickey, Pluto, and Chip ‘n Dale while your table actually rotates around with views of the Living with the Land ride. I highly recommend breakfast here — only $34 per adult. Ask for a booth on the lower level to really enjoy the rotating scenery while you eat. TIP: Book an 8 am reservation here, the service and characters move quickly and you’ll be out into the park before opening.

character dining garden grill breakfast characters mickey

Hollywood & Vine, Hollywood Studios

Have a Disney Junior fan at home? Then breakfast at Hollywood & Vine should be a MUST on your list. This character dining experience is all-you-can eat buffet style with Captain Jake, Doc McStuffins, Princess Sofia, and Handy Manny. The food is typical American breakfast options but the characters are unique and perfect for the toddler or preschooler in your family — $34 per adult. If you don’t have any Disney Junior fans, I would reserve this experience for lunch or dinner where you can interact with Minnie, Mickey, Daisy, Donald, and Goofy in a seasonal themed dining party — $50 per adult. TIP: If you do breakfast here, head straight for Toy Story Mania at park opening. If you miss park opening, head to the Woody & Buzz character spot across the street from Midway Mania; lines are non-existent first thing in the morning and grow quickly.

character dining hollywood vine disney junior breakfast sofia

‘Ohana, Polynesian Village Resort

‘Ohana only offers character dining for breakfast but their dinner is fantastic too — the food is DELICIOUS. ‘Ohana features Lilo & Stitch at breakfast time, which is a nice change from the usual characters that you find at the character dining experiences. Located at the beautiful Polynesian Village Resort, breakfast is served family style and brought right to your table. Breakfast here is also priced at $34 per adult. TIP: Book your breakfast here on a day you plan on heading to the Magic Kingdom. You can hop right on the monorail to the park after eating. 

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If you can, I recommend to always take advantage of the earliest reservation for dining within the parks; especially if you have little kids who will tire out quickly. This will allow you to get into the park before the masses and makes for a great photo opportunity! You also will be able to hop right onto rides after you finish eating. It’s a win-win!

five favorite character dining at disney world

What’s your favorite character dining meal at Walt Disney World? Want to read more about dining? Click here!

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Marianne August 7, 2019 - 10:22 pm

Great tips on WDW dining. I especially liked that you could get into the parks early with a dining reservation even though they technically aren’t open yet.

Shannon August 17, 2019 - 6:54 pm

Yes! Early park entrance is one of my favorite perks!